“TLS Mastery” Covers Reveal, with T-shirts and Posters

No, that’s not a typo. TLS Mastery will have two covers. Eddie Sharam outdid himself this time, in more ways than one, parodying an artistic masterpiece that folks have requested for years.

Munch’s The Scream could not be used for just any book, mind you. It demands a topic of particular notoriety. A subject that drives even seasoned systems administrators to desperate shrieks for aid. Something that makes the world whirl around us all. With its classic combination X.509, ASN.1, ITU and IETF standards, and more, I’m pleased to say TLS fits this more than any other general topic.

The book will appear in two versions: the Beastie Edition, and the Tux Edition.



The hardcover dust jacket will have both.

As a unique touch, Eddie painted the Beastie version. By hand. With oil paint. You know, like real art. And if you should ever be unlucky enough to enter my office, you’ll see this.

Every day as I work, I’ll be looking at this.

That old beat-up bookcase? Once we can safely go to IKEA, that’ll be replaced by a new bookcase for my brag shelf. My current brag shelf is overflowing.

Real authors have the cover art for their books hanging on their wall. I guess I’m a real author now. It’s been a long time since one of my books had a painted cover. How long, you might ask? Well, the wall behind my desk has the previous paintings.

Those are Tom Dow’s cover paintings for the two Gatecrasher books, plus a Bradley K McDevitt original from the interior. They’re roughly 1992. Getting those paintings converted to a form suitable for printing involved going to an industrial photographer and having a photograph separated into four CMYK transparencies. Each cost several hundred dollars, and had to be shipped to the printer. If any of the transparencies got damaged, the whole set was ruined. Dealing with the interior art involved high-grade photoduplication, a light table, and a wax roller.

To prepare the Beastie Scream oil painting for printing, Eddie got out his camera. No, not the cellphone camera, a good camera.

This is truly the best time in history to be a creator. Other than, you know, plagues and long-overdue racial reckonings and political upheaval and such.

I’m gonna be self-indulgent here and show off the BKM interior illo as well. Like I need an excuse, it’s my blog.

This was one of the very first pieces Brad did for me, but once I saw the book titles I knew we were going to get along famously.

If you’re interested, you can get T-shirts and small posters with the Tux Scream and Beastie Scream at my shop. The book itself is still open for sponsorship.

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