Here are some well known books that have good covers:
Some nice Agatha Christie covers…
@caractacus potts And going back to the rogue TMWTGG cover from a previous post…here is the original and the photoshopped version…
Science fiction is always popular and these covers are nice…
Nerd that I am, I recognize (and have mostly read and/or seen the film of) all of those bar "March Of The Robots" which I've never heard of.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, my mother was reading John Jakes's "American Bicentennial Series," later renamed "The Kent Family Chronicles" when Jakes kept publishing them after 1976. I was really taken by the covers, with their movie-like arrangements of main characters in the foreground and scenes from the novels all around--even going to the spine and back covers. They almost seemed to tell a story themselves. Eventually I read them as I got into my tweens and I enjoyed them; now I realize they're all a bunch of tawdry bodice-ripping soap operas. The cover art is still cool, though.
And going back to the rogue TMWTGG cover from a previous post…here is the original and the photoshopped version…
good detective work! yes the fonts look a little too clean in the "Bond book" but good enough
there's a whole scene online making fakeBond covers, later books redone with earlier styles. I bet there's a lot of confusion now, collectors thinking those missing books really exist. This Honeypot Designs blog has most of them from the Spy Who Loved Me up through Trigger Mortis redone as 1950s painted PAN covers. I don't see Thunderball there, otherwise all the remaining Flemings and best known continuation titles are there (For Your Eyes Only was the last one to get a painted cover in real life, Thunderball was the first Hawkey design). I shall resist the urge to post any of the fake covers in this thread, to forestall confusion, just follow the link if interested.
except... I will post this one from a different source, as it seems to have disappeared online. Someone named WearySloth did this fake Live and Let Die with 1970s style "messy desk" artwork. Live and Let Die was the only one not to get a "messy desk" cover in real life, as PAN began that series at the same time the film came out, so it got a film tie-in cover and that was the final PAN artwork for that volume. One of these days I'm going to print out WearySloth's artwork and paste it onto an actual PAN, just a shame he didn't do a complete wraparound image.
Charmed & Dangerous was looking for this a while back. 70s Pan paperback 'still life' Bond covers — ajb007
say thanks for that link @Barbel I completely missed that thread because it was buried in the Collectibles section
this other fake Live and Let Die that was in there is better because its got a full wraparound design complete with three quotes on back
ha! and the quote representing Solitaire is exactly the one I would have chosen, too, well done
Thank you @Barbel and @caractacus potts for your input, some great links and information.
Those are good covers @Hardyboy and a nice backstory as well, it makes them even more interesting.
Blaxploitation was huge in the 70’s and this selection of covers is indicative of the books being published to cash in on the craze…
This book on Christopher Lee has a foreword by Roger Moore and is by Jonathan Sothcott who is now a producer of British exploitation films such as We Still Kill The Old Way. It’s not very exhaustive (it omits Dr Terror’s House Of Horrors for example) but the foreword by Roger is nice.
Continuing series have to start with #1…
And they have to have a final entry…(only because sales have fallen to a figure where profitability is too small to be worthwhile continuing)…
Ladies of the night, call girls, hookers, walkers - whatever name was used, this genre was popular and the covers made sales easy.
Robert Stanley was a popular pulp paperback artist and his work is very collectible - his wife posed for many of his covers and some are displayed below…
Some James Bond inspired covers…from both films and books…
I've read Somerset Maugham's ASHENDEN. . .and that cover takes many, many, MANY liberties!
Here are some Norwegian The Saint covers:
You probably haven't heard of Knut Gribb, but he's a Norwegian pulp novel/magazine hero and police man. The character was invented back in 1908 and the series is still going on. Here are some good covers:
The ASHENDEN cover is a really cool knock-off job. I also liked the OPIUM FLOWER. The blurb on the front jacket was so intriguing I looked it up on Spy Guys and Gals, but it wasn't listed, so checked out Fantastic Fiction, not a lot of info either. It appears to be a one off. I couldn't find a copy for sale anywhere. The writer Dan Cushman was mostly responsible for cowboy novels [what is the genre name for a western novel?]. However, I noted among his catalogue the following adventure stories, which have a very 1950s attitude towards race. I hope these titles don't offend anyone, I'm putting them here as an example of the sort of titles and cover material you could get away with in that era and not be subjected to justified indignation.
Absolutely dreadful. he also wrote a comic novel about a Navajo Indian rodeo star which was later made into a film starring Elvis Presley.
The blurb on the front jacket was so intriguing I looked it up on Spy Guys and Gals, but it wasn't listed, so checked out Fantastic Fiction, not a lot of info either.
what are these websites, their name sound interesting? got links?
I noted among his catalogue the following adventure stories, which have a very 1950s attitude towards race. I hope these titles don't offend anyone, I'm putting them here as an example of the sort of titles and cover material you could get away with in that era and not be subjected to justified indignation.
actually I find this long lost genre rather interesting, especially as you call it a "1950s attitude"
what that imagery reminds me of: in the late 50s there was a music genre called Exotica, recording artists like Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Yma Sumac all traded in fantasy world of life on Pacific islands and other similar tropic locales far from the North American suburban grind. There was also a trend in bars like Trader Vics that claimed to replicate that experience for the price of an umbrella drink, and white middleclass business men would supposedly build their own tiki bars in the rec room and play exotica music on their expensive postwar hifi.
There was a nice series of CDs a few years back rereleasing exotica music to a new generation (i.e. me) and the liner notes offered a bit of sociological theory: that postwar demographic had mostly served in World War II, many of them in the Pacific, and wished to replicate the more romantic aspects of that time in their lives And those who didn't or were too young wanted to experience what their cooler buddies claimed they had.
These book covers you show would seem to fit right in with that long forgotten scene
Spy Guys And Gals
Is an excellent site with a shed load of archive material. The guy who runs it is Randall Masteller and he shares quite possibly the most comprehensive collection of spy novels I've ever seen. It really is worth a look. I find it useful to hunt down titles and info I'm uncertain of, but he doesn't go into tremendous detail unless he really loves a character.
Helps me track down novels for sale on several websites at once; it isn't exclusively about spies and does have holes in its data as it is a seller's site, but it's good all the same. When I first started collecting, I got the best priced Ian Fleming's by researching on there. Most rare Fleming's are now too expensive whichever site you look at - that's one power of CraigBond !
@Hardyboy I haven’t read the book but my instincts told me that the cover was a little disingenuous - which leads me onto todays batch…
@Number24 Thanks for posting the Norwegian covers, it’s always interesting to see how other countries market books and you’re right I have never heard of Knut Gribb, but good to see those covers.
@chrisno1 Those covers are brilliant! They reflect the attitudes of the time and are part of history - no one can learn from past mistakes if history is erased, it will just keep on repeating itself. One of the joys of living in The East is the beach bars, they don’t seem to have changed since the 50’s and long may it continue. The Spy Guys and Gals website you mention was invaluable to me for information and there are many more now covering all aspects of genres. First edition Bonds are expensive as you point out but these prices are just a starting point, if anyone IS interested in purchasing any then there is a lot of leeway in what the final price could be knocked down to.
Hardyboy mentioned that the cover to Ashenden took a lot of liberties - my view is that more than anything it’s the cover that sells a book, so I have always been puzzled at some of the poor covers that publishers used - some are below - it almost seems that they are not interested in selling the book at all or are relying on the series name to do the work for them…
Whereas these are shouting, “Buy me, buy me!!!”
More from my personal Pan collection:
Hugo Baron, by John Michael Brett. Great titles. The third one disappointingly does away with the painted covers.
There is actuallya a second classic Norwegian pulp novel hero - Jonas Fjeld. The first novel in the series, "The clenched fists", was published in 1908 and a row of novels followed. Fjeld is a doctor and surgeon, but he travels the world and somehow he's an expert in explosives, planes, vehicles, guns etc. Some suspect Jonas Fjeld inspired the Doc Savage series. He isa an action adventure hero not too different from Indiana Jones. One thing's for sure: the covers are great!
For some reason the series has been seen by some as slightly racist .....
This cover of Dashiell Hammett's NightMare Town looks familiar and I think I might have it. I'll have to find my box full of Hammett, Chandler and Cain and see what I've got. Otherwise, it would have been on a store shelf and having fine taste I naturally admired it every time I went in the shop
The thing I notice when I look at this cover, and the first three in post 139, is the logo in the bottomleft corner: those are all Dell MapBack editions!
Are we going to get a post focusing on the backcovers of the MapBack editions? Speaking as a bit of a cartography geek, they combine two interests in one collectible object! And if it turns out I don't have that Hammett in my collection, the map on the back would certainly have been why I spent extra time staring at it in the store.
also from Hammett is this edition of the Continental Op, and thats looking familar too. the gif shows why they're called MapBacks! you could do a tour of San Francisco visiting the exact places Hammett describes in his short stories. I think the stylised airbrush type graphic is more typical of the front cover art on these MapBacks
aha, here's the back cover to NightMare Town. As I recall, the short story is a bit of a prototype to Red Harvest, with the hero stuck in a small isolated town run by criminals. So unlike San Francisco, this geography is imaginary.
and I wont try to paste this image because its huge, but here's a big hirez scan of the whole cover front and back
and here's another called Hammet Homicides, again with the genuine San Francisco locations
@chrisno1 There are 2 copies of Opium Flower for sale on abebooks.com for $30 and a really poor condition one at $5. This site is excellent for obtaining most books. Those Hugo Baron copies are nice but as you say the photo cover is disappointing.
@caractacus potts I hadn’t thought of doing a MapBack piece, but if you want to do one it would be really interesting.
@Number24 Good stuff, again!
The lesbiana genre was popular across the whole spectrum of clientele - it was ‘shocking’ in its day and expect to pay GBP50+ if you can find any today.
Alistair MacLean was hugely popular in the 60’s and 70’s. For adventure stories he was unsurpassed…
Ah, yes, those Fontana painted montage covers are excellent. They all looked liked movie posters on a book cover ! My favourite MacLean novel is this one. A good example of the cover art. As the seventies became the eighties, the covers got less interesting. The movie tie ins are especially poor.
Shapely legs make for a good cover…
thats an example of another oddball format I always look at when I see a display of old pocketbooks: the Ace Double!
usually if you turn an Ace Double round theres an upside down cover for another book by another author on the other side: in this case lets hope theyre thematically related, and if one novel is all about a lady's right leg, maybe the novel on the other side is about her left leg?
Most of the ones i've noticed are science fiction. I know I've got a couple of early Philp K **** in the Ace Double format. I think this is one of them, but as always I'd have to dig through my archives to find what I've got.
(EDIT: can we please adjust the swear filter so that Philip K Dick receives proper credit for his work?)
I’ve held this back for a while now because it’s not a nice subject, but it’s been a mainstay of books, films and art since Noah was a kid so here are some examples of covers depicting women in danger…
Contrary to rumours, the author Hal Ellson (above) is not a pseudonym for famed author Harlan Ellison, although the similarity of the name is understandable.
@caractacus potts Those double covers books were fun, I’m not sure if your picture is correct as I don’t remember having that particular book but it’s a good to see those covers anyway.
English-speaking readers may find this western novel to a bit of a stinker. 😁(translation: "Speed, shadow, speed!"