The Covers File: “The Apprenticeship Of Big Toe P” around the world

the apprenticeship 01

the apprenticeship 02

When the tagline of a book is “the female protagonist wakes up one day with a penis in place of her big toe”, do publishers just tear out their hair when the time comes to create a cover?

Also: Italian Cover Fail.

As you can see, the American publisher (Kodansha USA) decided for a tasteful but suggestive big red P. Simple, but effective, once you read the synopsis.

The French publisher (Editions Philippe Picquier) bet on the feet feticism. Also, instead of using the veiled reference to the word “penis” as the original (”親指P“, “Oyayubi P“), it went full frontal, so to speak.

I… have honestly not idea what is going on in the original Japanese cover (Kodansha). But it’s pretty? It kind of suggests a rebirth, maybe, which is fitting.

The Italian one. Oh my God. Why do Italian publishers work so very hard to make me ashamed of being Italian and in this industry. I am going to be understanding with this publisher (Marsilio), because I know it’s an indipendent publisher, without a giant budget, and that its Japanese Literature Catalog doesn’t sell that much. But this cover is so amateurish it’s offensive. The placing of title and author’s name is inexplicably uneven, and not a in a good quirky way. It has the name of the publishers smack-dab in the centre of the book, where no one wants to see it (ego much? no one cares). And the image is a weird surreal woman, wearing a shift that is supposed to remind us of a big toe, I guess. No sign of a penis anywhere (honestly, what a waste. Cowards). And why are her eyes covered? And, for the love of god, blue on yelllow? No.


Captain Clo


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