Home » Army Life and Stories » JEAN SHEPHERD, I’ve got you covered–Part 1 of 2

JEAN SHEPHERD, I’ve got you covered–Part 1 of 2



As my educational and professional background has been in the commercial, visual arts (graphics and museum exhibit design), I enjoy trying my hand at book covers of manuscripts I’ve written.

When I submitted my first Shepherd book, I included, in a fully rendered, in-color layout, my suggestion for the front cover.  The published cover is precisely what I created except that the iconic photo of Shep got cropped in the upper left-hand corner more than I’d designed and presented it. (The person in charge cropped a bit off Shepherd’s upraised hand, probably to make the image larger and thus a bit more impressive.)  Other than that, colors, type style, layout, use of photo–everything about the cover is as I designed it.  But I got no credit for it in the published book–or anywhere else:


(Published cover with cropped hand at upper left)

I’ve tried a variety of designs for other book manuscripts of mine. It’s lots of creative fun. What the heck, one or more may yet, with some improvements of my preliminaries designs made by a publisher’s cover designer, find itself out there on innumerable bookstore shelves from coast to coast!



[As usual, click on images for larger views. Where shown, narrow vertical area to left is spine.]

Mostly, these cover ideas were designed and printed on my now defunct special printer

before my SHEP’S ARMY book arrived on the scene

kykl COVER textKYKL cover by eb0002

Compilation of unpublished observations and essays of mine written subsequent to the material in EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD! It includes Lois Nettleton notes to me and an interview on Shep she gave  soon after he died; Leigh Brown’s letters to her best friend on her scheme to kidnap Jean from Lois; and lots more stuff–on Shel Silverstein, Hugh Hefner, “Cowboy X,” and so on.

MISC cover

Contains additional original essays by me on Shep. Photo by Don Knowlton, drawing of the guy shown with the excelsior banner is from Shel Silverstein’s drawings on Shep’s LP album, “Jean Shepherd and Other Foibles.” The above two books, publisherless, I have been cannibalizing for posts on this blog (which also includes much new material I create as I go along).

q.JS questing book cover

This loose leaf book I put together, composed of dozens of photos of Shep at all stages of his career. This was inspired by my comments in the final chapter of my EYF!, page 415-416 titled “The Many Faces of Jean Shepherd: A Metaphor?” I comment therein:

Complementing the many-sided and often self-contradictory aspects of Shepherd’s stories, biography, and persona were the many faces he presented to the world over the years. Examining photos may yield some clues to the real Jean Shepherd….

We do not know why he changed his look so frequently and so markedly over the years. He appeared to be at least a dozen different people. Was he responding to the style of the times (for his own pleasure or to better appeal to his audience); was he trying on visual aspects of his artistic persona to discover which outward manifestation might best fit the variety and complexity of the creative forces he felt within himself, was he trying to conceal himself from others–or was he himself seeking a real Jean Shepherd?

blogbook cover 1

This is an idea I have of publishing a selection of my blog posts that would be made up of material from the above two miscellanies and the new material I’m writing these days. [BTW, For technical reasons beyond my understanding and control, some colors, shown on these cover images, got god-awful-changed in the computer-process. The one immediately above is a major example. In it, visualize a solid black background and bright red type,]

travel 2travel 1

A book manuscript of edited broadcast transcripts  of Shepherd’s travel narratives, organized and introduced by me, encompassing his love of traveling around the world. Including, among other areas: Maine, the “March on Washington,” travels with The Beatles (“John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Shep”), Australia, Africa, Ireland, Paris, Peru’s headhunter country in the Amazon, and his whirlwind trip around the world in seven days. Followers of this blog can read the entire manuscript in many parts.

Stay tuned for Part 2




  1. Lou Perry says:

    Great covers and and material. Wish I could get a copy of each one. Cannot wait for part two.

    • ebbergmann says:

      Thank you. Creating with words or images or both together has always been a great pleasure for me–and important to my professional career as exhibit designer.

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