Thursday, June 26, 2008

Paperback 118: The Ravagers / Donald Hamilton (Gold Medal k1452)

Paperback 118: Gold Medal k1452 (PBO, 1964)
Title: The Ravagers
Author: Donald Hamilton
Cover artist: John McDermott (thanks to George Freeman for the artist credit)

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • Finally, the untold story of how the Scooby-Doo gang broke up - here, Velma tries to protect and console Daphne while Fred fends off a drug-addled Shaggy, who is despondent and irate about the fact that Fred had Scooby put down.
  • The Matt Helm series was very popular, and Dean Martin played Helm on screen. I've never read Hamilton, but I'm starting to think it might be worth the effort. I always associate him with John D. MacDonald, largely because the Travis McGee and Matt Helm series were both published by Gold Medal throughout the 60s.

Best things about this back cover:
  • That's the egg-headiest author pic ever.
  • Code Name: Eric - exotic!
  • "... lying dead in a Canadian motel room" - about the most undignified place you could possibly die. Bad enough to have your face eaten away by acid, but in a Canadian motel? That's just over-the-top.

Page 123~

She smiled up at me approvingly. "What a suspicious tall man it is! Don't worry, darling. We're going to have a swell time together. We'll have a million kicks, a million laughs. Hand me that shirt, will you?"



Unknown said...

It doesn't take effort to read Hamilton. His work is a real treat, and you're missing something if you don't give it a try. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the green glasses.

Marri said...

A "Canadian" motel room. There's no difference at all between a motel in Vancouver or Halifax. Really.

All terrible places to die.

mac said...

I don't know very much about comics, but this evening we met and listened to two graphic artists, Gary Panter and Art Spiegelman, very interesting guys who have done magazines (RAW) and books (Maus) and many lp covers, as well as paintings in Gary's case. Ever heard of them or are they too recent?

Rex Parker said...

Though his work has nothing to do with the kinds of books I review on this site, Spiegelman is legend. One of the most important comics writers/artists ... period. Everyone knows _Maus_. I really liked _In the Shadow of No Towers_.


Anonymous said...

I find it kind of funny that even though the note card is at least 1/4 off "screen" and angled, the type of it still perfectly fits to the visible section.

Also, Code Name: Eric has me laughing pretty hard.

Michael5000 said...

This has to be one of the buttugliest covers of the collection. Queasy colors, bland art, blurb and random guy-in-trenchcoat image dominating the title. I can't believe it won a gold medal.

George Freeman said...

The Matt Helm artist was John McDermott. His signature is McD on an upward angle. A sampling of his work is online here:

His design for the Helm head is a masterpiece of character and style. It looks just like him (or as he should be). Later editions of the books used paintings of a young, chunky soft looking guy.

McDermott's graphic style was perfect for such hard hitting material. It was reminiscent to me of Richard Power's "Tarzan" and Jack Gaughan's Ace Books work.

D.A. Trappert said...

Hamilton's Helm novels are great tales of a cold-blooded single-minded assassin. A great antidote for the over-the-top exploits of James Bond. Too bad the movies had to distort the original novels so much that most folks assume they are just as campy.