Packaged as Other Medium

A physical release or copy of something is designed to look like it's from another medium; for instance, a DVD case that looks like a comic book cover (pictured). Comic book covers and movie posters are especially popular subjects for this trope.

Sometimes it's a specific homage to something or other, but it's this trope if the image has the trappings of a typical cover for that other medium, such as credits at the bottom of a 'movie poster' cover for a game.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The English version of the manga STONe has covers that present it as a movie poster, "presented in Mangascope", with the writer/artist getting a production credit and the characters listed as actors at the bottom.
  • FUNimation's release of Armitage III has a sci-fi pulp inspired case, including blurbs for stories inside.
  • The covers of collected volumes of BTOOOM are based on Xbox 360 game cases.
  • ADV's English release of the Kekko Kamen OVAs has a cover based on your typical EC Comics Vault of Horror cover.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Gen13 vol. #1 shipped with 13 different covers; of these, five fit this trope. Two were based on magazine covers (one Rolling Stone, the other Heavy Metal), one on a movie poster (that of Pulp Fiction, complete with a real live model), one on an ad for a TV show (namely The Brady Bunch), and the last one on a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Whew!
  • Every issue of The Intimates (except #6 and #12) has a cover made to look like that of a magazine for teen superheroes, with headlines either to that effect, or about characters or events in the comic.
  • The short-lived Thunderbolts revamp that ran from #76 to #81 featured covers styled after men's magazines like Stuff, FHM, and Maxim. For instance.
  • The cover of X-Men Legacy #10 looks like a pharmaceutical print ad or pamphlet promoting a mutant cure, as you can see.
  • The covers of Fearless Defenders #2, Batman: Gotham Adventures #3, and Angel & Faith #26 are all designed after action figure cards. The Fearless Defenders cover is the most dedicated to the illusion, as artist Mark Brooks wanted to make it look as real as possible.
  • The cover of The Just #1 resembles the kind of celebrity-interest magazine sold at supermarket counters.


  • Grady Hendrix's novel Horrorstör is about a haunted Ikea knockoff built on the site of a horrific prison, and is thus packaged as a chichi furniture catalog.

  • Album covers that look like advertisement pages:
  • Album covers that look like art objects, paintings that mimick a particular famous style, galleries, etc.:
  • Albums covers that look like book covers:
    • Some of Blackmore's Night's albums are made to look like books instead of CD cases.
    • Joy Electric's The White Songbook. Externally, it looks like a standard CD jewel case, but the liner notes were designed like an actual book—complete with a book-style page of copyright and printing information, and a table of contents.
    • Elvis Costello and The Roots' collaborative album Wise Up Ghost has cover art modeled after the cover of Howl & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, the fourth book in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series. And the Special Edition of Wise Up Ghost actually is a small paperback book, with the CD tucked into the back cover.
  • Album covers that look like they came from a comic book:
  • Album covers made to look as if they were a different musical genre or different musical artist:
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles has a cover that makes them look like some kind of fanfare band.
    • Meet The Residents by The Residents is an exact replica of The Beatles' Meet The Beatles only with all kinds of doodles scribbled over it.
    • The clean version of the cover of Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones makes the album appear as a classy record, which it isn't.
    • Omaha! by Stan Freberg is done in the style of a Broadway musical album, but is in fact a parody of it.
    • Another Monty Python Record looks like it was originally a Classical Music album, with the title and images crossed out.
    • The Miracle Of Sound And Motion by Noise Rock band Steel Pole Bathtub is designed to look like a "demonstration record" from the 1960's - in other words, a record designed to demonstrate the capabilities of a high fidelity record player. They actually licensed an image that was originally used for one such record, titled The Sound Of Sounds.
    • The layout of Elio e le Storie Tese's orchestral covers album Gattini was identical to the covers of the Deutsche Grammophon records. It was hastily changed, probably in fear of a lawsuit.
    • Cunning Stunts by Noise Rock group Cows is designed to look like an old jazz record, specifically one released by Blue Note Records: It features a blue-tinted photo of the artist, all-caps text, and a list of individual band members on the cover, all of which are frequent elements of that label's distinctive design style. The fact that Shannon Selberg is depicted playing a trumpet adds to the jazz record concept, but actually is accurate to the album's contents: Selberg is primarily a vocalist, but also plays discordant trumpet on some songs.
  • Album covers that look like newspaper articles
  • Album covers that look like vinyl singles or, in the case of a CD, look like a vinyl LP:
    • Starflyer 59's album Gold (specifically the original edition). The pages of the liner notes had fake vinyl labels for every song on the album, as if they were all 45rpm singles released by a variety of fictitious record labels.
    • Mini LP CDs are CD reissues that exactly replicate the original vinyl LP packaging, shrunken down to CD size. A lot of them are made for the Japanese market.
    • Diablo Swing Orchestra's Pandora's Pinata was sold in a CD digipak which was meant to look like a vinyl album. Every panel of the package had fake ring wear, and the inner panels resembled paper sleeves with fake vinyl labels visible through center holes.
    • Some really esoteric examples can be seen here. Of particular note are the packages that look like a concertina and a full size boom box.
    • The cover art of The Bee Gees album Their Greatest Hits: The Record looks like an LP. The same theme continues on the actual CD discs themselves.
    • The cover for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' 100 Days, 100 Nights looks like it came out of The Sixties.
  • Album covers looking like common day objects:
    • Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was designed to resemble medicine. The packaging has a minimalist design of blue text against a white background. The liner notes list the musicians under the heading "Active Ingredients" and includes information about the intended dosage and possible side effects. Some of the Special Editions go a step further: the album is divided into 12 mini-CDs (one for each song) and each is in a medicine-style blister pack.
    • The cover of Captain Beefheart's Strictly Personal looks like a letter.
    • Bob Marley's Catch A Fire is designed to look like a lighter.
    • The original LP cover of Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones looks like a pair of pants, complete with a real zipper. Their cover for Emotional Rescue looks like a series of X-Ray images.
    • Similarly, the banana on the original cover of Velvet Underground's breakthrough album can actually be peeled.
    • The initial copies of Body Count's debut album Body Count were shipped out in black body bags.
    • German pop punk band Die Ärzte's album Jazz ist Anders is styled like a (CD-sized) pizza box.
    • Plastikman's Sheet One had a perforated cover made to resemble a sheet of LSD tabs. This actually ended up getting a fan arrested - He was pulled over for speeding and the officer mistook the CD case in his car for the real thing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Fantasy Games Unlimited's (FGU) game Daredevils. The covers of the game and its supplements were designed to look like old pulp adventure magazines. There were even fake price markers reading "NOT 10 Cents". Also, some supplements had wording like "Vol. 2 #3" as if they were magazines.

    Video Games 
  • The Halo: Reach Legendary Edition box is designed to emulate a metal UNSC crate.
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL has a cover meant to look like a movie poster. The whole game is presented as a movie, with each level having its own poster (complete with credits) and a "missing reel" in the final boss fight.
  • Freedom Force is an homage game to the golden age of superhero comics. This is plainly apparent from the comicbookesque cover, storytelling (complete with comic book boxes and narrative style) as well as the loading screens which portray the 'issue' of the next level, often in the misleading way of comic book cover gimmicks to boost sales.
  • Meta-example: In the opening video of Brütal Legend, shot in Real Life, Jack Black presents the game to the players as if it was on an old-school LP rather than DVD.
  • Through the Looking Glass, being inspired by the book of the same name, came packaged in a Book Safe.

  • The Dinosaur Comics book Your Entire Family Is Made of Meat is meant to look like a package of fresh steaks, with the book title written on the fake price sticker.

    Western Animation 
  • The DVD case of Titan Maximum is based on a comic book cover, including top left corner inset. It seems specifically inspired by 1980s Marvel toy/TV cartoon tie-in comics.
  • The second Sealab 2021 DVD's case is styled after a comic cover, in this case one in particular, Uncanny X-Men #100.
  • The Venture Bros. third season DVD is presented like an Atari 2600 game box. This extends to the DVD menus, which feature Atari graphics.
  • The Robot Chicken DC Comics special DVD has a cover in the style of a 1960s DC comic, complete with the checkered bar on top.
  • What is it with [adult swim] and this trope? The DVD cases for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law are all made to look like legal texts.
  • Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 doesn't do the "credits at the bottom" thing, but its DVD cover is non-specifically a movie poster. See?
  • Yet again with Adult Swim is Minoriteam's (Australia-exclusive) DVD release. It's only natural that a show with such a comic-inspired art style would get a comic-style DVD case, complete with a parody of the Comics Code approval stamp.