Thanks for the link @Barbel and those Ed McBain covers are good @Hardyboy I remember seeing the film version of Fuzz which starred Yul Brynner and Raquel Welch.
A change of pace today for the book covers as these are UK Annuals - these were published in the autumn of each year with the following year as the date and they were popular as Christmas presents to kids - they were either versions of the weekly comics that were issued or of popular TV shows of the time. They are highly collectible and the early annuals of the Beano and Dandy can fetch hundreds and even thousands of pounds in nice condition.
Ignore the top picture it belongs to another day!!
The Rats was British author James Herbert’s first novel (Stephen King had his first novel, Carrie, published at the same time) and was a massive hit for him and it began a succession of books under the genre of “when animals attack” although these included insects and the like.
Then came Guy N Smith’s Night Of The Crabs which spawned at least half a dozen sequels
And then the floodgates opened…
Bats Out Of Hell, published in 1978, actually foreshadows the covid pandemic as a professor accidentally creates a mutated version of meningitis in a laboratory using bats, but some escape and spread the disease like a plague across the UK. Guy N Smith was the king of British pulp horror and his output of gore and sex was very popular but not praised by critics and some fellow authors (jealousy perhaps as he sold several million copies).
I mis-posted a Rex Stout cover yesterday so here is that one again and some more. Nero Wolfe is a fascinating character and even mentioned in one of the James Bond books - OHMSS maybe, I’m not sure, it’s been a long time since I read the Bond novels but I’m going through them again now and almost at the end of LALD. Wolfe is a private detective who is loathe to leave his home - it’s great stuff and recommended.
since so many of you Cool Kids are watching the new version of The Ipcress File, we should have a closer look at some Len Deighton covers. @Barbel mentioned Deighton briefly on the first page of the thread, but theres lots more to look at.
here's some examples of his collaborations with Raymond Hawkey, a name we should all know by now.
Deighton was himself a graphic designer before becoming a spy author, and he was a schoolchum of Raymond Hawkey, who did the artwork for the hardcovers and worked on other projects with Deighton. Both had been students at the Royal College of Art.
here's the original Ipcress File hardcover, 1962. note the stamp effect on the backcover, the layout of images and text across the full wraparound cover is all high-concept, supporting the illusion the book itself is the declassified file.
Horse Under Water, 1963
Funeral in Berlin, 1964
I cant seem to find a nice hi-rez wraparound image of this one, I may upgrade later
this is the best I could find so far. but again with the stamp effect from the first volume.
Billion Dollar Brain, 1966
(actually I'm not sure Hawkey did this last one, the recurring font is not used and the usual "Secret File" text is missing)
here's Deighton, Fleming, and Hawkey meeting for lunch on March 25, 1963 (photo from 007 Magazine)
I'm not sure if Hawkey knew Fleming before this, but he had contributed graphics to Daily Express serializations of Fleming's novels as early as Goldfinger 1959 (see the above link). His first James Bond cover was the PAN paperback for Thunderball, May 1963. What I somehow never noticed til I read this 007 magazine article: the background is is actually a photo of a naked man's back. Bullet holes are die-cut, i.e. punched through the paper so you can glimpse part of the first page.
(theres an interesting play of positive and negative space here. The photo is so subtle its negative space, and the bulletholes must therefor be the positive space set against the background, or at least the torn paper effect. Then of course the holes are holes in the actual cover, cant get much more negative space than that! so the only real positive space is the bold text!)
Hawkey also designed this cover to Len Deighton's Action CookBook
but the interior "cook-strips" are Deighton's own art. We're supposed to be able to see these pinned on the kitchen wall behind Michael Caine in the original Ipcress File film!
and I'm borrowing these cook-strips from this Eye Magazine page which has much more info on the CookBooks, Deighton and Hawkey
just in case you dont know we have a nice ongoing Harry Palmer thread you should all check out, bump frequently, and add content to
What a brilliant post! Hey - Deighton looks a bit like the new Palmer, Harry Cole, in that picture.
Those animal go berserk paperbacks look horrible. 'In the tradition of The Rats...' but not actually by the same author, a bit like those 1970s compilation LPs devoted to The Carpenters but not actually sung by them.
A superb post @caractacus potts thank you. I don’t think I ever had a first edition hardcover Palmer book in stock and it’s great to see these covers.
When I was a teenager I was very much into sci-fi and Arthur C Clarke and Robert Heinlein were my favourite authors. Clarke went on to present a popular TV series called Mysterious World, the cover of the ensuing book is below. Who remembers that programme?
Looking at those space book covers reminded me of a book I used to look at in Primary school (late 70's, early 80's). It was a big hardback book of fantasy spaceships, beautifully designed and drawn in a similar style to the above. I would love to see it again, have never been able to track it down.
Actually, just had a quick scan. It might be this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB-2XtQl_yQ
I don’t think I ever had a first edition hardcover Palmer book in stock and it’s great to see these covers.
I don't know if I've ever seen them in real life either. I was going to just post some Deighton paperback covers I have, or have seen, and may do that later. But once I started doing the google image searches, I realized the Hawkey graphics were interesting in and of themselves, and sort of the Secret Origin of a lot of typical spynovel covers that have been done ever since, I think he invented an aesthetic that somehow reads This Is a SpyNovel .
more scifi covers please!
@The Red Kind Talking of books that have been forgotten reminds me of a sci-fi book that I read from the library at junior school about a spacecraft being built in a back garden and going into space - a real juvenile novel 😁 - I have been trying to track it down for over 50 years but when the title and author escape me it’s not easy! I always hoped that one would turn up at the bookshop but in 40 years of trading it didn’t.
@caractacus potts How can I refuse your request for more sci-fi covers?…
The Gods Hate Kansas was made into a 1967 film, They Came From Beyond Space, an Amicus film. The setting was changed to Cornwall, England and as an 11 year old lad I instantly fell in love with Luanshya Greer, who had a minor role as petrol pump attendant…
I had those very same editions of FAHRENHEIT 451 and INHERIT THE STARS. Either they're vintage or I am.
I don't do hard backs, but I picked these soft covers up in the wake of the BBC adaptations. I'd read the Tripods Trilogy at school and found them fascinating. At the time I had no idea how much the author had ripped from Wells' War of the Worlds, but they are still great adventure stories for young teenagers. John Christopher is one of the great underrated sci-fi readers.
and they form one image across three covers!
I think i have that exact copy of Man in the High Castle, and the JG Ballard cover looks familiar.
a lot of shops place the vintage Philip K Dick's behind the counter and charge a lot of money for them. Even though I started with the 90s trade paperback reissues, for decades whenever I've spotted a vintage Philip K Dick I could afford I've added it to the Potts Archives. I know I've got two or three copies of some of those, hopefully with diffferent covers.
My thing is I've moved a lot over those decades, and am now lugging round over100 odd boxes of books I never bother to unpack anymore. @CoolHandBond if you keep challenging me to remember which copies I already have, youre going to force me to finally unpack and see exactly whats in those boxes!
Some Norwegian "Hardy boys" books, just to make Hardyboy happy 😀
I like those tripod covers they are new to me, John Christopher’s best known novel is No Blade Of Grass (aka The Death Of Grass).
@caractacus potts Wow, 100 boxes of books…you could open your own shop 😁. When I emigrated over here I had to make the difficult decision of what to keep and what to sell - not an easy job I can tell you! On reflection, I wish I had kept a lot more than I eventually did.
Good to see those Norwegian editions N24.
Alan Williams is a name that seems to be forgotten nowadays. He was the godson of Noel Coward and his life was very much like Ian Fleming’s. Anyone who likes Fleming would enjoy these books…highly recommended.
Strange, I don't think I've ever heard of him.
Having done Shakespeare versions of all the James Bond movies, we turned our attention to a Christopher Marlowe version of "The Ipcress File"- hope you enjoy it!
If you’re going to try an Alan Williams book, barbel, I recommend Snake Water or Long Run South as a starting point.
Edgar Wallace wrote crime novels in the first third of the 20th century and very good they were too. Sanders Of The River is probably his best known character…
…and some more of his other books…
…but it was his contribution to the original King Kong movie that he will probably be best known for. He wrote a script which was subsequently used as the basis for the 1933 film…
…he died before the film’s release and was not credited for the screenplay but credited as an idea conceived by him and Merian C. Cooper. The novel had his name on the cover
This is one instance of me posting a book that did not come through my shop, but I have handled a copy from a fellow bookseller, and you would expect to part with 5000 GBP ++ to own a nice copy nowadays.
No special theme today just a selection of interesting covers…
With Dracula being out of copyright and in the public domain there have been several attempts to turn the character into a series of novels. Fred Saberhagen was one such author, and he even included other characters such as Sherlock Holmes in them. I haven’t read any of them, but from what customers told me, the covers were better than the contents…
Talking of Vampires. One of my favourite books as child;
Loved the artwork inside too;
(Pics from ebay. Not my sale)
And I don't know about anyone else but I spent hours playing these;
I was too old for the Top Trumps craze but my son has some now including the James Bond set that we play sometimes.
Some more movie and TV tie-ins here…I’m not a fan of photo covers, the painted Bonanza cover is better than any of the others…and really, could they not find a better still for Ice Station Zebra?
youre right, most of those tie-ins using film stills are very generic designs
in post 34, you showed us PAN's BondFilm tie-ins, and once again theyre more creative designs especially the first four. The Man with the Golden Gun is pretty generic though. I think in the 60s, PAN were creative in their use of geometry and text layout, even when it wasnt Hawkey, and could make a couple of film stills into a striking composition. the film tie-in of From Russia With Love also has the die-cut effect for the film sprockets, like Hawkey's Thunderball design. some of the 1970s covers youve shown us above are just photo + text with no attempt at an original composition.
As life long Star Trek fans my brother and I read the James Blish adaptations over and over when we were kids (that's what you did before you could watch your favorite movies and TV shows on VCRs, DVDs or streaming). The artwork on those books was amazing; here's a few of them.
Perry Mason was a dogged attorney, but the covers of his novels promised more than just legal proceedings. . .
All seems to be ok again now 🙂
Thank you both @TonyDP and @Hardyboy for your contributions, great covers and both popular series.
Minder was a popular British TV series running for 10 seasons. It began as a vehicle for Dennis Waterman, fresh from his successful stint in The Sweeney, as the Minder to dodgy businessman Arthur Daley, played brilliantly by George Cole in the same vein as his Flash Harry character in the St. Trinian’s films. Through Cole’s performance Daley’s character became the mainstay of the series. Waterman left after the 7th season and Daley’s nephew became the new Minder.
The first book has 20p written in the cover - I hated it when bookshops or charity shops did that, a light pencil pricing on the first page was enough. I also never knew how shops could sell so cheaply - I know charity shops had little overheads but even some secondhand bookshops sold that cheaply - maybe it was because I was in London and had a loyal customer base, but it would have been impossible to survive at those sort of prices. Incidentally, you won’t get much change out of 50 GBP for the first Minder book nowadays.
The irony of the price being written on Terry's forehead, that's probably what Arthur was paying him per week!😄
Terry was always being short changed by Arthur so I think you may well be right @The Red Kind 😂
The Man From UNCLE and The Girl From UNCLE television series are well known on this site, hugely popular around the world and they spawned a host of adventures in paperback form, annuals, magazines and comic books. The UK series of books went off kilter in the numbering of the books and more were published in the US, conversely there were more Girl books in the UK than the US. I read a few as a kid and enjoyed them.
In recent years DC comics have released a Batman ‘66 meets The Man From UNCLE series and a Batman ‘66 meets Steed and Mrs Peel series…
Ah, memories. Before I stupidly gave a shed load of books away [not an actual shed...] after a particularly galling relationship break down - I thought it was time I disposed of these formative memories - how stupid was I - my Dr Who collection alone would have been worth well over £1000 in today's market. I had about two dozen Man from Uncle novels, including the first one by Michael Avalone @CoolHandBond which you list here. I also had The Girl from Uncle Birds of a Feather Affair, but I thought my copy was completely orange without the white border. I can't recall them all: The Wheel in the Sky Affair, The Radioactive Camel Affair and The Stone Cold Dead in the Market Affair spring to mind. To be honest, they were quite rum covers.
Regards Alistair MacLean movie tie ins, Ice Station Zebra wasn't the only duff cover. I don't believe they did tie ins for The Last Frontier (aka The Secret Ways) or The Satan Bug.
My fav MacLean is Caravan to Vaccares which had a lovely painted hardback cover and I've included it here.