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It's a Book, by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press)
Two cute creatures in the Frog and Toad vein sit across from one another, one with a book and one with a laptop. As the laptop-enabled creature shows off his machine's bells and whistles, the throwback with the book defends his choice of entertainment. The "It's a Book" trailer works so well that when I saw the actual book at the airport, I figured I didn't need it.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith (Grand Central Publishing)
History is black and white and red all over in this trailer starring Abraham Lincoln look-alike Michael Krebs. Krebs cannot seem to emancipate himself from playing Lincoln, first in a 1994 TV movie and then in the 2008 short The Transient. Here he takes on a vampire assassin with an axe he conveniently keeps in glass above his fireplace. Beginning in sumptuous grays, the trailer gets progressively more crimson as Krebs goes commando; when he swings for decapitation, a voiceover about vampires and slavery promises out-loud laughter from the book. Bring up the cover, match the color palettes, and we're done.
Asunder, by Robert Lopez (Dzanc)
Luca DiPierro, whose stop-motion cut-out animation feels like The Triplets of Belleville meets South Park, gorgeously juxtaposes excerpts from Robert Lopez's story collection with dreamlike imagery in this trailer with music by Sin Ropas. "Every time I brush my teeth or shave it's a bloodbath," Lopez writes, as DiPierro gives us a man brushing with a vertically oriented brush, as if trapped in a cubist painting, until he bleeds down his chin into a vermilion goatee.
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart (Random House)
Celebrity is not the focus of Super Sad True Love Story but it gets a hilarious reaming from Shteyngart in the trailer. James Franco reins it in; the real highlights are Jeffrey Eugenides explaining how Shteyngart has escaped the"anxiety of influence" and Jay McInerney, looking like he stepped out of the author photo in Model Behavior, asking whether co-eds trapped in Shteyngart's closet are from Vassar or Mount Holyoke. Not a lot of book trailers could inspire kids to go into writing; this is one of them.