Book Covers

CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

Book covers have started to appear on the Random Chat thread, so I thought it might be useful to have a separate thread for them. Anyone can post interesting covers that they find from paperbacks or the dust jackets from hardback books.

I will start with the Pan Book Of Horror Stories series, there were some lovely covers to these.


Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
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Comments

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,950MI6 Agent

    I'm reposting this cover of an early Norwegian edition of CR where the title is cleverly integrated into the cover image. :


  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 32,264Chief of Staff

    Some of the Matt Helm books:

    These were the titles that were filmed, for want of a better word, starring Dean Martin. I think these show how different the books are from the films.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    Those are nice covers, Barbel.

    Here are the Flint movie tie-ins.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    So, as we are doing book cover tie-ins, these are my copies of The Persuaders spin-offs by Frederick E. Smith:




  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    That’s a nice set there, chrisno1. He was best known for his 633 Squadron series of books. He lived a few doors away from my daughter, on the south coast, and she kindly arranged for me to meet him when I visited one time. He was a perfect gentleman and offered to sign the books I had in my shop and on my next visit and he did so. He passed away about 10 years ago, but I shall always remember his kindness and interest in how his books sold on the secondhand market.

    A change of pace for my next covers. Angélique was a series of romantic novels with some lovely covers. Some of my customers didn’t even read some of the books they bought, but collected them for the artwork. You can see why from the first picture.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,786MI6 Agent

    awesome new thread @CoolHandBond I hope it goes on for a long time with many more vintage covers! Lots of PANs so far, I'm noticing.

    I've never heard of Angelique. Turns out theres a Wikipedia page that gives more info. This character lived an exciting life!


    [Frederick E. Smith] passed away about 10 years ago, but I shall always remember his kindness and interest in how his books sold on the secondhand market.

    this is interesting, as with recording artists the authors get nothing off second had sales, but what else can you do when a book is out of print? did other authors take an interest in the second hand sales market for their books, and did publishers ever take notice and bring something back into print?

    You seem to have a photographic memory for what sold well, did you keep notes somehow in the days before databases, or was it all in your head? I cant remember what I did yesterday at work! (don't tell my boss)

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    Thank you, @caractacus potts and I will keep posting covers, but I hope others will join in as well, and maybe comment on some special memories that the pictures may hold for them.

    I don’t think many authors will think about secondhand book sales, Frederick only commented to me in general conversation, I’m sure the subject would not have happened without me talking to him about it. I met a few authors and well known people in my time, John Brosnan was one who popped in a few times each year, and I would take him for a pub lunch and he would sign any books of his that I had in stock at the time. Paul Gambaccini came in once, looking for comic books, but I didn’t have anything of interest to him.

    I approached Pan about information for the Bond reprintings, but they weren’t interested in helping, they gained nothing from secondhand sales and considered the likes of me as a nuisance!!

    My memory on books is pretty good, I surprise myself sometimes, when I see a cover, or a book is mentioned, especially a rarer copy, I can also see the person who I sold it to! I had a large regular customer base, most of who would visit the shop at least once a week, and a lot of books were sold by mail to customers who lived far away.

    My database was a card index system where wanted books were listed in alphabetical order so we would know of any “wants” that could be fulfilled as new stock came in on a virtually daily basis.

    Todays covers are from the Nick Carter series. These were very popular, I sold many more Carter books than Bond, but to be fair there were over 250 titles! The American covers were always better as they were drawn instead of photographs, but the pretty girls in the British editions did help sales.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    Wow, some great stuff. I'm even tempted to look up The Golden Serpent !

    These are examples of my panther paperbacks for James Hadley Chase's fifties espionage thrillers featuring Don Mickleham.



    For some reason, half-naked women and James Hadley Chase went together like cookies and cream in the seventies and eighties.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    Great covers, chrisno1. As you say, pictures of semi-naked women on paperback covers were popular during that time, many series had them, including reprints of the Matt Helm series. JHC also published under some pseudonyms (JHC isn’t his real name either) but most were reprinted under his JHC moniker at some point. The girl in Mission To Venice title has the look of Barbara Bach.

    The Executioner was a popular series about a man taking revenge for the death of his family by the hands of the Mafia. There was a massive range of these mens action-adventure series but this was the most popular. A look on Wikipedia shows that the series ended in 2020 after 464 books!



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    From the late 60’s Dennis Wheatley was served with a set of very uninspiring covers to his books. The golden age was definitely earlier in his career as seen below: Uncharted Seas was filmed by Hammer as The Lost Continent which is a guilty pleasure of mine because it doesn’t get good reviews in general.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 32,264Chief of Staff

    One of my favourite films (see The 60s Bond Rivals (2): Harry Palmer — ajb007 ) is the 1967 Harry Palmer movie starring Michael Caine, Billion Dollar Brain. I love the Len Deighton novels as well, and the novel of that one has always been one I re-read frequently.

    I have two copies. The first one is the paperback-

    And this is the cover I have (obviously others exist). Others in the series were also issued at the time (early 70s) with similar covers featuring Caine.

    The other copy is the book club (as @CoolHandBond refers to above) edition-

    I've never had the official edition. I think the book club has a good cover- the man is a reasonable cross between Caine and Deighton himself, and the girl looks very like she does in the book. The actress in the film version, Francoise Dorleac

    was stunningly beautiful, but didn't resemble her book counterpart very much (you'd have to read the book to understand that) in a film which was otherwise very well cast.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    I had a section in my bookshop for Gothic Horror (next to the basic Horror section), these were mainly American paperbacks with some strikingly similar covers. It wasn’t the most popular section but it had a small loyal fanbase and was topped up regularly with the books that I used to obtain from an American secondhand bookseller - I sent him British books he sent me American books in exchange - it was a great arrangement and ensured that I had loads of books not available elsewhere.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 32,264Chief of Staff

    😁 Yes, very similar! I wonder if those authors' names are real or just house names?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    @Barbel Im not sure. Many of these authors will have written scores of books using pseudonyms, but which are real and which are pen names, is a minefield. It’s easier nowadays to source information, but in pre-internet days it was almost impossible to get factual information concerning authors unless they were famous and had articles printed about them in magazines.

    Modesty Blaise was not served very well in UK editions but the US paperback is good. Painted covers are so much more evocative.



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    I have the sabre Tooth Pan paperback copy you posted. I enjoy it's stark simplicity. Overall, as you suggest, I don't think Ms Blaise was well served by cover artists.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,786MI6 Agent
    edited January 18

    @chrisno1 , CoolHand actually posted two PAN editions of Sabre Tooth!

    That model in the lower two covers does not look at all like my idea of Modesty or the way Jim Holdaway drew her in the comic strips. Much too ruff n tuff looking. Like they picked a model who looked like she could kick your ass, but forgot she is also supposed to be witty, sophisticated, loyal to her friends and charming to all who meet her, all as important to her character as the fighting skills.


    @CoolHandBond is the idea we post photos of our own collection? cuz I dont have any such photos to contribute. But I do want to say I somehow have three different copies of the first Modesty Blaise volume, including the hardcover edition John Travolta is seen reading in Pulp Fiction. I got that one for less than $10- from London Ontario's City Lights bookstore, had to get it upon sight despite already having two paperback copies just because of the Tarantino connection, which makes a hip book even hipper.

    and just in case I need to prove the same edition was in a movie...


    while looking for an image source for that hardcover, I did see online these other painted covers that look better than most of the editions I actually have. The first one illustrates one of her combat strategies known as "The Nailer".

    (for those that don't know: Modesty is utterly unashamed of her body, which is described as magnificent, and does not care who sees it. But she knows the effect it has, especially on creepy villainous men, and uses it as one more tool in her arsenal of weapons. Her friend Willy Garvin would be just offstage, with a knife already thrown, and by the time the bad guys realise one of them has a knife in his throat Modesty would be busy KO'ing the other four with her bolo. Modesty and Willy have a huge number of combat strategies rehearsed, like football plays, each with a codeword she gives and Willy instantly recognises whenever they find themselves in a tuff spot, and "The Nailer" is just the most infamous)

    ...and that seems to be all I can find with the nice painted covers. The publisher of these two is the same as the red one CoolHand posted above, and the logo reads "A Fawcett Crest book". Fawcett was a comic book publisher in the 1940s, famous for the original Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam), according to wikipedia its same publisher. They are the first three volumes in the series, so maybe they never got any further? These are actually better than any of the PANs that we've seen so far.

    There's several film tie-ins for the first volume (one of which I have), and a whole series with that ruff n tuff looking model.

    Another series with these scratchy looking pen and ink drawings, I think I have a few of these.

    and a series that implies the character is some sort of bondage model. sorry I cant find a bigger jpg of this one, but I have to include it just to show how completely and offensively wrong the publisher seems to understand the books they're trying to sell. Funny, usually PAN has the most stylish covers, but this is not up to their usual standards.


  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    I meant the first one with the taupe background. The second one is rubbish. The seventies & eighties was really bad for Modesty Blaise Pan covers. No idea what they thought they were doing in the art department. Everything looks so seedy. I'll see if I can post images of my collection, but I don't photo or scan them, I find them online and sometimes I can't track the correct image down. It's all a question of time.

    However, doing vague late night research, I came across this image of a book by prolific crime writer Frank Kane. Did anyone mention this way back when Horowitz was on the job ?



  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,786MI6 Agent
    edited January 18

    I just remembered The Impossible Virgin is the one where Modesty performs an emergency appendectomy while hiding from the villains in a remote cave, maybe that's why the photograph is focusing on the model's lower abdomen, its symbolic of that scene? The crossbar of the letter T is at the right position and angle for an appendix scar, but on the wrong side of the body.

    You know, as near superhuman as he is, James Bond could never perform an emergency appendectomy if the fate of the world depended on it, but Modesty Blaise does do such things, so she's even better.

    I'm going to bump our Modesty Blaise thread soon, because I'm reading Cobra Trap. no need to digress CoolHand's thread further discussing the content of these books!

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,612MI6 Agent
    edited January 18

    A friend on another board that I'm on posted THIS regarding Clint Eastwood tie-in novels. I had no idea at all that there were other 'Man With No Name' or 'Dirty Harry' novels beyond the films.


    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    I had Coffin Full of Dollars ! I don't have it now. I don't know where it went. Probably the charity shop when I stopped reading cowboy fiction. Someone must be a real fan to collect all those.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. It’s great to see these covers again.

    @caractacus potts I love your reminiscing of where you bought the book and your other observations, it’s that sort of thing which will make this thread successful.

    @chrisno1 I’ve never seen this book named Trigger Mortis, what a great find!

    @Gymkata A great picture. The Man With No Name series was very popular, especially the continuation titles after GBU. I did read one of the Dirty Harry series and it wasn’t very good, but the movie tie-in books were ok. They sold well for a short time but then sales dropped a cliff. My favourite Clint movie is Thunderbolt And Lightfoot but I didn’t have that copy shown in the picture, mine was this one…


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent

    Todays covers are from two series that took the two major horror characters of all time, Dracula and Frankenstein, onto further adventures. I read a couple of them and they’re not very good, but sales were healthy, so I didn’t mind!


    The covers I am posting are all taken from the internet, but they will have all been part of my stock at some time or another. I generally dealt with books that were in a series format or authors with a large body for work. I was wanting to appeal to the collector who wanted to complete their sets. Most of my stock would have been critically dubious (no Dickens or Trollope here) 😂 but they sold well and an obscure copy of The Destroyer #99 would go for £10 instead of 50p for a Jackie Collins (who I didn’t stock). Mind you, that was before the internet went and spoilt things and everything became easily available and prices plummeted 🙁 good for the punter but no good for sellers, which is why the paucity of secondhand bookshops is evident today.

    @caractacus potts was writing about the publishing outfit Fawcett, this was a popular American publisher alongside Bantam, Leisure, Lancer, Dell, Ballantine etc etc. NEL was Britain’s foremost publisher of exploitation titles and other popular houses were Pan (of course), Sphere, Corgi, Arrow and Panther amongst others.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Westward_DriftWestward_Drift Posts: 2,714MI6 Agent

    I had most of the Dirty Harry paperbacks pictured above back in my high school days. I wish I still had them.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,263MI6 Agent
    edited January 20

    These two western series had artwork matching Clint Eastwood and The Wild Bunch. They were part of the British Invasion into cowboy territory which began in 1972 and lasted until 1985. A dozen series were published all written by 4 authors and were based on the spaghetti western style. They were very popular and some of the latter titles have eye watering prices today. They called themselves The Piccadilly Cowboys because they had never gone further west than the West End pub they imbibed in!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,612MI6 Agent
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,660MI6 Agent

    Hmm @Gymkata Well, that's lowered the tone....

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,950MI6 Agent
    edited January 20

    Have you ever heard of a Norwegain western series? No? Actually there are the 83 Morgan Kane books, and they sold 11 million copies in Norway alone, and nine million books are sold in other countries. Roger Moore was offered a series of Morgan Kane movies while he was filming LALD. Lois Masterson is a pen name, the author's real name is Kjell Hallbing. Here are some of the best covers:





  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,786MI6 Agent

    all joshing aside, those Hardy Books did have great covers, and so did Nancy Drew from the same publishers (and same ghost writers)

    I know both my parents were mighty pleased when I started reading these books, because they were "real" books not like those nasty comic books I kept reading and therefor I wouldn't grow up to be an illiterate. Though all these years later I have to say Tintin was in fact much much better and I don't remember a thing about the contents of these books, the Hardy Boys did have that long-running-series/gotta-collect-'em-all factor that kept me going back for more. I probably gave them up for good about exactly when I discovered real real books like Ian Fleming at age of eleven.

    Thing is, I'd go to the library, and find a volume with the same title I'd already read but a different cover, and when I'd read it, even the story turned out to be slightly different than the version I was already familiar with. They'd keep rewriting the oldest volumes to keep them up to date!

    according to the Hardy boys Online website...

    Beginning in 1959, the first 38 volumes were systematically revised. This massive project, completed in 1973, was directed by Harriet Adams, Edward Stratemeyer's daughter. The revision project had numerous results:

    -Shorter books (180 pages instead of 225, 20 chapters instead of 25)

    -Streamlined writing style (sometimes at the cost of humor, charm, and believability!)

    -Elimination of racial stereotypes (for the most part)

    -Modernization (no more roadsters and automats)

    -Consistency of premises (Frank and Joe no longer gradually age from 15/16 to 17/18)

    -Consistency of interior layout (the same typeface is used in all revised books)

    -Newfound respect for officers of the law

    -Deflation of Aunt Gertrude's character

    1927

    1933

    1944

    1959


  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,950MI6 Agent

    Nedless to say this series is Hardyboy's absolute favourite books 😁

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,612MI6 Agent

    I remember reading some of those Hardy Boys books years and years ago and enjoying them. I got more into the Encyclopedia Brown and Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid, though.


    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
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