Sunday, May 28, 2023

Paperback 1066: Anton York, Immortal / Eando Binder (Belmont B50-627)

Paperback 1066: Belmont B50-627 (1st ptg, 1965)

Title: Anton York, Immortal
Author: Eando Binder (pseud. of Otto Binder)
Cover artist: Uncredited

Condition :7/10
Value: $5-10

Best things about this cover:
  • When your space nurse comes to give you your space shot ...
  • Look out, space Indiana Jones! The space boulder! Behind you!
  • Anton York, Lord of the Sparkle Wands!
  • I love how everyone who designed anything in the '60s was high as fuck
  • If "Eando Binder" seems an improbable name, get this: even more improbably, it was the pseudonym of two entirely different Binders: Earl Binder (born Hungary, 1904) and Otto Binder (born Michigan, 1911). Today, Otto's our guy.
Best things about this back cover:
  • This is the future version of that Uncle Sam poster: "I Want You ... to be Immortal"
  • OK, this is just the round part of the front cover art, boo, seen it, boo!
  • What the hell is a "man of tomorrow"? When are "the dim future ages"? Why must this "man-made God" die? I guess I could read the book, but somehow the continuing adventures of Anton York, Space Dork are not tempting me
Page 123~

He was the living zombie of the hypno-beast.

If that's not the opening line of a '60s psychedelic rock song (or a '60s novelty song), I don't know what is


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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Paperback 1065: Move Over, Darling / Marvin H. Albert (Dell 5859)

Paperback 1065: Dell 5859 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Move Over, Darling
Author: Marvin H. Albert
Cover artist: TERPNING (no, really) [Howard Terpning—thanks to reader Jeff for the reference]

Condition: 7/10
Value: $8-10

Best things about this cover:
  • Look, Doris Day's hair stylists did her no favors for a good chunk of the '60s but she is never not adorable and frankly that outfit is straight-up hot. I mean, your tastes may not run to the prim and purple, but that's your problem.
  • James Garner, also the dreamiest, but this cover isn't really designed to showcase that.
  • I hate how '60s paperback covers tend to emphasize text and often drive the art right off the page, but this cover has a nice, whimsical font, and frankly the artist gets a lot out of small details (DD's smile, her contemplative hand gesture, her dangly right shoe...)
  • I love this idea that in the '60s, it was every guy's dream to have not one but two wives. "What a setup!" This runs contrary to most wife-related comedy I've heard over the years. Something about taking wives... please.

Best things about this back cover:
  • See, text. It's awful.
  • This is basically the plot of My Favorite Wife (Grant/Dunne, 1940). Since that is one of my favorite movies of all time, and since I have a crush on both of the actors on the cover of this book, I'm willing to give this movie a shot.
  • See, TERPNING, I wasn't kidding. That's the cover artist's name. Not sure how that's a real name, but ... there it is! As I understand it, TERP is short for "terrapin," a kind of turtle. I would see a turtle-horror film called "The Terpning"!
Page 123~
"I was very excited by the island vegetation. I'm afraid I spent so much time on research that I was not very good company for your wife."
Heyyyyy, this *is* the plot of My Favorite Wife!!! Nick's first wife, Ellen, is shipwrecked for years on an island with a Johnny Weissmuller-type hunk (Adam) as her only companion. In order to keep Nick from getting jealous, she tries to pass off some ordinary-looking shoe clerk as Adam. Misunderstanding, tomfoolery, and hijinks ensue. Annnnyway, Move Over, Darling appears to be a faithful remake of My Favorite Wife, so now I'm definitely going to see it. Possibly right now. 


P.S. OMG the entire movie is summarized in just four pages of photo stills from the movie (please enjoy my leering marginal illustration):

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Friday, October 28, 2022

Paperback 1064: The Big Four / Agatha Christie (Dell 0562)

Paperback 1064: Dell 0562 (1st New Dell Edition, 1972)

Title: The Big Four
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Uncredited

Condition: 9/10
Value: ~$10
Best things about this cover:
  • These objects-only covers are fairly common for Christie paperbacks of the '60s and '70s. I think (William) Teason is the name of the artist I know who has done several like this. Maybe this cover is Teason's work too, dunno. Anyway, it's very evocative ... of a certain ... criminal ... milieu ... but it's not terribly exciting.
  • The pearl-handled gun is gorgeous, as is the ornamental key. The noose is awfully, uh, circular. It's all so artfully arranged, like evidence that you just know is planted.
  • I'm curious about this font. And about the weird colors ... beige / yellow / beige ... that's one way to make sure the yellow doesn't pop. Then again, publishers have clearly learned to value marketing over art at this point, as Christie's name is big feature, and everything else merely decorative.
  • I want all the people in the photographs to be Doing Something! Making out, killing each other, something! To this cover's credit, I am curious to know how all this detritus fits into narrative form.
Best things about this back cover:
  • Back Cover Copy in C[heap pun] Minor
  • Wait, four men? I thought the photos on the cover were the Big Four, but one of those was a woman, so ... now I'm *really* intrigued (I've only ever read a few Christie titles in my life, if I'm being honest)
  • Bizarre to make such a superhero out of Poirot and yet depict him Nowhere on your cover. 
Page 123~
"Ernest Luttrell. Son of a North Country parson. Always had a kink of some kind in his moral make-up"
I am quite sure that what Christie means by "kink" and what I mean by "kink" are somewhat if not quite different from one another, and yet ... one can hope.


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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Paperback 1063: Tama of the Light Country / Ray Cummings (Ace F-363)

Paperback 1063: Ace F-363 (PBO, 1965)

Title: Tama of the Light Country
Author: Ray Cummings
Cover artist: Podwil

Condition: 7/10
Value: ~$5

Best things about this cover:
  • She's back! Well, actually, this book is earlier than the last one (Paperback 1062), so ... she's here! For the first time! And yet again! Tamagain! Tamalamadingdong! Slicing her way through the planetary system, god knows why...
  • Tama, Queen of Forgotten Serial Characters!
  • Those blood-soaked wings are phenomenal, why didn't she catch on / take off!? Fewer Marvel movies, more Tama movies!
  • Once again I identify with the nondescript dude in the background urging Tama on while staying safely back
  • Caught between two space volleyballs, Tama braces for she knows not what!
  • I see no evidence that she has been or is about to be "Kidnapped by a spaceship," let alone "Kidnapped by a spaceship Exclamation Point!"
Best things about this back cover:
  • Not much
  • LOL satellite paranoia! Nice.
  • "Furore"—when it's spelled like that you are required to pronounce it with three syllables like "Volare!"
Page 123~
I do not find it pleasant, nor does Rowena, nor do any of the rest of us.
It's settled, then—I won't bother with this book. Thank you, Mr. Narrator.


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Friday, October 21, 2022

Paperback 1062: Tama, Princess of Mercury / Ray Cummings (Ace F-406)

Paperback 1062: Ace F-406 (PBO, 1966)

Title: Tama, Princess of Mercury
Author: Ray Cummings
Cover artist: Podwil

Condition: 9/10
Value: ~$10

Best things about this cover:
  • Carving Jack O' Lanterns is a bloodsport on Mercury
  • Monster looks surprised to find out that the "princess" has blood-tipped wings and a big fucking dagger
  • I relate to the dude on the ground pointing and going "oh hell no, I don't want any of this, run away!"
  • Author Tama Janowitz is now not the only Tama I've ever heard of
Best things about this back cover:
  • Guy Palisse, Space-Explorer—gonna get some business cards made up and just hand them out to everyone I meet
  • Guy Palisse, Space-Explorer / President, Bolton Flying Cube, Inc.
  • Move over Gay Talese, it's ... Guy Palisse!
  • "...warded off war between the two worlds" is a terrible mumbly mouthful
  • Guy Palisse and the Frenzied Mercurians were the toast of New York's early-80s post-punk scene
Page 123~
The infuriated, reckless girls hurled themselves down like frenzied birds.
Is anyone on Mercury *not* frenzied? Seems like a stressful place to visit. Probably gonna take my Flying Cube somewhere else this summer.  


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Sunday, October 9, 2022

Paperback 1061: The Relentless Rider / John and David Shelley (Ace F-340)

Paperback 1061: Ace F-340 (PBO, 1965)

Title: The Relentless Rider
Author: John and David Shelley
Cover artist: Uncredited

Condition: 8/10
Value: ~$10

Best things about this cover:
  • Seems like it should be "the name / the game" or "his name / his game"; the mix-and-match reads awful
  • Not sure why you'd name your gun "patient" but I like a cowboy with the guts to be different
  • This cover is not that interesting, though I love how RELENTLESS goes hard, end to end, no margins, and I love that pop of yellow up top
  • Got this as part of a completely unexpected library sale haul—didn't even know the library was having a sale. I was just there to check out some J.G. Ballard, as one does
  • The book is bright, square, and unread. It's mildly warpy—not sure what the term is for that
Best things about this back cover:
  • OK, just a block of text, yellow-orange on red-brown, hang on, just let me put my glasses on here and ... Booger? Really?
  • The "eat. Booger" juxtaposition midway down the page is really making it hard to see anything else
  • "Carving teeth for a rangeland dentist" well there it is I have discovered the most whimsical western occupation ever
Page 123~
"Wrong on number one," Booger said, "so you might as well quit guessin'." He went on to tell Kinney what had happened, and Kinney sat shaking his head, his brows describing ups and downs and curlicues as the story unfolded.
Kinney's legendarily acrobatic brows got him steady work in carnival freak shows, though he kept this part of his life to himself, fearing, rightly, that his cowboy friends would not understand


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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Paperback 1060: The Troubled Midnight / Rodney Garland (Lion Library LL 128)

Paperback 1060: Lion Library LL 128 (1st ptg, 1956)

Title: The Troubled Midnight
Author: Rodney Garland
Cover artist: Charles Copeland

Condition: 7/10
Value: ~$15

Best things about this cover:
  • Satan Had Yellow Eyebrows!
  • Love this dude's "sneering supercilious billionaire face." Too bad half of it got blown off somehow.
  • "Look at the little worms, fighting over nothing, doomed to fail ... pathetic. I regret that I have but one eye to glower at them with."
  • If there aren't airplanes involved, you cannot call it a "novel of flight." That's the rule.
  • For a grade A thriller, make sure you steep your novel in reality for at least three but no more than five minutes. Any longer and it loses that delicious cheesy taste.

Best things about this back cover:
  • The searing tale of a woman's forbidden love for her bedpost! "When her midnight became troubled, she turned to the one solid, upright thing in her life ..."
  • Wow, they really don't want you to know anything about the plot, do they?
  • Marseilles? Huh. Did not see that coming. With that build-up, I was thinking maybe "Rome" or "Moscow" or something, but no, Marseilles, sure, let's go with that.
Page 123~
The shop was full of people, some trying out fountain pens or buying postcards, others, like a girl I noticed with hairy legs like a deer, and obviously from the Midi, browsing.
Dude needs to go back to Comma School. Also, "like a deer?" Like a deer's legs ... are hairy? Like a deer browses? Like a browsing hairy deer from the Midi browses? I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to be picturing here. Some kind of sexy bibliophilic satyress?  Maybe just buy your mystery novel and go back to your garret, Pierre.