People can't stop laughing at the ridiculous 'mistake' on this book cover

People can't stop laughing at the ridiculous 'mistake' on this book cover

Apart from arguing, there's nothing that people on the internet love more than investigating a mystery. Even if it's based around a totally mundane, run-of-the-mill subject, netizens will still to band together to solve something that's bugging them; especially if that something happens to be bad artwork.

Now, I'm not exactly artistically inclined myself; the best I could ever manage was a few doodles in the margin of my school notebooks. But online, even professionals can expect to have their work picked apart by armchair critics and keyboard warriors, who will obsessively over-analyse every tiny detail, and if you're unfortunate enough to present those same people with an intriguing puzzle, then you'd better be prepared to face the consequences.

Recently, a group of Tumblr-users with way too much time on their hands banded together to find out what the hell the deal was with a certain illustration. You can see the picture that rustled their jimmies above. It shows a red-headed woman with a voluptuous figure opening the door to what looks like a dingy cottage. Bright sunlight, tropical plants and palm trees can be seen outside, while the interior is grubby and dusty. There, a shirtless blonde man, who is covered in bruises, sits and broods. Typical vintage book cover stuff, huh?

It seems outwardly normal, right? Nothing to see here. Yet one Tumblr-user was bothered by something and decided to share his niggling grievances with the world. You see, a careful examination of the picture reveals that the proportions of the two focal characters on the cover are ever-so-slightly wrong. A Tumblr-user with the handle "Itswalky" pointed out that the woman's legs were simply too short to properly reach the floor. How did she manage to stand up? The thread soon exploded, as commenters swapped theories about how the woman had mysteriously grown a couple of inches taller.

Some people decided that she must have been standing on a tiny heap of sand, which was obscured by the man's rugged physique. One person wrote: "Examination of the background and the marks on the floor lead me to the conclusion that there's a great hill of sand for her to be standing on. Obviously the reason that he's crying is that he's just done sweeping and sh's let all the sand in." Others believed that the woman was actually perched upon the back of a small dog. The issue of whether or not the hypothetical dog had managed to survive having the weight of a fully-grown human on its back remained ultimately unresolved.

The illustration in question is for the 1965 novel "Deadly Welcome," written by author John D. MacDonald. The artist who drew the classic cover is Robert E. McGinnis, who illustrated more than 1,200 paperback books, as well as doing the artwork for over 40 movie posters, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barbarella, and a number of James Bond films. In 1985 McGinnis managed to win the title of "Romantic Artist of the Year" for his many romance novel paperback covers. I guess it just goes to show that even the most prolific professionals can make bone-headed mistakes from time to time.