This is a book cover. I discovered it on a Book Cover Review post, and hunted for a better image than they had. The post by Erik Carter includes interior images and more details.
While the cover is an absolute failure of marketing, it’s an absolute triumph of aesthetics and form. Edelmann is most known for being the art director on Yellow Submarine (the ground-breaking psychedelic Beatles animated film), but he had a long career as an illustrator, cover designer and educator working on everything from a German edition of The Lord of the Rings to illustrations for the youth magazine twen. The cover Edelmann designed for Mitkey Astromouse is a block of text typed in Othello describing the story, shouting out the authors, and rendering the title illegible with a colourful rainbow scribble. It’s hard to imagine such a design existing in 2023, or even in the 1970s, and it’s no wonder that the book became an obscure curio instead of a top-selling smash.
It’s kind of fascinating. I’ve been thinking for a while about text on covers – there were a couple of interesting examples in 2022 — and here’s one that’s right out on the edge.