As a work of magical realism, Pedro Paramo places the "main character" Juan Preciado in a literal ghost town. He is the only living being within the village of Comala and yet he is able to interact with deceased townsfolk. We the readers learn about the seedy history of this small village and the evil deeds of Juan's absentee father, Pedro Paramo, through the stories of the dead.
Thinking of imagery for this novella, my mind had gone to Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration and their skeleton motifs (in decoration and dress). The thing I like about this holiday, in relation to the book, is the belief that it is the one day where the dead can visit the living more easily.
After a little poking around the web, I came across this wonderful piece from artist Laurie Lipton called "Family Reunion" :
Used by Permission in thanks to Laurie Lipton
Great, huh? What's more perfect for this novella than the dead at a funeral?
I aged the image a little bit, giving it a sepia tone with pops and scratches, mimicking an old photograph.
What made this piece absolutely perfect for my needs was the "hidden" character. If you look real closely at the top of the group, you can see one living person among the dead! I lightened this man ever so slightly to make him subtly stick out from the group.
Putting together all of these elements and borrowing a layout choice from the original cover, I came out with this final version:
My first reimagined cover: Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. Again, I would like to graciously thank Laurie Lipton for the use of her artwork.
The floor is now open for comments, questions, suggestions, and critiques.