Friday, July 19, 2019

Paperback 1052: Gold Comes in Bricks / A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner) (Dell 84)

Paperback 1052: Dell 84 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: Gold Comes in Bricks
Author: A.A. Fair (pseud. of Erle Stanley Gardner)
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Condition: 5/10
Estimated value: $15

Best things about this cover:
  • Gold comes in testicles
  • It looks like honey, and if you gotta go, I say asphyxiated by honey is the way!
  • Really love the early Dell covers, which had no pretensions to realism. Much more interested in evoking feeling with shape and color than in getting the perspective or anatomy right
  • Check out the jaunty cursive on the author's name. The early pb was the wild west, from a design perspective. Everyone still experimenting, going nuts.
  • This is the Platonic ideal of the "Reading Copy." Beat to hell, but still tight and complete and unfragile. They don't make 'em like they used to!

Best things about this back cover:
  • Mapback!
  • Uh ... this could be more interesting. Two nondescript hotel rooms! Thrill to the architectural possibilities!
  • LOL "Corridor," thanks, map
Page 123~
The machine shops had moved. The office stood deserted. There was an air of funereal despair about the town. Those who were left went dejectedly about their business, moving with the listless lassitude of persons who have lost their chance at winning big stakes and are plugging away simply because they can't figure out how to quit.
Ouch. I feel seen. And accused.


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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Paperback 1051: The Big Sqeeze / Christopher Athens (Chicago House A102)

Paperback 1051: Chicago House A102 (PBO, 1962)

Title: The Big Squeeze
Author: Christopher Athens
Cover artist: Uncredited (!!!?)

Condition: 9/10
Value: $15-20

Best things about this cover:

  • Billy woulda taken first place at the 9th grade art show for sure but the judges said his rad painting, which is obviously a commentary on free speech, had "sexual content" and they totally disqualified him, like what is this, Soviet Russia? Bogus.
  • Seriously, though, what is happening?
  • The dude ... did the dude forget his ... shoe? Is that a shoe? A tipped over bag of groceries? A melted turntable? I know I should be focused on the naked ladies, but...
  • Are they going up or down? Also, why? Also, is Red dead? Also, why?
  • Protip: cover one of the most important visual elements of your cover with giant block letters so the reader has no idea wtf is going on. It's avant-garde!
  • This book is in perfect condition ... is the best thing I can say about this book.

Best things about this back cover:

  • OK, right off the bat, I can tell you the cover copy writer has limited experience with what we in the writing business call "verbs."
  • BRB, relabeling all my booze "Parts Cleaner"
  • "Three-and-a-half bells?" Are we at sea?
  • "This pair of chicks tried to pick me up once and ... what? You don't know them. They live in Canada. ANYway, these totally real chicks..."
  • Who the f is "Tom Anthony"?

Page 123~
"Brush my teeth," I said, holding a hand in front of my mouth.
"Oh," exhaled Barbara. "When you said 'oral' I thought ... well, nevermind what I thought ..."


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Monday, July 1, 2019

Paperback 1050: Bogus Lover / Hy Silver (Newsstand Library U136)

Paperback 1050: Newsstand Library U136 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Bogus Lover
Author: Hy (ho?) Silver
Cover artist: Robert Bonfils

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $15

Best things about this cover:
  • I love her girl-about-town, devil-may care look. I'm not sure who's throwing bras and mannequin heads at her, but she doesn't seem fazed.
  • That blue is exquisite.
  • They've certainly, uh, made sure to emphasize her torso profile. The extensive boob shadow is kinda overkill. It's like, yeah, we see. They're lovely.
  • The valentine on the mannequin's face is so freaky. What is even happening here!?
Best things about this back cover:
  • Argh, too much text!
  • I'm pretty sure that "crunched" is the wrong word for what casting couches do when you put your lustful weight on them, but admittedly this isn't really my bailiwick. Maybe someone got sloppy with corn chips?
  • "Hey boss, how many 'm's in Peggy's "'Mmmmmmmm?'" "That depends. Is she lustful?" "Oh, yes, sir. Very." "Then ... Eight!" "But, sir, that's ... that's two more than we've ever done. Are you su—" "I'M TRYIN' TO SELL BOOKS HERE, MAN, JUST DO IT!" (/scene)
  • Wait. Peggy? Then who's Wanda? We lost gentle Wanda somewhere between paragraphs two and three. Oh, the boss is not gonna be happy about this...
Page 123~
"I guess we're both stupid," he said as he started the engine.
Real talk.


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Friday, June 28, 2019

Paperbacks 1047, 1048, and 1049: A Doc Savage trio (Bantam, 1969 (2) and 1976 (1))

Paperbacks 1047-49: Doc Savage 35, 38, and 83 (1969, 1969, 1976)

Titles: The Squeaking Goblin, Red Snow, The Red Terrors
Author: Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent, Lester Dent, Harold A. Davis)
Cover artists: James Bama, James Bama, Boris Vallejo

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $20 for the lot

[Gift to the collection from a Western NY Reader]

Best things about this cover:
  • "It ain't me what's squeakin', it's me musket!" squeaked Goblin Davy Crockett

Best thing about this cover:
  • It's like if Hawkman and Hulk had a pin-headed monster baby

Best thing about this cover:
  • Doc Savage tried to start his life over as a crossing guard at Mystical Orb High School for Avian Cosplay, but it didn't take
Page 123~
One of the hired men pointed. "Red was a-meanderin' over thot way, last I seed a' him."
These books are all of astonishingly uniform length (~130pp.) and not at all badly written (at least on a basic grammatical level). They were originally published in the Doc Savage pulp magazine (in the '30s) and then were reprinted by Bantam roughly 30-40 years later, which puts them just before and toward the tail end of / just after the main time frame of my paperback collection (1939-69). Lester Dent (how wrote a ton of the "Kenneth Robeson" Doc Savage stories) was an accomplished crime fiction writer from the heydey of hardboild crime fiction. I covered one of his books back at Paperback 741.

Anyway, thanks to the lovely human who sent me these books in the mail today—individually wrapped! So thoughtful.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Paperback 1046: The Sit-In / George B. Anderson (Ace 76835)

Paperback 1046: Ace 76835 (PBO, 1970)

Title: The Sit-In
Author: George B. Anderson
Cover artist: George Gross

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $20-25 (counterculture, baby!)

[from giant box of books I got in the mail from "Special Sauce" ... I'll be rolling these out as fast as I reasonably can]

Best things about this cover:
  • Answering the question: What if Dirty Harry had been a T.A. for Marxist Cultural Theory?
  • Two words. One, mustard. Two, cardigan. KILLER outfit!
  • A narc wrote this
  • This was published just after Kent State. So you'd know who the real bad guys were. Cut your hair, Comrade Cardigan!
Best things about this back cover:
  • LOL grad student. Called it!
  • "Don't trust anyone over 30 ... or, you know Happiness in general, man"
  • Wow, this is a right-wing fever dream. "He's coming for you and your suburban children, aged 2 and 4, named John and Jennifer, probably!"
Page 123~
He remembered going duck-hunting, as a kid, in the late fall, but he wouldn't even handle a shotgun since his return from Viet.
Was that a common way to refer to Vietnam? Just shortened like that? First I've seen that. Also, predictably, the family-man is the *real* man, the real hero, because he'd actually *been* to war, as opposed to Murdery McBeardo, who is a nerd.


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Friday, June 21, 2019

Paperback 1045: Abnormal Lover / Clark Connor (Merit Book 507)

Paperback 1045: Merit Book 507 (2nd ptg, 1961)

Title: Abnormal Lover
Author: Clark Connor
Cover artist: "Sloane" (uncredited)

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $20-25

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

Merit Books 507
Best things about this cover:
  • Jesus H, what kind of corset injury did she suffer as a young woman!?
  • I love how she's like, "Yeah, they're stretch marks, so what!? I don't see you looking away!"
  • I'm all for that vest-only look, but the pants seem a little ... bunchy.
  • O god, her hand! Was that part of the corset accident!? I'm just glad she overcame adversity and went on to live her truth.
  • "Bru-" is killing me. KILLING ME. How are you this bad at layout!?
  • I assume her left pinky is the "point of perversion" in question.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Better in black and white
  • And the winner for Worst Compound Adjective in a Back Cover Blurb goes to ...
  • I love how proud the artist ("Sloane!") was of this painting. "Y'all aren't cropping out my signature, dammit. I WILL LIVE THRU THE AGES!"
Page 123~
"I can't, Raymond. I don't have time to see Art Meric. I have to leave on a trip. A very important trip, Raymond!"
A long silence.
"What's wrong, Raymond? Raymond! Raymond!"
"I"m not going to be IGNORED, Raymond..."


🎶"Everywhere around the world / They come to see Art Meric-a"🎶


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Monday, June 17, 2019

Paperback 1044: Natures Gifts / Norma Hughes (After Hours 160)

Paperback 1044: After Hours AH160 (PBO, 1967)

Title: Natures Gifts
Author: Norma Hughes
Cover artist: [Bill Alexander again?]

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $25

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]
After Hours AH160
Best things about this cover:
  • When yoga class gets a little too "authentic"...
  • Sally and Jenny hovered uncomfortably between ab-hunger and diaper-revulsion
  • Wait, those aren't abs. They aren't in the right place ... what are those??!?!
  • "And that, ladies, is how you throw a slider"
  • OK, I'll just say what we're all thinking: where's the fucking apostrophe?
Best things about this back cover:

Back page designer: "I have this idea for a kind of harem motif, where a seraglio doorway provides..."

Publisher: "Sorry, Bill, we're going with a bathroom tile. Thanks for these storyboards, tho."

Page 123~
That evennig he mailed them out to Paris to his contact.
Needless to say, [sic]


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