Thursday, October 30, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “24 Hours to Kill”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



24 Hours to Kill, by James McKimmey (Dell, 1961).

McKimmey (1923-2011) was fortunate in having at least two of his paperbacks illustrated by Robert McGinnis. The other one I’m thinking of is The Wrong Ones, which I showcased earlier in this series. Art Scott, the co-author--with McGinnis--of the forthcoming book The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan), remarked to me recently that “24 Hours to Kill gives off a manifest post-coital vibe! I'm surprised Dell let it go. Among the hundreds of sexy women on McGinnis covers this one ratchets up the sex a notch, or two.”

Month of McGinnis: “Leave Cancelled”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Leave Cancelled, by Nicholas Monsarrat (Dell, 1962).

Month of McGinnis: “Trouble—Texas Style”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Trouble—Texas Style, by John Bramlett, aka John Pierce
(Gold Medal, 1964).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “Dead Wrong”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Dead Wrong, by George Bagby, aka Aaron Marc Stein (Dell, 1960).

Month of McGinnis: “The Dreadful Lemon Sky”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



The Dreadful Lemon Sky, by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett, 1975).

As Chris Ogle explains in his blog, John D. MacDonald Covers: “This was the Big One. John D MacDonald’s first best seller. This one put him on the map. The book was so popular that Fawcett redesigned every other JDM book in print to promote Lemon, each with the same Seventies-looking font for his name. Robert McGinnis again. Not his best effort ever, but probably one [of] his best known.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “Pop. 1280”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Pop. 1280, by Jim Thompson (Gold Medal, 1964).

Cover Affairs

Later today, in The Rap Sheet, I shall post the larger part of an e-mail interview I did recently with Art Scott, who wrote the text for the beautiful new book, The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan). During the course of our exchange, I asked him to identify his 10 favorite paperback covers by artist-illustrator McGinnis. He sent me 12, instead, beginning with one he says “has to be on everybody’s list!”

Brooks Wilson Ltd., by J.M. Ryan (Gold Medal, 1966). McGinnis’ full, fabulous wrap-around artwork is featured here.


Slab Happy, by Richard S. Prather (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1973); Bats Fly at Dusk, by Erle Stanley Gardner (1960).


Judith, by Brian Cleeve (Berkley, 1979); Oh Careless Love, by Maurice Zolotow (Avon, 1959).


The Savage Salome, by Carter Brown (Signet, 1961); Letters from Philippa, by Anne Graham Estern (Bantam Skylark, 1991).


On the Run, by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett, 1963); The Case of the Reluctant Model, by Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket 1963).


Don’t Speak to Strange Girls, by Harry Whittington (Gold Medal, 1963); Blood on Biscayne Bay, by Brett Halliday (Dell, 1960); below -- Backwoods Teaser, by Gil Brewer (Fawcett, 1960).

Doing Double Duty



If you think the illustration fronting the new book The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan), by Robert E. McGinnis and Art Scott, looks familiar … well, it ought to. That painting of a long-legged blonde seated, with her cigarette and an empty champagne glass, in front of an armed, confident-looking man with a drink was originally used on the 1960 Dell paperback Kill Now, Pay Later, by Robert Kyle (né Robert Terrall)--the third of his five novels featuring New York City private eye Ben Gates. Below, you’ll find that Eisenhower-era cover as well as a scan of McGinnis’ original artwork.





The two images below come from Hard Case Crime’s 2007 edition of Kill Now, Pay Later (this time featuring Terrall’s real name on the front). As in 1960, McGinnis created the artwork. A scan of his original painting for Hard Case is at the bottom of this post.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “Nymph to the Slaughter”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Nymph to the Slaughter, by Carter Brown, né Alan G. Yates (Signet, 1963).

Art Scott notes in The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan) that the Brown crime novels represented “a high point in McGinnis’ paperback career. He painted an even one hundred covers, from 1961 to 1972.” You can see other covers from the Carter Brown oeuvre--many featuring McGinnis’ artwork--by clicking here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Month of McGinnis: Catch As Catch Can

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Above: Catch a Spy, edited by Marin Allen Karp (Popular Library, 1965). Below: Catch Me a Spy, by George Marton and Tibor Méray (Popular Library, 1969).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Month of McGinnis: For Better or for Worse?

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Above: The Burning Air, by Eugene Mirabelli (Popular Library Eagle, 1958). Below: The Damnation of Adam Blessing, by Vin Packer, aka Marijane Meaker (Gold Medal, 1961).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Month of McGinnis:
“The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker,
by Otto Binder (Bantam, 1967).


While this paperback original certainly deserves points for being the first Marvel Comics novel adaptation, it hardly wins universal respect. One critic grouses that “this tale would’ve been dated the day it was published.” Others have noted that “though [the characters] Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were pictured on the excellent cover, painted by noted paperback cover artist Robert McGinnis, they did not appear in the book.” Oops.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “A Choice of Assassins”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



A Choice of Assassins, by William P. McGivern (Bantam, 1964).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “The Wow Factor”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



The Wow Factor, by Robert Terrall (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1970).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Month of McGinnis: “Assignment—Sorrento Siren”

Part of a month-long celebration of Robert McGinnis’ book covers.



Assignment—Sorrento Siren, by Edward S. Aarons
(Gold Medal, 1963).


Art Scott writes in his forthcoming book, The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan), that “McGinnis did a series of covers for the Sam Durell ‘Assignment’ spy series, beginning in the 1960s and ending in the mid-’70s. Most of the stories were set in foreign locales, allowing McGinnis to work interesting local color into the backdrops.”