This issue’s cover was created
in collaboration with Midjourney AI.

As the designer of more than 30 covers to date for the journal, my challenge for CAROUSEL 49 was to use an image generation model to develop a cover image that properly fit the journal’s specific, somewhat idiosyncratic aesthetic …

… With only a basic sense of a beginning, I was able to prompt/probe at the idea I was pursuing from about a dozen different angles — to try out things quickly and push the generative model in the direction I wanted it to go. Throughout, I tried to maintain the perspective that I was collaborating with someone/something on the other end of the program. In all, our final cover image took me a couple of hours to develop, upscale and then edit, using Photoshop to achieve a perfected, finalized form.

< P.S.: I’d like to share an ‘alternate take’ of the cover — a completely variant possibility that I felt wasn’t quite as strong as the one we ended up going with. It’s a little known fact that there are normally two or three unseen takes of every cover I produce!

Mark Laliberte is a Canadian artist, writer, editor and graphic designer — and the publisher of Popnoir Editions (est. 2016) which publishes art books, comics, zines and other creative ephemera. Books include: BRICKBRICKBRICK (BookThug), Grey Supreme 01 (Koyama Press), asemanticasymmetry (Anstruther Press), BookBook (above/ground) and Explosive Comic (Swimmers Group). Laliberte is also a member of the collaborative writing entity, MA|DE, whose first full-length manuscript, ZZOO was recently acquired by Palimpsest Press (forthcoming, spring 2025). More info: @originobscure (Insta) +