Saturday, December 25, 2010

Paperback 377: The Corpse Came Calling / Brett Halliday (Dell D401)

Paperback 377: Dell D401 (1st New Dell, 1961)

Title: The Corpse Came Calling
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Robert McGinnis

Yours for: $9

DellD401.Corpse

Best things about this cover:
  • I used to eat popsicles that color—the long kind they'd sell out of ice cream trucks. It's like pink and tangerine had a fight and nobody won.
  • That right boob is levitating, I think.
  • I love her torpid, world-weary look: "Ugh, are we really out of gin again? Well, if anyone wants, me, I'll be on the davenport with my two poodles."

DellD401bc.Corpse

Best things about this back cover:

  • One of the great, simple back cover designs of all time. Great visual use of the tag line. Wish the text were off to the side to let the glass have the room it deserves.

Page 123~

"She had to shoot him. I don't doubt that at all. And you'd naturally want to keep her out of the picture. That's all right, too. But you know me. If that's the way it was, why not say so? I can pull the zipper on my mouth any old time."

Kinky.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

5 comments:

DT said...

Hah! And a cup of tea! Since they're out of gin, of course.

Robert said...

I was sure "Brett Halliday" had to be a pen name so looked it up on Wikipedia. Sure enough, it is the pen name of Davis Dresser, whom I never heard of. Turns out that, as Brett Halliday, he wrote very many novels.

Here is the part that surprised me -- it was a Brett Halliday story that was used for one of my favorite movies: kiss kiss bang bang. Brett Halliday is listed in the movie credits as "story by". I think I will try to find a copy of Bodies Are Where You Find Them, the story the movie was based on.

If you haven't seen this movie, give it a try. The plot is very clever -- good mystery and comedy rolled together.

rochepapieroiseaux said...

It also briefly features some good book covers.

I completely missed the glass on the back cover until you pointed it out, grasping instead for some kind of "rock and a hard place" significance to the different coloured fields on either side.

borky said...

roche, I all but disregarded the glass, too, concentrating, as I was, on the different coloured fields which 'create' it.

You seem to've spotted the same thing as I did: they're intended to convey friction, confrontation, aggression...my spin being they represent 'our' hero, Shaynie-poos, confronting the copper rabbiting on about 'getting' things on page 123~, their symbolic granite-jawed squaring up to each other ultimately being over 'Pinky Tangeriney'.

Saying that, I just checked back to see how Rexie-poos described the colour of the cover girl's dress, and the copper's line about pulling "the zipper on my mouth", made me start wondering if the whole thing wasn't after all just another one of these supposed macho-fests gay writers often supposedly used to use to hide in plain sight of their straight and gay audience(s) what they were REALLY going on about.

Rick said...

That is one accidentally off-color title...

Except that the Halliday pun is--I'm sure--inadvertent and the following one is on purpose: it's of the same cold blue hue as Terri Garey's supernatural chick lit romance novel title DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY.