Sultry Sunday #26: the weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Happy Sunday - here's your Pop Sensation crossover post. It's not the sultriest of covers, but it'll have to do...


Paperback 215: Lion Books 111
(1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Company K
Author: William March
Cover artist: Rafael DeSoto

Best things about this cover:

  • DeSoto is one of the great naturalistic cover artists, and this cover is really expertly painted. Beautiful, detailed, evocative of the suffering of war. I'm finding this cover slightly hard to make fun of. Although ... if her stroking and pumping that giant lever isn't innuendo, I don't know what is. That is, if "she" is indeed a woman. The novel is, after all, "flaming."
  • I'm afraid of the guy at the front of that line. He looks like he's lost all hope ... or else he is a golem or a droid or something.
  • "The Flaming Novel of Men and Women at War" - sounds like a book about the battle of the sexes. "Men Are From Mars ... : WWI Edition!"

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Company K is a Knockout"! Letter play not so effective when the "K" is silent. "Company G is a Gnat-infested Gnightmare"
  • This back cover is in Love with alliteration. Courage and cowardice ... lustings (!?) and lies, daring, doom, and death.
  • It's appropriate that this book is somewhat purple, because check out the prose in that second paragraph. March impales angry moments with his bayonet-pen!?
  • I like the little flag, particularly the wacky font of the letters.

This is a pretty famous and well-received novel of W. W. I, organized into micro-chapters about every single man in the company. Blurbs inside from Granville Hicks, Graham Greene, James T. Farrell, and Phyllis Bentley (whoever that is).

Page 123~

On Monday a kid from my company named Ben Hunzinger got fifteen years hard labor for deserting in the face of the enemy, and a long talk from Mr. Fairbrother about justice tempered with mercy.

Whoa, "Mr. Fairbrother?" Is this an allegory?



Anonymous said...

At least George Eliot wasn't THAT obvious when she called her priest "Farebrother".

Dear originality, where hast thou flown to?

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't know about expertly painted. Guy 1 has no neck and guy 2 has an apparently flat topped frankenstein skull judging by the way that helmet sits.

But the phallic pump handle cracked me up. So obvious!

xenobiologista said...

Guy #1 reminds me of Galen Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica. Aside from the facial features, "lost all hope" and "droid or something" describe Tyrol, too.

Alissa Grosso said...

My favorite is the little circle on the front cover that reads "Not one word cut". I guess this is a plus in their book.

BikerPuppy said...

Gotta agree, the first guy looks totally dejected and hopeless, although I suspect the Lightman Group would say he looks guilty. I'm pretty sure the girl is checking out his butt, though, which might cheer him up.

capewood said...

Look up William March on Wikipedia. Company K was actually a pretty serious book. The cover on this paperback makes it sound like a salacious novel (especially the lady with the pump handle) but from the Wikipedia article it was anything but sexy.

Rex Parker said...

This painting is great. The complexity of color, the composition, and especially the burned out background city. All lovely. I mean, as lovely as war gets, I guess. And yes, William March was a serious author and this book was quite well regarded. But, as people on my site have pointed out, those soldiers are Not from WWI. WWII soldiers used to sell a WWI book to ex-WWII soldiers.


Marla said...

I want to know why lustings and lies are plural, but daring, doom, and death are singular. Well, OK, "death," that's pretty much one to a customer.