Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two-fer Tuesdays: Extracurricular Activities

A twice-monthly pairing of book covers that just seem to go together. Click on either of these images to open up an enlargement.



Another academic year begins this month in the United States, and what better way to celebrate than with a couple of school-related covers? Actually, these might best represent parents’ worst fears of the salacious endeavors taking place on the campuses of the institutions to which they send their offspring.

On the left we find the front from Midwood Books’ 1962 edition of Campus Jungle, by Joan Ellis (one of several pen names employed by the prolific June Ellis). The cover illustration is credited to Paul Rader, who I’ve mentioned several times on this page--and about whom I intend to write more in the near future. The aptly monikered blog Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books explains that Campus Jungle is an “absurd and un-realistic” tale focusing on
Ravenwood College, a small Eastern institution somewhat like William and Mary or Bennington, [that] has been voted by a [New York] newspaper as the country’s Most Typical College. But there are also rumors of wild sexual abandon, not only among students but [between] students and faculty.

Seeking her Big Break, scandal, and to make a name for herself, Annie Winters, a cub reporter, has talked the
New York Comet, a daily paper like the Observer or Post, [into sending] her undercover to the college [to] find out if the rumors are true. She’s 24 but can pass off as a 19-year-old undergrad.
The story that follows features copious carnality, the liberal dissemination of booze, and even “a secret lust cabin where the old Dean, and some faculty, lure young women to and have sex.” (Hey, it sounds like my college experience! Just kidding ...) Author Ellis eventually wrings a cheerful ending from this short work, copies of which are easily available online and not terribly expensive.

Now shift your eyes to the right, above, and you’ll find the façade from Campus Affair, a 1966 Beacon Books release by someone named Mame Christy. Sadly, I don’t find any background for Christy on the Web, but I do notice that the cover art for this novel about an older woman seducing younger men was executed by Victor Olson (1927-2007), a graduate of New York City’s Art Career School and a lifelong resident of the area around Bridgeport, Connecticut. Over the decades, Olson worked for publishers such as Bantam, Doubleday, Avon, and Monarch, in addition to Beacon. A few other examples of his fine artistry can and should be appreciated here.

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