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Skulls on Vintage Book Covers: A Frightfully Overused Motif

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skull cover

 

Admittedly, it’s a compelling image.  What’s more attention grabbing and fitting for a macabre tale than the image of a human skull?  Yet, it’s an understatement to say it was an overused concept, with an endless number of paperbacks using the trope.  What was once compelling, soon became tired.  Let’s look at just the tip of the bony iceberg…

 

skull book cover

skull book cover

skulls on book jackets

book cover skull

skull book cover

skull book jacket vintage

book cover skull

skull book cover paperback

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skull book covers

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Well, I think you get the picture.  If there was a horror anthology or slightly macabre story to be published – the book jacket designers basically just said, “slap a skull on it.”