Maughta has asked me to do some crossover publishing on her blog, since we have overlapping interests. So from now until whenever it stops, I'll be posting my Sunday write-ups from "Pop Sensation" here for your readerly pleasure / scorn. I own 2000+ vintage paperbacks, and one day I just started pulling them off the shelf, scanning them, and commenting on their fabulous / horrible / fabulously horrible covers (the covers being the main reason I started collecting them - I haven't read 99% of my collection, truth be told). All my books are for sale, by the way, though selling them is not the reason I have the blog. I just want to spread love for the bad and the good of paperback cover art, circa 1940-1970.
My format is straightforward and self-explanatory. The feature at the end, "Page 123," is just an arbitrary way for me to be able to give readers a taste of the kind of writing these books have to offer. My little nod to the importance of what's between the covers.
Enjoy - Rex Parker
Paperback 138: Perma Book M-3100 (1st ptg, 1957)
Title: One-Way Ticket
Author: Bert and Dolores Hitchens
Cover artist: James Meese
Best things about this cover:
- "Railroad detective" - my favorite kind!
- The swirling green vortex of nausea and despair
- The distractingly child-like drawing of the upper half of a candle
- Cool stenciled font on the title
- That furniture - the proportions seem off and there are legs that appear to come from / go to nowhere, but in general, it's cool; spare, stark, mid-century modern in the very best way
- If only she hadn't cut her hair by herself in the dark with a bread knife, she would easily be one of the hottest women in my collection - understated yet stunning black dress (that's a dress, right, not a negligee?), fierce black shoes,* and a perversely casual way with money. What's not to love?
Best things about this back cover:
- I love when back covers function like movie teasers: " ... MURDER! Featuring ... Boots! David Bryant! Some other B movie character actors whose names you don't know. And starring Jerry Mathers, as The Beav"
- Which of these names doesn't belong? A: "David Bryant" - what a dud. That last name really ruins the whole vibe of the back cover. Everyone else gets one colorful name, and he gets the full name of some guy from middle management.
- Wait, Rock dies? Uh, SPOILER ALERT!
- This all makes sense except for Boots. I mean, I could write the plot of this book, but I would have no idea what to do with Boots. David Bryant already has two women. Is Boots a cat?
This was a joke on Boots by Boots. They were all expected to enjoy it. They chuckled in chorus and Vic felt a fool.
I'm guessing it was a familiar feeling.
*I had written "fierce black pumps," but apparently those are "mules," and I can't call such great shoes something as ugly-sounding as "mules," so now it's generic "shoes."