Sunday, August 19, 2007

Paperback 6 - Dell D102

Paperback 6 - Dell D102 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Great Smith
Author: Edison Marshall
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Yours for: SOLD (June '09)

Best things about this cover (Where to begin!?):

  • "I'm ... too sexy for this shirt..."
  • Peek-a-boo pants!? Why not?
  • World's least supportive bra: "Keeps your breasts from floating up toward your face!"
  • "Great Smith"??? "Smith" somehow doesn't go - it's anticlimactic, like "Fabulous Jones." Unless this guy is, in fact, one hell of a blacksmith.
  • I want all of you who read this to start using the exclamation "Great Smith!" in your daily lives in place of profanity.

This is definitely from the cheesier regions of my collections. Despite its bad condition, and its ordinariness, its cheapness, its run-of-the-millness, I love this book - or this cover, I should say; I certainly haven't read it. Stanley is a great realist cover artist, and though his women always look the same, his art has a softness to its edges that makes it very easy on the eye, very pleasant to stare at. Still, it's hard to imagine someone, anyone, looking at this book in line at the supermarket and thinking, "Wow, that guy is Hot!" That said, I would kill to look like him from the neck down.

This book also has a painted back cover! More art!

Best things about this back cover:

  • "I bring you ... maize" (which here looks like a giant puff of smoke, likely the result of a sticker pull)
  • "Magnificent, lusty love-making" - that's both graphic and oddly tepid
  • I believe that knight to be quite anachronistic, unless Great Smith is jousting in some early RenFest



Michael5000 said...

Dude looks like Groundskeeper Willie.....

Anonymous said...

I am most impressed by his dye job. Hair and beard match nicely. Is he supposed to be John Smith?? You know, as in Jamestown. Which would make the maize bearer Pochahontas??
And hey, Edison Marshal also wrote "Yankee Pasha." I'm only noticing this because Orange suggested appointing a Drug Pasha today, and I don't really know what a Pasha is.

Orange said...

But does his carpet match the drapes?

Pasha is my favorite big-mucketymuck designation. Officially it means:

Highest honorary title in official usage in the Ottoman Empire and with slight variation in the states formed from its territories, where it is sometimes still employed (although Turkey formally abolished it in 1934 and Egypt in 1953). The designation, which is a personal rather than a hereditary distinction, was given under the Ottoman rulers to individuals of both civilian and military status, notably ministers, provincial governors, and army officers.

When my husband wishes to be treated like royalty, I call him the pasha.

Rex, the aesthetic from these retro book covers is being coopted for the cause of feminism, adorning Amanda Marcotte's upcoming book.

Anonymous said...

What is that shade of yellow?! (Smith's hair, the horse's mane, etc.) And I love the idea of the early Puritan colonists' "raw passions" -- maybe it's the Virginia heat that distinuishes it from Plimouth Plantation?

Deniz Bevan said...

Love your blog idea! I'll try to scan some of the books I've got that I can share - I've got an edition of Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie that has one of those yellowy-green maps of the grounds, with the place names in white square boxes...