Saturday, January 26, 2013

Paperback 598: Mingo Dabney / James Street (Pocket Books 819)

Paperback 598: Pocket Books 819 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: Mingo Dabney
Author: James Street
Cover artist: Harvey Kidder

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • And Mingo was his name. O.
  • I believe this is the pose for which the expression "Huzzah!" was invented.
  • "Who the hell took my castanets?!? I can't do this dance without my castanets!!!"
  • Who's the cat who makes all the hijab-wearin' ladies freak out and the grizzled Hemingway impersonators nod in silent admiration ...? — hint: it's not Shaft.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Actor Dabney Coleman was famous for getting drunk at wrap parties and insisting that everyone call him "El Dabney."
  • "MINGO DABNEY so fly he turn a saint All Woman."—lost '90s rap lyric
  • I would like to thank Pocket Books for (fairly) consistently crediting cover artists.

Page 123~

"Listen, Mr. Carson." Mingo ran his fingers through his hair and his fingers were sticky with sweat. "I'm damn near crazy."

Furthermore, in case you missed it: fingers.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

P.S. Bonus illustration ... author beefcake!

[Street's ahead]


Anonymous said...

I understand hyperbole is standard in author's bios, but outright lying isn't hyperbole, it's lying.

I can definitively state that James Street has not been published in every major magazine. We are the oldest continuously published magazine in America, and James Street has never published here.

Grace Baynes
Corporate Public Relations, Scientific American
London, UK

Rex Parker said...

That is among my favorite blog comments of all time, Grace. Thanks for that.


DemetriosX said...

What the hell kind of pose is that supposed to be? I seriously can't think of a single way he could get that way in a machete fight unless it was more choreographed than a fight scene in West Side Story. I'm also bugged by his right sleeve. A) It appears to have bloody gashes on it, but there's not a mark on his arm. B) It appears to be whole up around the cuff, yet somehow his arm is sticking out through the big tear. This is not Kidder's best work.

James Street probably also didn't publish in National Geographic.

Naomi Johnson said...

I recall reading Street's THE CIVIL WAR when I was just entering junior high. I enjoyed that book. It was just light enough to make me want to read more history. But I wasn't so taken with his fiction, although MINGO DABNEY was not one of his books available at my local library.

Standards of Street Fighting said...

From the Manual of Street Fighting:

Section 1, Paragraph 2:

If in a fight where the primary weapon is a blade; whether razors, knives, swords or the like, and you happen to have a gun, use the fucking gun. That's what it's there for.

There are no rules in knife fights.

DemetriosX said...

@Standards of Street Fighting
See also Jones, I. Dealing with Sword-Swinging Maniacs.

I was reading about Street and apparently this is the fifth and final book in a huge saga about the Dabney family. Maybe their dance fighting techniques are explained in an earlier volume.