Korean Cover of Fuzzy Nation

I’m not gonna lie to you, Internet: This is a staggeringly cool cover.

One note of errata: If the woman on the cover is meant to be Isabel Wangai, the skin tone (and hair color, and eye color) are off a bit, as Isabel is Kenyan (as noted in the next). There may be blonde, fair-skinned, blue-eyed Kenyans, but Isabel isn’t one of them. It’s entirely possible the artist was not informed of Isabel’s heritage before he or she went to work.

Other than that bit of errata? Love it.

27 thoughts on “Korean Cover of Fuzzy Nation

  1. So my Korean is terrible (something I need to improve if I don’t want my wife to eventually kill me) but it seems the title in Korean is “Little Friends of the Planet” or maybe “The Planet’s Little Friends”

  2. It’s a cool cover, so I want to be precise that I ask this next question without snark. Unintentional whitewashing on account of assuming a white Westerner would write all white characters?

  3. Gulliver: If unintentional or intentional whitewashing occurred it probably has a lot more to do with Korea’s own internal issues than with any assumptions they may have made about a western author’s issues. Korea is improving every year, but racism in this country towards those of darker skin colors is something they can pull off just fine on their own. I sincerely hope the artist just didn’t know about the character’s heritage, but I’m guessing some people in the publishing industry here at least believe white characters on covers would sell better than black or brown. That may have played no factor at all into this cover though. It is, in all other ways, a very cool cover. I may have to go see if I can find it in a bookstore.

  4. @ Jeff Xilon

    It’s a great book, especially if you’ve read the original which I just happened to have read a couple of months before John announced his reboot. They’re interesting to compare plot-for-plot.

  5. I think the “cat + E.T” hieroglyph text bubble is about the coolest thing I’ve seen on a cover in a while.

    Also, welcome back from the raw sewage escapades.

  6. Oh, I heard the artist bought an existing artwork(Roy Lichtenstein’s I guess, but I have to check out) and changed with purpose. I mean the man and the woman, not the hieroglyphs. And she couldn’t find a perfect woman pic… Still, it was really interesting to read comments about skin color and Korean culture. You gave me something to think about.

    Anyway, I’m glad you like it, and thank you for your understanding(sorry!). – your korean translator

  7. So “Fuzzy Nation” translates to “The Planet of Little Friends.” That’s actually pretty typical for Korea. As is assuming every foreigner is blonde and blue-eyed. Though it is entirely possible that the artist knew the heroine’s colors but made her blonde anyway because it will sell more books.

  8. Oops, I can’t change my comment. so
    Add: Of course I’m not the artist nor the publisher, and I can’t read minds. So I’d better shut up… but I’m assured it’s not intentional. Not this case. Sorry to bother, again.

  9. Yeah, planet of little friends is right. I live in Korea and am reasonably sure it was an intentional change for the cover, I doubt many Koreans would buy a novel that has a black main character. Even my Korean friends, who are incredibly progressive by Korean standards, are still pretty racist about certain groups. It’s taught in school and by parents. My students are always flabbergasted if I show them a picture of a city in Africa and they see black people who aren’t living in mud huts and eating babies. “Teacher, they have buildings?!”

  10. Er, little friends’ planet. The 의 is the possessive particle. 작은 Small 친구 friend (though not in the same sense as the English word, more of a person the same age/station as you–it’s translated as friend but not terribly accurate) 들 plural particle 의possessive particle 행성 planet, literally.

  11. I met a blonde and blue eyed Tanzanian on a train a couple of months ago. Nice girl with one of those accents I just couldn’t place. So it’s not completely impossible.

  12. I just want to say when I saw that cover it just worked for me. Not the prettiest thing to see, but dang if it didn’t put the crux of the story down in pictures. Somebody did their homework back in Nippon. Kudos to them.

  13. (Pssst, gleonguerrero: “Nippon” is Japan, not Korea.)

    I remain fascinated by the different cover trends/aesthetics/fashions of each country and culture. It’s wonderful to see that other places do things not just different from American publishers, but often radically different. Ah, humanity, sometimes I love you so much.

  14. Did I just say ‘Nippon’? Ohhh, bad me, BAAAAD. I used to be married to a Korean too. Bad me, BAD. I took a Korean martial art. BAD me. Wow, can’t believe I did that. Like I can’t tell Hangul from Kanji. Bad, just plain bad. I’m going to go and hide in shame now.

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