Saturday, September 19, 2015
With American youths heading back to school this month after an extraordinarily hot summer break, it’s no wonder that my thoughts have turned recently to education-related novel fronts. I hadn’t realized before just how numerous are the books containing stories about lecherous teachers, randy parents, and even more promiscuous students. The majority of these, of course, are wild fantasies; few of us, I’m sure, ever faced in high school or college the sorts of dangers and cavalier concupiscence portrayed in the paperback works showcased below (or those I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts--here and here). Yet the fact that such tales of illicit behavior have seen print might explain why some parents--especially those of the more conservative, fearful sort--worry their young’uns could be susceptible to iniquitous blandishments if let loose within our institutions of higher learning.
The façade atop this post comes from Teacher’s Pet, a 1963 Midwood release credited to Mark Clements, who was also the author of such male-directed non-classics as Love or Lust (1964), Wayward Wife (1965), and Winner Take All (1965). It’s obvious by reading the come-on line on Teacher’s Pet (“Judy stayed after class for special tutoring … and earned her diploma the easy way!”) that this is a novel one would’ve found stored away in gloomy back rooms of bookshops or under the counter at newsstands. Yet its cover art (which you can see here in its totality) is at once magnetic and intended to make heterosexual men like me squirm, as we recognize that we’re probably old enough to have fathered that busty seductress. The artist responsible for this image was Paul Rader (1906-1986), whose cover illustrations for publishers such as Midwood, All Star, and Bee-Line deserve not only to be honored, but immortalized, at least in my humble opinion. (Why isn’t there a book handsomely showcasing Rader’s art, the way there are collections of art by Robert McGinnis, Robert Maguire, James Avati, and others?) Rader also created several of the other book fronts featured below: Campus Kittens, The Yes Girl, The Time and Place, After Class, Girls Dormitory, Private Party, High School Rebel/Coolest Girl, and Faculty Wife.
Among the other artists represented here are Clark Hulings (The Blackboard Jungle), Tom Miller (Campus Lovers and Campus Doll, both of which were written pseudonymously by Donald E. Westlake), Earle Bergey (Campus Town), Ernest Chiriacka, aka Darcy (The Strange Co-Ed), Robert Bonfils (Diploma of Passion, Campus Chippies, Sex Scholar, Campus Cheat, School of Desire, and The Wild Ones), Robert Maguire (Harrison High, Dormitory Women, and After Innocence), Len Goldberg (Coeds Three), Clement Micarelli (Girls’ Dormitory), Robert McGinnis (Night School), Rafael de Soto (The Sorority Girls), Harry Schaare (Mystery Walks the Campus), Victor Olson (Campus Call Girl), Bernard Safran (Co-Ed Sinners), Stanley Zuckerberg (The Disguises of Love), James Meese (The Mean Streets), Fred Fixler (The Athletic Coach), and James Avati (Tea and Sympathy). Unfortunately, one of my favorite covers among this bunch, from Amy Harris’ Prize Pupil (1966) isn’t credited, though its original painting can be appreciated here. Some of these façades lack much sophistication (College for Sinners, for instance, or Campus Sin Kitten), but the vast majority give new meaning to the term “learning curves.”
Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.