My new book The Piracy Crusade will be published this December, and I'm incredibly excited to have illustrator and comic journalist Josh Neufeld doing the cover art for me. Josh has now sent me initial sketches outlining a few cover ideas, and has consented to let me use the "wisdom of the crowd" to help develop the cover idea further, just as I did with the text of the book itself.
The book's basic premise is that "digital piracy" is a boogeyman promoted by legacy content cartels in order to justify increasingly draconian intellectual property laws, treaties and policies whose primary purpose is to bolster their (eroding) market dominance. Unfortunately, the secondary effects of this agenda (exemplified by initiatives such as PIPA, SOPA, ACTA and CISPA) is to undermine the foundations of democratic society by eliminating protections for free speech, privacy and market competition, while weakening checks and balances against corporate and governmental overreach.
Josh has sent me four cover ideas, and I'd love your help in choosing between them. The first is the one that I initially outlined for him -- in which two battleships, one flying the copyright flag and the other flying the copyleft flag, are engaged in a naval battle, and the resulting smoke creates the phantom of the Jolly Roger:
The second cover idea is very similar, but it eliminates the Jolly Roger smoke, which Josh says would give more prominence and detail to the ships, and unclutter the overall design:
The third concept also features the copyright and copyleft ships, but puts them in relation to each other along the Z-axis with foreshortening, rather than portraying them side-by-side:
Finally, the fourth cover idea is a radical departure from the nautical imagery, and just features a Jolly Roger with copyright and copyleft symbols for eyes:
I need to choose one of these ideas, or propose a new one, to Josh ASAP, so he can get to work on the art itself. I welcome your comments and suggestions!