On the cover of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise are several symbols that represent Stevens’ Land of Lincoln. There’s the Chicago skyline, Al Capone, a goat, flying saucers, and originally, Superman. But the Man of Steel’s likeness was not immune to the kryptonite of DC Comics’ legal team who ordered a cease and desist letter to Sufjy, and the label soon removed the image of Superman from the cover after the first pressing and replaced it with some balloons. Lame.
The semiotic war wages on with Michael Jackson and his posthumous release’s cover art. Nestled within the various Jacko images lies the tiny Prince symbol which the artist was formally known as (via The Daily Swarm/Dr. Funkenberry). Did this mean there was a long-forgotten Jacko/Prince collaboration? Did MJ just like that little symbol? Maybe it was like an easter egg. Whatever the reason, Sony has ordered the removal of the symbol from the cover art, and will likely not appear when Michael is released December 14th.