Monday, October 24, 2016

Rader Love: “5 Beds to Mecca”

Part of a month-long celebration of artist Paul Rader’s work.



5 Beds to Mecca, by “Rod Gray,” aka Gardner F. Fox (Tower, 1968). Between 1968 and 1975, Fox—who is certainly better remembered nowadays as a writer for such DC Comics superhero tites as Batman, Hawkman, The Flash, and Justice League of America—composed at least 13 (and perhaps more) paperback novels featuring Eve Drum, the “Lady from L.U.S.T.” The Web site Spy Guys and Gals explains:
As the West’s love for spy fiction reached its highest point with James Bond on the screen and Napoleon Solo on the television, it was natural that publishers would branch out with series geared totally towards a love of down-and-dirty sex. The year 1967 was a heyday for such prurient entertainment as the Man from O.R.G.Y., first out in 1965, [who] was joined by the Coxeman and the Man from T.O.M.C.A.T. They were accompanied by the Lady from L.U.S.T.

Eve Drum works for the League of Undercover Spies and Terrorists. She fights against the Humanitarian Alliance of Total Espionage. Until you look at the acronyms, you’d have to be confused who were the good guys. On one side you have Terrorists against an Humanitarian Alliance. Then you look again to see it is Lust against Hate. Just shows something, I guess!

The origin of L.U.S.T. is said to have been a “natural child of the [U.S.] State Department by way of the CIA.” The task of the organization, run by the ever-horny David Anderjanian, is “to do those things that must be done to preserve peace throughout the world.”

Its key agent is the delectable Drum, a woman determined to give her all again and again in the service of her country. For protection, she has a pair of 38s that will knock ’em dead every time. It is not revealed how many other agents L.U.S.T. has, but perhaps with Drum other agents are really necessary.


Paul Rader didn’t paint covers for all of these novels. But Lynn Monroe’s research indicates his art decorated at least the opening nine, including the original The Lady from L.U.S.T. (1967), Lay Me Odds (1967), The Hot Mahatma (1968), Kiss My Assassin (1968), and South of the Bordello (1969).

1 comment:

Art Taylor said...

Wow. This one is crazy over the top!
Have you heard of the series The Miss from S.I.S.? I have a couple of those, which remind me of this approach--surely the same time period, though not sure who did the covers there (not nearly in the same league).