• One of the great ones, gone. The New York Times reports that “Paul Bacon, the influential designer known for creating radical, eye-catching book jackets for major literary works like Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch-22’ and Philip Roth’s ‘Portnoy’s Complaint,’ died on Monday, died on Monday [June 8] in Fishkill, N.Y. He was 91.” The Times offers a slideshow of Bacon’s best-known works, but others can be found here. And before Bacon achieved fame designing books by Heller, E.L. Doctorow, and others, he put his stamp on crime fiction; here are two Bacon-designed paperbacks from the late 1950s.
• Ontario illustrator and instructor Leif Peng, who put together the Today’s Inspiration blog, before moving his efforts over to Facebook, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $21,680 in order to produce a new hardcover book celebrating the art of Will Davies, “Canada’s premier illustrator of the Mad Men era.” So far, $16,103 has been pledged by 160 backers. There are only 19 days left in the campaign. If you can pitch in a few bucks, please do so here.
• I love the artwork fronting this German edition of Murder Wears a Mantilla, Carter Brown’s fourth novel featuring the “ravishingly beautiful” Los Angeles private eye, Mavis Seidlitz. The male cover model here has to be Steve Holland. And in all likelihood, the illustration was borrowed from some other book, but I can’t figure out which one. If you have any clues, please pass them my way. (A 1962 Signet version of Murder Wears a Mantilla can be seen here.)
• I’ve read all but two or three of Stuart M. Kaminsky’s Toby Peters private eye novels, and took the opportunity in 2002 to interview the author. So I was pleased to see Evan Lewis post this gallery of the early Peters novels. He promises more. I say, bring ’em on!
• Speaking of Lewis, he also recently put up three dramatic covers from the magazine Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective. I must admit, I am partial to the “Headlines from Hell” front.
• Want to judge a book by its cover? Here are some tips. And here’s
a collection of links to articles, available online, “about the art and business of book cover design.”
• More William S. Burroughs covers than you can stand!
• British publisher T.V. Boardman’s Bloodhound Mystery imprint was once very popular, though most folks have forgotten about them over recent decades. I say most people, because obviously not everyone has. Here’s an excellent compilation of Boardman releases from the 1950s and ’60s. And Nick Jones has put together a series of posts for Existential Ennui about Boardman titles, accessible here.
• Finally, I cannot sign off without highlighting a post from Pulp International, one of my favorite sources for provocative old paperback façades. Check out this “highly collectible” cover from Sheila’s Daughter, by William Arnold (Original Novels, 1952).
* Courtesy of The Beach Boys, of course.