Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Once Around the Web, Please

Way back in 2010, Rebecca Kalin, the daughter of renowned artist Victor Kalin, launched an excellent Web site devoted primarily to her father’s numerous paperback illustrations. More recently, she’s created this second site, which features other examples of his work, including record covers and portraits of famous folk.

• Because I’ve occasionally showcased the covers of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer private-eye novels on this page, my eye was caught recently by this gallery of Macdonald’s works in the blog Fragments of Noir. It includes several examples of artist Mitchell Hooks’ beautiful Archer paperback fronts from the 1970s (The Far Side of the Dollar and The Underground Man, for instance). Damn! I was busy collecting Macdonald’s work back then; I could have--and should have--bought all of those Hooks editions, rather than a mere handful. But I reasoned that I didn’t need duplicates of works I already owned. What a fool I was!

• No matter how obscure the theme, it’s almost always possible to dig up vintage paperback covers to illustrate it. Consider this set, from Pulp International, of book fronts featuring men with women in their arms--only some of them conscious.

This could have been another choice along that line.

• And Andrew Nette, the Australian writer responsible for the blog Pulp Curry, has assembled this collection of covers from The World of Suzie Wong, a 1957 novel penned by Richard Mason and adapted three years later as a film starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan. I’m particularly fond of the 1963 Horowitz Publications edition he’s embedded at the top of his page, though this is a better representation of that book. (Look also at the link for another Suzie Wong cover, by James Avati, that Nette doesn’t mention.)

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