Sultry Sunday #14 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

In this latest installment of "Pop Sensation" ... Meet Joe Gall ...

Paperback 176: Gold Medal D1976 (PBO?, 1966)

Title: The Irish Beauty Contract
Author: Philip Atlee
Cover artist: uncredited

Best things about this cover:

  • Well, Joe Gall, obviously. Look at his tough-guy mug up there in the corner. "I Approve This Counterespionage Adventure"
  • I was hoping and praying that the picture of Joe Gall in the corner meant that there was some TV show or something that featured his character ... but no. Not that I can see. Just some model ... ? Which is weird. I want to say "unprecedented." It's like they want you to think he's some kind of TV star, or that the book might be a TV tie-in. I guess that was a selling point in the 60s.
  • The tagline for this non-existent TV show would be someone saying: "You've got some gall!" and then Joe would turn and smile knowingly into the camera. Magic!
  • I'm guessing the dead girl is the "Irish Beauty." I say this because of her lush, cascading red hair. Something tells me those ruins are not in Ireland. Meanwhile, our hero is dressed oddly like Joan Crawford. Cross her with Norma Desmond descending the staircase at the end of "Sunset Boulevard." Now cross that with Frankenstein's monster. That's our hero.
  • Love the blurb from Chandler. Legitimacy! The quote kind of trails off there. There's a longer one inside that continues: "... the hard economy of style, the characterizations ..." but that one trails off too. I'll be kind and assume that Chandler doesn't introduce a "but" in the next phrase.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Joe Gall montage! See the many sides of Joe Gall! Wry look, followed by slightly less wry look, followed by the same look at a slightly different angle, followed by the cool pleasures of Chesterton, followed by exhale. Joe Gall!
  • "The Nullifier," HA ha. Best name ever. It's very non-terrifying.
  • Joe is not afraid of "hairy ones." I've heard of guys like that. I think they are called "bears." Or "cubs," I forget.

Page 123~

Screw that, here's page 1, line 1:

"You're most depressing," the Irish Beauty said. She was nude except for a solar topi and a riding crop.

Topi (n.): A pith helmet worn for protection against sun and heat.

At least I assume he means the pith helmet. The other "topi" is an antelope.



Dave Fragments said...

But you got the first line wrong! It's supposed to be this:

"You're most depressing. Now pith off!" the Irish Beauty said. She raised her solar topi and let her hair cascade down her naked body.

Anonymous said...

I'm presuming the Irish Beauty is a redhead of the bottle variety? If she's a natural redhead (like myself), she must have a death wish to be naked OUTSIDE.

"I admire Phillip Atlee's writing tremendously..."

Maybe what Chandler actually said was more like this: "My reputation has recently been slandered by those who claim that I admire Phillip Atlee's writing, I dispute this vehemently!"

Anonymous said...


DocTurtle said...

Maybe he did mean to put an antelope on her head.

Anonymous said...

The Irish Beauty, if she isn't already dead, is likely to be so very soon. She (or her body) appears to be in immediate danger of sliding out of the hunk's arm and bouncing down those nasty stone steps. Or, more likely, to be dropped by said hero who is holding her "dead" weight at an impossible angle while not looking at the high stone steps he is descending.

Cancel that. They are both likely to die in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, she from being dropped, he from following her down as he unsuccessfully tries to grab her.

Some romance.

Anonymous said...

I think the hero looks more like Ash from Evil Dead, personally. And how the hell can someone be nude "except for a riding crop"? Things held in one's hand do not count as clothing. Either the author is getting too excited at the thought of the picture he's painting and screwed up, or that riding crop is being used in some non-Equestrian-Association-approved fashion. As opposed to the alternative, where it's merely going to be used in a non-Equestrian-Association-approved fashion very soon.