Monday, May 19, 2014

Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun

News broke late last week that the skeleton of a 13-year-old girl, who’d been dead for some 12,000 to 13,000 years, was discovered by scientists in an underwater cave off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. When I read in Slate that the divers who found this long-missing miss named her Naia--Greek for “water nymph”--it brought to mind how many novel titles over the years have contained the word “nymph” (or a provocative variation on that noun).

The gallery featured below hardly exhausts this theme, but it includes some fine examples of “nymph” tales. Plus cover illustrations by a variety of notable 20th-century artists.

Credit for painting the captivating, 1963 façade of Nymph in Suburbia (a work that also belongs among this collection) goes to Al Brule, while Paul Rader was responsible for the artwork on both the ’63 Midwood edition of Sea Nymph, by Peggy Swenson (a pseudonym employed by Richard E. Geis), and the 1968 edition of Reluctant Nympho, by Joan Ellis. The front of John Carver’s Campus Nymphs (Beacon, 1964) is credited to Al Rossi, while the illustration introducing the 1963 Signet edition of Nymph to the Slaughter, by Carter Brown, came from the talented hands of Robert McGinnis (who later produced an even more beautiful cover for that same novel); Harry Barton created the front of Midwood’s 1968 Campus Nympho/Ex-Virgin two-fer; Robert Bonfils did the artwork for Boudoir Nymph (Ember Library, 1966) and $1,000 Nymph (Merit, 1962); and Britain’s Sam Peffer, aka Peff, provided the painting of a woman for the 1958 Pan edition of The Case of the Negligent Nymph, by Erle Stanley Gardner. Finally, Fred Fixler gave us the fronts for both Beat Nymph (Brandon House, 1965), another sexy concoction by Swenson/Geis, and Nympho Twins, a 1977 Casino Books release by Jeff David. (One other work that might have fit right in with Nympho Twins was previously showcased here.)

Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.


Robert Deis (aka "SubtropicBob") said...

A great set of covers. Thanks! BTW, I'm pretty sure Eva Lynd was the female model for the Al Rossi cover painting used on NAKED NYMPH and Steve Holland was probably the male model, based on Al Rossi reference photos Eva has shared with me.
- Bob Deis

Robert Deis (aka "SubtropicBob") said...

Oops. I think I mistyped the name of the Book with the Rossi cover in the comment I just submitted. I meant to type CAMPUS NYMPHS.
- Bob Deis

Frank Richartz said...

The Cover on top 'Nymph In Suburbia' is by Pinup artist Al Brulé, signature is on the lower left

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Thank you so much for supplying that credit, Frank. I'd missed spotting the "Brule" signature.