Reading sub-regions of Images is deeply screwed. After spending days debugging and trying to defeat the effects of the pad I gave up.
Your options are to use GDAL directly or use the Julia wrapper
julia> I = grdcut("@earth_day_05m", R="-85/54/9/26", img=true);
The image bellow (coped at ~about half-width) reveals what I suspect is a limitation of the annotations auto scaling algorithm. It uses the product of Weight x Height as a parameter but in this case the image is skinny tall and the annotation font comes out a bit too big.