Monday, August 12, 2019

Paperback 1055: In Comes Death / Paul Whelton (Graphic 49)

Paperback 1055: Graphic 49 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: In Comes Death
Author: Paul Whelton
Cover artist: Uncredited

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $15

Best things about this cover:
  • Death looks kinda down-at-the-heels. Reduced to doing cheap hits. Must need the money.
  • I'm obsessed with whatever she's wearing. Is that a ... housecoat? It looks too dressy for a nightgown, but too slovenly for outdoor wear. Lack of undergarments also suggests an indoors-only context, but ... yeah, what is this?
  • She is very pretty and beautifully painted and I hate when there are no artist credits!
  • Love the way she's wound the cord around her right hand. Nice touch. Fear hand (variation)!
  • This scene looks very (Very) familiar ... 
... which is weird, since the movie came out two years *after* this book
and now the back cover:

Best things about this back cover:
  • There is nothing intriguing, compelling, or even interesting about this description. Ooh, a "mysterious death." Aah, a "deadly game of wits." How ... specific and not-at-all boiler-plate.
  • I want it to be Lonely Frog Lane, named after an actual lonely frog who lived there all alone, froggily
  • This "describe the plot in complete but annoying vague sentences" really is bottom-of-the-barrel cover copy.
Page 123~
"Peace!" I intoned, making an exit.
Very slangy! Just like the kids intone it.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, August 5, 2019

Paperback 1054: The Raft / Robert Trumbull (Dell 26)

Paperback 1054: Dell 26 (1st ptg, 1944)

Title: The Raft
Author: Robert Trumbull
Cover artist: George Frederiksen
Back cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Condition: 6.5/10
Estimated value: $10

Best things about this cover:
  • Everything above the author's name seems very pleasant. Serene, even. Perhaps, as your eyes move down the page, you can even maintain the illusion that these fellows are just out for a weekend jaunt of fun & sun. But that "DELL WAR BOOK" (a kind of book I can't remember seeing before) drives the more dire context home pretty thoroughly.
  • I like early Dell covers, and early covers in general, which are far more tied to abstract expressionism than later, more naturalistic covers (which I also love, obviously)
  • I also like the early Dell EYEBALL IN THE KEYHOLE logo. "You don't read Dell Books, Dell Books read you!"
Best things about this back cover:
  • What is happening here? Why are they spaced so far apart? Why have their arms fused together? Does the dude in the middle need propping up? Is this some kind of Weekend at Bernie's situation?
  • The italicizing concept here is ill-conceived. I know alliteration has its charms, but choose parallel construction every time. 
  • War bond ads appeared inside early paperbacks with a great deal of regularity. On the outside of early paperbacks?? Far less so.
Page 123~
He seemed more interested in the boat than in his natural prey.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]