Book Covers

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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,993MI6 Agent
    edited April 2022

    coolhand says

    Those are all new to me ... thanks for posting

    never seen Chas Addams originals cartoons before? they now seem to be footnotes to the teevee series, they oughta be better known. beautiful drawings and a consistently twisted sense of humour.

    I also have this magazine sized trade paperback, I think it came out round the time of the 1990s movie because the font is the same. Probably better to get this one if you have the choice, as the art is scaled up and you can appreciate all the detail better. The pocketbooks are cool artifacts, but I find myself squinting and sometimes still cant figure out what the joke is

    for example I posted this one upthread. First appearance of the recurring characters later to be known as Morticia and Lurch, thus the debut of the whole zany clan, probably most famous of all his cartoons. I've looked at this drawing many times. I only just realised the other day, as I looked at this particular scan, found somewhere on line (click it and its really big and detailed) theres a third face hidden at the top of the drawing, peering through the attic hatch! These drawings deserve to be seen at larger scale with good printing, not shrunk down and poorly reproduced!


  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    @Barbel I’ve never read the Dortmunder books, though lots passed through the shop.

    @caractacus potts I’ve seen some cartoons, I was referring to the books you posted.

    I thought I would post some covers of books which stories are based in the Philippines…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,363MI6 Agent

    O M F G - vicious children ! 🙈 🙈

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    James Bond is arguably the greatest fictional character of all time, certainly in the top handful anyway, but in the last 25 years another character has emerged who has reportedly sold over 100 million copies - Jack Reacher. Written by English author Lee Child, he has had a string of adventures in carefully plotted novels. Two films have been made with a miscast Tom Cruise, and a new, excellent, TV series starring a very formidable Alan Ritchson, with another adventure due next year.



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,725MI6 Agent

    The originators of the French Revolution right there! 😉

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    Paperbacks were issued which collected material published in the popular Mad magazine - I particularly enjoyed the movie spoofs they did and also the artwork of the brilliant Sergio Aragones. I think over 100 books were published and I had a customer who was one short of the complete collection and I could never find a copy for him…I wonder if he has ever obtained one since I closed down?



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,993MI6 Agent
    edited April 2022

    hooray for the MAD covers! MAD taught me to be a skeptic at a very early age, as well as many useful yiddish words like "furshlugginer"


    Here's the original cover of very first MAD pocketbook, The MAD Reader, which reprinted material from the original comic book version by Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Elder, Wally Wood and Jack Davis. from 1954! note the original logo. First issue of the comic was only Nov 1952, the comic book must have been unusually popular because i cant think of any other American comic that got reprinted in pocketbook form prior to this. Published by Ballantine

    I think there was an even halfdozen pocketbooks reprinting the comic book material. I'll see if I can find the original covers of those other five later. MAD changed to the magazine format, and classic logo with its 24th issue. Here's a website I already found called Doug Gilford's MAD Cover Site, though his images appear to be watermarked so I've copied this one from elsewhere

    EC Comics published horror comics and science fiction comics (eg Tales from the Crypt and Weird Science) before MAD, and in the 1960s, after EC had given up comics altogether due to censorship pressures, Ballantine also published a few pocketbook collections of the horror and scifi material. I'll see if I can find some of those covers later, too.

    and Mike's Newsstand shows the covers of those first 23 comic book issues. This is the book cover thread, not the comic book cover thread, so I'll just let you follow that link if interested

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,993MI6 Agent
    edited April 2022

    heres some more of the early Ballantine pocketbooks reprinting Kurtzman's comic book MAD

    MAD Strikes Back, 1955

    Inside MAD, 1955 (note the reproductions of original comic book covers as part of the design)

    Utterly MAD, 1956

    (EDIT: I just noticed the characters in the above cover are Gomez and Morticia !!!, based on Chas Addams' drawings (see post 245), years before the teevee show! good thing we already studied that early Addams Family art. But this cover is drawn by Jack Davis, demonstrating his skill at capturing another cartoonist's style)

    The Brothers MAD, 1958 (note Bill Elders drawing of Woman Wonder (sic), theres lots of really bizarre comic book parodies in these earliest issues of MAD)

    looks like the sixth one was the Bedside MAD, 1959, and it reprints a mix of comic book material and magazine material. perhaps the inclusion of magazine material is why the first printing used the better known new magazine logo. also published by Signet rather than Ballantine, so maybe that's also why the logo changed?

    I'll see if I can find the 1960s Ballantine paperbacks reprinting EC's horror and scifi comics. Also, after Harvey Kurtzman left MAD he had his own material published in a few Ballantine paperbacks

    (Secret Origin of MAD magazine for those who dont know: William Gaines was publisher of a company called EC comics, specializing in then-controversial horror comics. Harvey Kurtzman was the cartoonist who created MAD, originally a "conventional" comic book, published by EC. After EC was forced to stop publishing its other comics and MAD was transformed into a magazine format with its 24th issue, Gaines became very wealthy very quick solely off Kurtzman's work. Kurtzman asked for a 51% ownership share of the title he created, Gaines counteroffered 49%, and Kurtzman quit figuring it was his genius idea, he didn't need Gaines to publish his satirical comics. Over the next decade Kurtzman tried to repeat his success with three different follow-up magazines he owned and all were failures. Whereas Gaines of course continued publishing MAD for decades, with different cartoonists creating the content, and it grew more popular than ever well into the 1970s, and still exists in diminished form today)

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    Thank you for all that Mad information @caractacus potts it’s great to read such informed history on these paperbacks and those links are very useful.

    There’s been discussion on other threads about Flashman, the bullying coward who always comes out on top, brilliantly written by George MacDonald Fraser (OP). The series of covers below convey the stories very well…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,651Chief of Staff

    I used to enjoy the Flashman series, many years ago, then one day I had simply had enough. That's also happened to me with some authors (eg Robert Ludlum, Wilbur Smith) but not others (Stephen King, Len Deighton). I don't know how it works!

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    They did become a bit “samey”, I agree, Barbel.

    John Harvey has won many awards for his writing, and deservedly so, his thrillers are always great reads, and Lonely Hearts was named as one of the best 100 crime novels of all time by The Times…


    Last Rites and Flesh And Blood are two more award winners…


    But John Harvey had a long career writing under pen names in his early days of writing, and he was one of the Piccadilly Cowboys that I have mentioned on previous posts, here are a few of them…



    He also wrote these…


    And did several movie and tv tie-ins including these…


    I highly recommend his Charlie Resnick and Frank Elder books for those who like crime novels, but his early work, especially the westerns, are also great reads.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,889Chief of Staff

    I'm a big fan of Robert B. Parker's Spenser (for Hire) series--and I have to say Ace Atkins did a splendid job of recreating Parker's style in his ten continuation novels. The covers are perhaps no great shakes, but they always promise something intriguing. . .


    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,995Quartermasters
    edited April 2022

    These are all fantastic! Here's the cover of my latest release:

    It's an actual time-lapse photo of a star-scape, which wraps around to the back. Photo credit: Jakub Novacek, used with permission via Pexels.com.

    Here are my Oscar Jade covers - designed by AJB member Darenhat!


    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,897MI6 Agent
    edited April 2022

    Thanks! I especially like the "Storm maker" art. Really classic and classy.

  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,995Quartermasters
    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,993MI6 Agent

    excellent book covers @Loeffelholz I agree Storm Maker is especially good, a bit art deco

    I do believe youre the first actual author to show us his own book covers in this thread!

  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,995Quartermasters

    Thank you @caractacus potts! I'm delighted by Daren's work, and hope to be able to talk him into doing my next Jade. Cheers 🍸️

    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent
    edited April 2022

    @Hardyboy I haven’t read any Spenser books - another to put on my future reading list!

    @Loeffelholz That’s superb! Great covers and good luck with the new book it sounds excellent!

    John D MacDonald wrote the Travis McGee series and a host of others, great books, great covers…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,651Chief of Staff

    I'd like to recommend the books of @Loeffelholz to anyone who enjoys film noir, private eyes, or just a good thriller. And I'm not just saying that cos I got a mention in one of them! 😁

  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,995Quartermasters
    edited April 2022

    Thanks @Barbel and @CoolHandBond! 🍸️ And I love MacDonald's Travis McGee novels...and am only now finding my way to Lee Child's Reachers.

    Every time I approach Daren to do a new Jade cover it's a bit like coaxing James Bond out of retirement 😎 He has such a fantastic grasp of the thematic content of those books. Cheers everyone 😉

    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    I used to love going into our local secondhand bookshop as a kid and Biggles was one of the series that I enjoyed. When I had my own shop I had a large children’s section and many of them became lifelong customers when growing into adulthood…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • JellyfishJellyfish EnglandPosts: 467MI6 Agent

    I would recommend the Spenser series too; easily my favourite book series.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    Doc Savage, the man of bronze, is a true pulp hero first appearing in magazines and then books. He was an adventurer with almost super human qualities. For those who like pulp fiction this is up there with the best.



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,995Quartermasters

    Doc Savage is a blast! And those covers are iconic.

    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    Alfred Hitchcock related books…and Hitchcock movie posters are on the Movie Posters thead as well…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,993MI6 Agent

    what was Hitchcock's involvement in these books? did he actually edit them, or did he just lend them his name for a fee?

    I also remember reading these Three Investigators books when I was a lad, similar to the Hardy Boys. but Hitchcock's name was always prominent on the covers, and I have no idea what he actually had to do with them

    cover wise, they are very similar to Hardy Boys artwork but generally scarier.


    I wonder, Hitchcock was inactive in filmmaking by the mid70s. Was he able to license out his name to other peoples products like these books and make easy money with no actual work?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    @caractacus potts I would imagine he just lent his name for a fee, but I don’t know the answer to that one. I think Hitchcock actually appeared as himself in the three investigators books, again, I’m not sure as I haven’t read any of them.

    Berkley Mather is known to Bond fans as a screenwriter for DN and apparently uncredited rewrites to FRWL and GF, but he also published several novels, some are here…


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    There were some books that I could guarantee would not be on the shelf at the end of the day once they were placed…these were some of them…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,363MI6 Agent

    I suppose there's no accounting for any sort of taste there. Did you have residential accommodation for perverts near your shop or something? 😀

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,461MI6 Agent

    Not as far as I know @chrisno1 but then again, I didn’t, and still don’t, consider myself superior enough to be able to make such a judgement on those perfectly ordinary, nice, pleasant customers that I had who liked these sort of innocuous books, smiley face, or no smiley face.

    And as my PM box has plenty of requests from AJB members for these sort of covers here are some more…



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