Sunday, January 8, 2012

The P. Morrison Donations #9: Blood on the Stars

The P. Morrison Donations #9

Dell 0626 (1st ptg, 1967)

Title: Blood on the Stars
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Robert McGinnis


Best things about this cover:
  • This is one of the most horrifying covers I (now) own. Seriously, every time I look at it I recoil in "oh my god" fright. It haunts my dreams.
  • It's like her face is floating, its spatial relationship to both the equine mass of hair and the torso seemingly coincidental. You know at, say, a carnival, when there are scenes painted on large pieces of wood and you can step behind them and put your face through a hole, and then your mom or whoever can take your picture ... whimsical stuff ... well, it looks like that's what's happening here, only for "carnival" substitute "utility closet in hell" and for "your mom" substitute "Satan himself." 
  • What. Is. The. Background? Cork meets mangled animal pelt meets feathers meets dirty rug meets barber shop floor sweepings meets sadness.
  • Was McGinnis depressed when he did this? Angry? Going through a bad break-up? All I know is: it's the ugliest damn thing I've ever seen. 
  • Lastly: where's the blood? Where are the stars?


Best things about this back cover:
  • Aaaagh. Jebus, quit scaring me like that, lady?
  • Good tagline, or Greatest Tagline Ever Written?

Page 123~
Shayne said, "Go ahead. And keep your mouth buttoned up. This is a Secret Service investigation."

"Secret Service? Jeez. Is he one of them communist spies or somethin'?"

"Something like that." Shayne stepped back and waited until the milk truck had made one more stop, then turned the corner.
Mike Shayne did not consider his morning complete until he had impressed at least one milkman.


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A said...

That is one creepy cover! It looks like she's popping out of a haystack or a rock cliff or something.

Pete said...

You know why women don't make good snipers? Sure, they can knit great camouflage suits, hell, even create camouflage appartments to match their camouflage suits, but they can't keep from wearing gigantic neon blue earings while they're on assignment. And don't even get me started on the shoes.

Oh, also, that gun is totally wrong. The angle between the grip and the barrel is off by about 15 degrees. You'd snap your wrist in half if you eve shot that thing.

Anonymous said...

The angle between her head and her face is off by waaay more than 15 degrees.