Last Days Cover Redux

Okay, so the previous cover designs for The Last Days didn’t get such a great reception. Knives were drawn, tears were shed. But as promised, the drawing board was gone back to. And this time with vamp-tastic results!

Just to remind you, The Last Days is my not-really-a-sequel to Peeps. It’s set in the same parasite-afflicted New York City, but instead of the Night Watch, it follows a bunch of kids trying to start a band and get famous. Of course, making it in the music biz is a tough thing to do under the best of circumstances, but right in the middle of a Zombie/Vampire Apocalypse, it’s really a total pain in the neck. (Get it? NECK!)

Now, this is not a complete design. There’s no text yet, these aren’t the right color levels, and it’s probably not going to be cropped this way. You are seeing a raw image even before the marketing department does! But I just couldn’t keep it from you for another moment.

So here is the new and highly improved cover rough for The Last Days:


I think that it is. And the fact that the only musical prop is a guitar neck (neck, get it? NECK!) is really great.

The oversized photophobic cat-like eyes are very much the way I imagined peeps’ to be. And the gaze is just the right combination of hungry, horny, and inhuman.

The book comes out in August 2006 in the USA. No, it’s not quite finished yet.

Also: Peeps has been awarded a BCCB Blue Ribbon Award, meaning that it made their top ten list of kids’ fiction books of the year. (Buy it here!)

And in other Peeps news, it seems like toxoplasma gondii, the cat-to-rat parasite that stars in Chapter 4, is all over the web. There’s been some new research about how it affects its human host. (Just typing the words “human host” gives me the chills, yo.)

Here’s a reference on BoingBoing, proving again that I am the sf-parasite-guy, and another at science writer Carl Zimmer’s site. Zimmer rocks, and without his book Parasite Rex, Peeps would not have been written.

48 thoughts on “Last Days Cover Redux

  1. got it ok ! – it’s a nice look but seems a bit obvious. Maybe if the person was hidden in darkness so that you only really saw the eyes and maybe a glimps of the lips…

  2. gosh! I always thought the undead prefered Gibsons! Who knew vamps were Strat-cats!

    Is she biting a pick? Cause that would be the second musical prop. And what’s with the Cmaj7 chord? Don’t denizens of the night use minor chords exclusivly?

  3. I’ve been meaning to pick up peeps; I might pick it up when I head to chapters this weekend. I will actually have time to read it because my exams are soon over.

    Also the cover is very nice, it isn’t focusing on just the music, thus showing us that there is more to the book than the music proportions; I really like the eyes.

  4. I love it! The eyes are great, even if they are not quite the same as the Peeps cover. The blood red lips really stand out against the gray skin tone.

    And I can imagine she’s picking (get it! PICK!) somebody’s neck flesh out of her teeth…

  5. Frickin yeah! That’s awesome! I love the eyes.

    I thought at first she was biting (get it! BITING!) a red rose petal, which is very poetic. But it’s a guitar pick that’s the color of blood, which is also poetic and fitting.

    And I LOVE the eyes. I liked the old ones, but I like this picture as well. Though I’ll reserve further judgement til I see the type on it, cause that’s important, too.

  6. Oh yeah, now we’re talking. :’)

    I wouldn’t worry about the Farscape connection – she doesn’t look anything like Chiana, if for no other reason than that the hair is totally wrong. And if someone does make that connection, it’s because they’re hot for Chiana, and so they’re going to buy the book anyway, so how bad is that?

  7. hey scott! such a skate cover i love it
    and the guitar pick thing is a great idea
    im really looking forward to reading it
    oh yes awsome

    Fantastic! Brilliant!
    Very creepy, very edgy. Much, much better than the other covers. I love the guitar pick detail. Weirdly enough, I noticed it before I noticed the guitar. I much prefer the vampire music vibe this cover has as opposed to the boring band focus on the others. I would buy it based on cover and summary alone, even if I didn’t already want to read everything you write.

  9. I love it!!! Major imporvement… I thought peeps pupils were kind of large because of the darkness, note the suprised look… Or maybe made that up… hmmm… o well Anway, the other covers were a bit… too non science fictiony and too real life ordinary teen book… do you know what I mean?

  10. I LOVE IT!!! i like how verything is bluish then the red is like the only thing that is in color. kinda the whole bloob-vampire thing going on there! it is 1,000,000,000,000 times better that the other one!!!

  11. *Bender (the robot) voice* I find that offensive!
    Not really. 😛
    Very cool picture. I play bass. Instruments are cool. Hahaha.
    The yellow in the eye’s seem to stick out a bit too much. But, as you said, not finished.
    So, my final conclusion is that that is awesome. 😀

    Wooo! The D-man was on! I must go prepare something…

  12. The picture scared me to death. I’m here in school and I just yelped. Lots of sideways glances. Anyway, it still looks pretty awesome.

  13. ya….ive kinda been spreading overdramatic stories about toxoplasma at school…hehe…

    oh and also if anyone else iz like me and loves to listen to music while they read a good book music by “story of the year” iz perfect for Uglies and Pretties, specialy the songs “Sidewalks” and “is this my fate? he asked them”
    and for peeps i found that the song “private eye” was great for it and if ur in a vampie mood hence the whole subject of the book then “Vampires will never hurt you” by MCR iz also gd……..ok im done now.

  14. hloy cow!!! i do that too tru! i thoubh i was a freak b/c i listened to music that reminded me of the book. like i have this one song (i dont remember what its called or the artist- its a burned cd) that goes PERFECTALY with the book so yesterday…
    any ways…

  15. YES!!!!!!!!! perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!! the best one!!!!!!! i LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!! so creepy. just right to freak people out. if i didn’t know about Peeps and i saw that cover i would buy the book on the spot. it’s wonderful. her eyes look really fake though. but otherwise it’s perfect!!!!

  16. its not about hearing the music. its about the mood the music creates. like in a movie, you dont always hear the music, but it adds effect to the seen.

  17. oh i forgot to add. i just got back from the library, every one of your book,scott, was checked out,. i cant get ahold of any of them. this is like the 3rd month i’ve tried to get one. geeze! scott be…….just…….less popular, so i can get a book! thats actually good (i can get a book, just not a good one)

  18. Cool cover! I can’t wait to read it! I was at ALA last weekend and was looking forward to getting an arc of the new Midnighters… no luck! 🙁 But congrats on the BBYA *top 10* for Peeps!!

  19. Well my problem is I like the music too much so I try to concentrate on both and end up too much into one or the other…I dunno it messes me up and I have to reread a bunch of lines. X_X
    Good idea if you can still concentrate on the book with the music playing though. 🙂

  20. Love it, it sorta creeped me out at first. But I love the light angle on the cheekbones, which are high enough to give a starved vampirish feel. Also the red lips. But a little extension of the guitar mmiiiiiggghhhhtt help, a bit.

  21. I do my homework and read my books (and to be specific, it’s all by scott) with the music on all the time…it doesn’t even bother me at all. You know scientists say that you concentrate more on your work if you have music on?

  22. Tru- I also spread dramatic stories about toxoplasma to friends and co-workers. they think I’m WAY too into parasites, but come on! they’re cool & disgusting!

    If you don’t know much about prions (protein particles that cause Mad Cow Disease and many others), you should check them out. My fav is Fatal Familial Insomnia- a prion disease that makes you not sleep- until you die. is that too morbid?

    Scott, good cover. love the red pick.

  23. OMG kha thats so true! i just had my exams (eak) and the nite b4 all i did was study study study and listen to music and during the exam i remembered everything i studied! i dont noe if thats cuz i studied or becuz of the music…its prob. a mix of the two.

  24. oh alicia i noe wat u mean! after a couple stories about slimeballs and toxoplasma ppl look at u wierd but its so kool! and that disease does sound interesting:) do u die from lack of sleep or does the prion kill u?

  25. Glad you guys are liking it.

    Shana: Zombies are funny. And I JUST put a zombie-lawsuit joke into The Last Days. What a weird coincidence.

    Tru, etc., I never listen to music when I write at home, because it drives me crazy. But when I’m in a coffee shop, where someone else has control and plays their music (not mine), it doesn’t bother me. How weird is that?

    Alicia: Fatal Familial Insomnia is really cool, in a scary way. It’s called “familial” because whole families get it and all go crazy together. Ew.

    And Tru, it’s the not-sleeping that kills you. Slowly.

  26. omg wow it really creeped me out at first but I LOVE IT!! it’ll definately grab people’s attention. the eyes are amazing and the mouth is kinda scary but i guess it’s meant to be that way and i like it. omg i havent read peeps but I MUST BUY THIS AS SOON AS IT COME OUT!

    there. im done. 🙂

  27. hey scott! -is frantically eating up “Pretties”- ^^ uhm…love the cover for “Lats Days” muchos, but the teeth kiiiinnndddaaa scare me…xD And it’s awesome that you’re writing a not-so-sequal to “Peeps”…..BUT WHAT ABOUT A REAL SEQUAL?!?! that ws like, the best freakin book in the universe! I’m using it for a book project on fear…lol (>^^)> But iono, you COULD make a sequal, there were enough loose ends to tie up, like how the ppl were gonna get rid of that worm thing, BUT you dont have to i guess….x.x
    BUT IT WOULD BE NICE! =D propz for the best stories since Holly Black

  28. Glad you all liked it. I did too, and will soon be showing you a version with type.

    Wicked: Don’t worry, the not-quite-a-sequel will be real enough to answer your questions. It just shows the situation from other perspective’s than Cal and Lace.

  29. Mr. Westerfeld,
    Hey Scott! I love the pic. It’s very…. creative!! Anyways, at school, we have to pick our favorite author, read 3 of their books and make a timeline with atleast 15 events. I was just wondering if you could help me with that?!?!? thankyou SOO much! This will reallyy help!!thankyou again!

  30. That cover rocks, the eyes match the ones on the peeps cover totally! It will be AWESOME, i was desperate for a sequel to peeps or a not-quite-sequel as the case may be lol

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