Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Paperback 145: The By-Pass Control / Mickey Spillane (Signet P3077)

Paperback 145: Signet P3077 (1st ptg, 1967)

Title: The By-Pass Control
Author: Mickey Spillane
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: $6

Best things about this cover:
  • Ugh. Ugly multi-colored text crowds this poorly designed cover. And what is that photo? A leftover still from a Prell ad shoot?
  • What is it with Spillane covers and naked blondes with hair that looks starchy and untouchable?
  • Apparently the "By-Pass Control" is located at the base of her skull. Stop her, Tiger!
  • "Multi-murder" is a ... noun?
  • "They called him 'Tiger' because ... well, he snarled during sex, frankly."

Best things about this back cover:

  • And you thought that little red dot was just some kind of sale sticker. In actuality, it is one of the least explicable book design concepts in paperback history. Maybe it represents the Communist menace. Or Tiger Mann's passion for gumballs. He's irrepressible!
  • I'm not sure that Denver Post blurb is as positive as the publishers seem to think it is.
  • How many different ways can a book convey to you that it contains rough sex? "Snarling sex," "deadly sex," "rough-tough touch," etc. Maybe the red dot symbolizes the marks Tiger leaves on his many sex partners / victims.
  • If you wanna read the awesomest, most over-the-top, ridiculous conflation of rough sex and politics, please read One Lonely Night, where Hammer hammers a commie girl, and when he's done with her, she is red ... white and blue. USA! USA! Rough sex cures women of their political delusions. Who knew? Thanks, Mickey!

Page 123~

"Don't bother packing ... just get on the first one out [...]." I laughed and added, "Besides, you can use a vacation."

"Sure, without clothes?"

"What better kind?" I said.

"I didn't mean it like that," she told me, a lilt in her voice, "but you're making it sound awfully interesting. I'll see you shortly, mud dauber."

He's not just a Tiger. He's also, it seems, a wasp.

[Organ-pipe mud dauber - Trypoxylon politum]


PS Here are some Hillbilly Hussy covers ... if you're into that sort of thing (and I am - here's one of my own)


warren said...

Really strange kerning on that title. Someone had to do that by hand. But ... why?

Mark Etherton said...

And is it "old Spillane" or "a brand-new sizzler from Mickey Spillane"?

Brian Drake said...

As a die-hard Spillane fan, I have to alert you all that the Tiger Mann series (four books) is dreck, totally and completely repetitive, lacking any of the punch of early Spillane. BY-PASS was the most acceptable of the Tiger books, but even then I couldn't get more than halfway through it before skipping to the end and thinking I had just spent a few hours that were gone to me forever. The first couple of pages are good; after that, use it to prop up a table and go read I, THE JURY.

Michael5000 said...

I actually kind of like that ugly, overlettered cover, but in that pose the cheesecake looks like she'd be more at home on a breast-self exam public health poster.

Also: listen up, kids! Just say no to "deadly sex"!

JamiSings said...

If it's a Prell shoot, is this the "before she washes her hair" picture? Cause frankly, her hair looks very greasy!