Book Covers

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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,885MI6 Agent

    coolhand said:

    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.

    I'm not sure either as it was nearly impossible to find examples online showing both sides of a Ace Double cover, and most of my own books are boxed up. and the jpg is so small I cant quite read the number in the corner.

    the wikipedia page I linked to lists them however, including D-421 SF Philip K. Dick Dr. Futurity / John Brunner Slavers of Space (1960), so thatd seem to match the artwork

    the cover you posted shows up on the same list as D-147 MY Gregory Jones Prowl Cop / Norman Herries My Private Hangman (1956)

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Female spies are the subject for today…I love the blurbs on the first 3 and the last one has an evocative feel about it.



    That’s a great find @Number24 there must be some more titles “lost in translation” out there???

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Gambling has been a theme in a lot of Bond books and here are some non-Bond gambling covers…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    A small selection of decent covers of movie tie-ins…



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff

    I'm really enjoying your thread, CHB. Some of the covers are very evocative

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Thank you for the kind words, Barbel, and here are some more…this time tv tie-ins from cult series of the 1960’s…these series were very popular and highly collectible.




    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,885MI6 Agent

    I know we got lots of fans of the Avengers and vintage Doctor Who, probably some of those other shows

    any of you fans read these tie-in novels? are they any good? any great stories we're missing out on if we only watch the shows?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    @caractacus potts I haven’t read all of these but the Dr Who book was ok even though the beginning was altered from the tv show and The Invaders books were worth reading - in general the authors fleshed out the characters in these books making them interesting enough to offer a further perspective on the stories.

    Of all the publishing houses I think that Pan were consistently excellent in the standard of their covers - here is a selection of movie and tv tie-ins - the movie Assault On A Queen is a guilty pleasure of mine - largely derided by critics, I think it’s an entertaining , if unlikely tale.

    The Devil At Four O’Clock is interesting because they place the actors faces under the wrong names.




    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Some more great Pan covers…




    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,094MI6 Agent

    Keep them coming CHB!

    Does anyone remember these Action Man mini story books? I still have my set in the loft and could never part with them.

    I think these were from an earlier period, great covers, again;


    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,620MI6 Agent

    I like these editions of Special Operations Executive agent Max Manus' two-part autobiography.


    "It tends to go well"


    "It gets serious"


  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,130MI6 Agent

    @The Red Kind I don't recall those, but I do remember these. We had a school postal 'book club' and these were always available to purchase. They were war time adventures with Action Man and his mate G.I. Joe. I don't think A.M. was given a name, I can't remember. Quite well written for kids aged 7 - 11, I thought. I had the third one. Quite gory it was too.


  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,130MI6 Agent

    And some others from my collection:


  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    @The Red Kind Fantastic find! I had those 4 early Action Man books as a kid but they got mislaid somehow, which was unusual for me because I hoarded everything. They get a good price on the secondhand market nowadays and the second 6 books I remember as well, but the newer ones that @chrisno1 posted are new to me, but those Tarzan covers are brilliant!

    @Number24 I like the first cover but the second is poor.

    Lost Horizon by James Hilton is one of my favourite books in my top ten. These are the versions that I have. The timeless story of a utopian paradise has always resonated with me - obviously wish fulfilment 😂



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,094MI6 Agent

    I confess, I've never heard of Lost Horizon. Just checked out on Amazon. Nice cover;

    Is the book anything like the film?;


    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff

    I hope it's okay for me to answer that. The b&w version from the 1930s, fairly faithful to the book. The all colour, all singing, all dancing version from the 70s, not so much.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,130MI6 Agent

    My almost complete paperback set of Jason Love. I can't explain why there are so many different versions of some and not of others. Love and the Land Beyond didn't get a softcover edition until a couple of years ago when his son self-republished all of Leasor's novels. One assumes it sold poorly in hardback. The movie Where the Spies Are came out before Pan had issued a softcover version of its source novel Passport to Oblivion, so the movie tie-in was Jason Love's debut paperback; for some reason Oblivion never had an 'in square' print, which is odd given Suspense, Pilgrim and Love-All had two. Pan made some odd marketing decisions in the seventies...



  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,885MI6 Agent

    @chrisno1 did you read the 007 magazine website's detailed history of the Bond PAN editions? I highly recommend it, they had access to a lot of pre-press artwork and other inside info. They give print runs, and detailed sequences of when each volume got a new cover as the general cover format changed, they werent all replaced simultaneously but as old printruns sold out per volume.

    I'm sure James Bond was much more popular than Jason Love, but some of these same principles would apply. Spy genre very popular in the mid60s, massive print runs. Genre goes out of fashion in 70s, reprints with new covers get lesser print runs. For this reason the mid60s Hawkey covers are still relatively common today but the 70s "messy desk" editions are much more rare. And volumes that never sold out their previous print run don't need a new print run and dont get a new cover. probably the reason live and Let die never got a "messy desk" cover, the film tie-in never sold out while PAN still had the license.

    When collecting long running series like Modesty Blaise or Flashman I found the earliest volumes were ubiquitous often with a choice of covers, later volumes always took longer to find, implying either smaller print runs or fewer reprints over the years (which makes sense). In both series I had to settle for modern type trade paperbacks for the final volumes, I think both series ran so long the pocketbook format had been discontinued when the final volumes were written and published in the 90s or '00s.

    as for poor covers in the 70s, I think we've seen a general trend towards Playboy style artwork in the late 70s regardless of publisher. When Panther took over the Bond license, their covers were like that too. That or the "airport novel" aesthetic, the 500 page doorstoppers with embossed goldleaf titles in huge font.

    Then we get these recent trade paperbacks where they all try not to look pulpy and emphasise what fine literature it all is, taking all the fun out of our sordid thrillers.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,094MI6 Agent

    Thanks @Barbel Will have to check out the book and films at some point👍️

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,130MI6 Agent

    Thanks for that. A great read. It clears up quite a lot of detail and you're right @caractacus potts that the principles probably stretched over all Pan soft cover publications at the time. A very detailed article. I am still miffed there is no LALD still life cover. I love the Hawkey designs, but there is something mysterious and haunting about the still life covers which I absolutely adore. Wish COLONEL SUN had got one too.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,885MI6 Agent

    yeh everybody who loves the PAN covers should read that article, it stretches over several pages, and the author obviously had access to so much behind the scenes info. The same site has similar info on the Capes, the signets, and the Daily Express comic strip as well. Babel interviewed the fellow responsible for 007 magazine a while back, not sure if he was the same one who wrote that article.

    I'm sure the principal that popularity determines printruns is true for all books. Theres lots of books I've read about here on ajb007 that when I go looking for them, bookdealers know what i'm talking about but tell me that author hasnt been popular for 50 years and therefor has been rarely reprinted. Stuff gets reprinted because theres current interest, like a new film adaptation, otherwise theres no demand therefor no need to waste scarce resources. But CoolHand would be the expert on that stuff, I'm just guessing. on the first page of this thread, CoolHand was saying publishers dont even take note of second hand sales even though youd think that would be a measure of demand.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Wow! I post about Lost Horizon and within a few hours @Napoleon Plural posts his review of the book - I will comment on that in the appropriate thread.

    @The Red Kind Lost Horizon is famous for the setting of Shangri-La and that word has filtered into public consciousness as the general meaning of a private utopia. It’s obviously one of my favourites so I highly recommend reading it.

    @Barbel is correct in saying that the 1937 version is the more faithful adaption and the latest prints include stills from the film along with dialogue which takes place of lost film. It’s again highly recommended. The 1973 musical version regularly makes the 50 worst films ever made list. It’s unfair, but again understandable, as the choreography by Hermes Pan is absolutely atrocious. It also led to the breakup of the successful Bacharach/David partnership as they fell out after the failure of the film with them blaming each other. I actually think the music is fine and I watch the movie occasionally as a guilty pleasure. Peter Finch is on record as saying that he found the filming enjoyable and a great experience.

    @chrisno1 It’s unfortunate that after years of superb painted covers that Pan descended into producing cheap photo covers in the 70’s. Full marks for collecting all those different editions but they’re not to my taste.

    As an aside, I had collectors who wanted every printing of a book as well, even if it had the same cover, I wasn’t complaining!

    @caractacus potts Publisher’s are only interested in their own stocks and how fast they sell, if it takes long time to sell they won’t reprint, lots of their stock gets remaindered into cheap resellers like The Warehouse. They hate secondhand bookshops and I understand why, they made not a single penny from all the times a book was resold, if secondhand bookshops were not around they would be able to reprint more books and make money, it’s simple as that. Publishers rely on their distributors to gauge demand, if the bookshops selling new books are demanding more copies then they will reprint as many times as necessary until demand drops to a level where it’s not worth reprinting.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Today is a random selection of covers that that would sell a book regardless of content. The Yellow Peril predates Indiana Jones and I often wonder if it was an inspiration for those movies. Shark Fighter reminds me of Thunderball although the content is nothing like it.



    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,885MI6 Agent

    coolhand said:

    Publisher’s are only interested in their own stocks and how fast they sell, if it takes long time to sell they won’t reprint, lots of their stock gets remaindered into cheap resellers like The Warehouse. They hate secondhand bookshops and I understand why, they made not a single penny from all the times a book was resold, if secondhand bookshops were not around they would be able to reprint more books and make money, it’s simple as that. Publishers rely on their distributors to gauge demand, if the bookshops selling new books are demanding more copies then they will reprint as many times as necessary until demand drops to a level where it’s not worth reprinting.

    all interesting info, @CoolHandBond . The publishers wouldnt like me at all. as well as preferring to find the vintage editions, theres a bookstore chain in Toronto specializing in remaindered stock, and any new books I do buy I try to find there. What you say about used book stores cutting into their market reminds me of in the 90s when the CD companies were trying to criminalize used CD stores, before they want after Napster. Theyd never worried about used vinyl, presumably because its degraded (scratched, worn) but the CD is "perfect sound forever" thus a used copy is identical to a new copy and therefor unfair competition.

    on the flip side (heh), I think one reason record companies started pressing vinyl again in the last decade is because there was such a popular scene at used vinyl stores and record collector fairs. You can now go in a record store and have the choice between a used vintage copy and a brand new copy, and its whats been keeping the record companies alive as CD sales plummet. Thats a separate discussion, but the fascination with vinyl as opposed to CDs or mp3s is the tactile object, and I think all these vintage covers we've been looking at have the same tactile appeal.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,195MI6 Agent

    Hi @CoolHandBond it was pure coincidence I posted my review of Lost Horizon, I wasn't timing it with this thread! The book cover that tempted me was the one off Amazon someone else maybe @chrisno1 posted.

    I mentioned the book about a year ago on Last Film seen thread, mentioning how it had something in common with the 1930s film She, rarely shown though the remake with Ursula Andress gets an outing a lot. It's good stuff, memorable ending but production values not a patch on Horizon.

    Took a while to finish the book of LH. BTW I love your Pan version of Ice Cold in Alex....

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent



    Thirteen Against The Bank is the true story of Norman Leigh who formed a syndicate in the mid-60’s and went to France and broke the bank with a roulette system using a staking system called “reverse Labouchere” and betting on the “even” odds - red/black, high/low and odd/even. After a few days of placing bets using the staking system they hit on a winning run and they were banned from every casino in France. The story is well told and in a way reminds me of some of the Bond gambling scenes in the books. But is it true or fantasy…?

    You can search for Norman Leigh on the internet and there are several conflicting articles ranging from complete fantasy to it being 100% accurate. This book came into my shop in the early 1980’s - 1982 I think - and being interested in gambling I took it home to read. I was fascinated by it and by contacting the publisher I managed to get in contact with Norman Leigh and he invited me to his home in Fareham, Hampshire. I turned up to a rather rundown bungalow which needed quite a bit of attention. He was a very charismatic gentleman and said that while his editor had embroidered a lot of it to make a substantial interesting story, the actual basics of the gambling sections were all true. He tried to sell me a new system he had created betting on the “columns” for £200 but I declined and to be honest I was in two minds whether the tale in the book was true or not but I’m a pretty good judge of character and I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Returning to London I bought one of those home roulette sets and set about seeing if it would work or not. I had no experience of roulette aside from what I’d seen in the movies and I had not played it at any of the casino’s I frequented as I only played poker. Anyway, after doing hundreds of spins on my new purchase and patiently working out the next bets - that’s why 13 players were needed, to work in shifts with Leigh being the floating bettor to replace anyone who had to take a break - I had recorded a small overall profit and realised what was needed to win big was a large run of wins on any of the even chance bets.

    So I formed my own syndicate with 5 of my poker playing chums and we tried it out. And we were consistently winning, but not huge sums of money as that special long run of wins never seemed to last for long enough. But it was fun and we weren’t losing very often and even then it was only a small amount because the beauty of the reverse Labouchere system is that you are betting with winnings already accrued not aimlessly staking your own money as per the standard Labouchere system. Without warning, notices all over London casino’s went up in the lobby’s stating that no longer could groups of players play together as a syndicate - I could only presume that another syndicate had formed somewhere and they had won big-time, so we stopped and went back to playing poker!

    So my take on the book is, yes, it is true, Leigh did form a syndicate and break the bank, because they hit on a golden streak of wins, and you only have to work out the system yourself to see that if it happens then it is possible, it’s just being there at the right time.

    I use the reverse Labouchere staking system to this very day, betting on football (over 1.5 goals) and the staking system works very well.

    For anyone interested in gambling, or liking the gambling scenes in the Bond books, I highly recommend this book.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    I haven’t seen the early version of She, I must look it up sometime. I do like the Hammer version.

    After coincidence comes enemy action according to Goldfinger 😁

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff

    1935 "She" SHE 1935 1080p HD - YouTube (the colourised version) I don't know how long this will last before being taken down.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,195MI6 Agent

    I did buy the colourised version on DVD and - I'm a bit thick - watched a good half hour before realising I could see the original just by turning the colour on the TV down.

    Incidentally, @CoolHandBond I very much doubt that Barbel of the Miami Beach Police would be impressed by what you're doing here... 😄

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,880Chief of Staff

    I've been getting into the Ed McBain (Evan Hunter) 87th Precinct novels, and in their run of nearly 50 years they've had some interesting and appropriately pulpy covers.


    Vox clamantis in deserto
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