Title: Call Me Deadly
Author: Hal Braham
Cover artist: Walter Popp
Yours for: $30
Best things about this cover:
- Nearly everything — this is late 50s paperback gold. Love the weird cropping provided by the ornate frame, and then again by the beaded curtain! Then there's Fabulous Girl Art (killer dress), jazz guitar, mystery hand w/ gun, Broderick Crawford lookalike with fat cigar ... all in a tight, barely read paperback.
- The title is awesome in inverse proportion to the cover painting's awesomeness, i.e. the title is a sad, unimaginative rip-off of a Mickey Spillane title (movie version of which came out just a couple years before this novel). Paint brush font on "Deadly" is kind of cool, though.
- Love Graphic Novels for their (frequent) crediting of the cover artist on the publishing info page, though here you can actually see the artist's signature (right under "25c").
- Gun/vagina proximity here is oddly common. Here's a variation. There will be more. Maybe I should make "guncrotch" a label... oh, wait, it already is.
Best things about this back cover:
- See that red dot separating the paragraphs? It's like it was drilled into the cover with a bore. Deeply embossed. Weird as it sounds, it's the first thing about this cover that caught my eye.
- Love their dockside dancing! Put any energetic music on your iTunes and then look at this painting. They are totally dancing. Nothing else can explain what she's doing with her left hand (mysterious hand gestures ... seems like a recurrent theme).
- I love how the cover copy starts out campy and ends up in nearly incoherent lunacy.
- "... between them, an unholy shadow murmured: 'There's no way you can tightrope walk in that dress, Gini ... Go on, I dare you ...'"
She said finally, "So this is the lion's den. What do you do with your spare time, Dillon?"
I shrugged. "I have the television for sport, there are books and records. It depends."
"Gets a bit monotonous, doesn't it?"
"It does," I admitted.
This is like the "Don't" column from a 1950's "How To Pick Up Hot Chicks" manual.
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