Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Paperback 320: Gunpoint! / John L. Shelley (Graphic 124)

Paperback 320: Graphic 124 (PBO, 1956)

Title: Gunpoint!
Author: John L. Shelley
Cover artist: Saul Levine

Yours for: $11

Best things about this cover:
  • I love how excited the title is just to be alive! Exclamation point! And I *love* how the exclamation point is *so* excited that it's falling over.
  • I also love how the shooter is making that great, wincey, western, "I'll get ye, ye rascally varmint" face.
  • His partner has fallen in perhaps the most awkward position I've ever seen a dead body in on a paperback cover.
  • Check out the interior title page — very cool:

And the back cover:

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Let Sleeping Lawdogs Lie" is phenomenally lame. Is "lawdog" even a word?
  • "Lived to kill ... killed to live ... wrong end of a rope ... right end of a gun" — somebody's been practicing his bad movie trailer patter.

Page 123~

Broady came to him, an ancient Sharps buffalo gun in the crook of his arm. His broad face split in a dusty grin and he patted the stock of the weapon.


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Retro Hound said...

I love these kinds of covers. I like the slanted exclamation point, it kinda looks rustic.

Frank said...

"[U]nbridled passions flaring on a thirsty range" makes it sound more like a torrid romance than a gunfight. Frankly, I'd rather read about the romance!

Tulse said...

"Had to refute a challenge" makes this sound like a either a courtroom drama or philosophy text. "Y'all see here, Rossiter, we don't cotton to none of that there Hegelian metaphysics in these parts -- we done refuted that fancy pants Continental approach ages ago!"

Tulse said...

And just to follow up: The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan. (By these guys.)

Elaine said...

Actually, I thought the dead guy's pose was meant to be sultry and arm up behind his head, hips cocked to highlight his waistline...That's probably why someone shot him; they don't cotton to that out on the thirsty range.

Random White Guy said...

Considering the angle of the gun, perhaps the exclamation point has been shot, and that's why it's dramatically falling over - gasping one last time before collapsing - as everyone in old Westerns always died.

Meanwhile, someone explain to me what that yellow symbol up in the left corner is supposed to represent. I've stared and stared at it and still can't figure it out.