Monday, January 19, 2015

Playing the Links

Yeah, yeah, I know: Things have been pretty darn quiet on this page ever since Christmas Day. But hey, I was exhausted after putting together year-end wrap-ups for The Rap Sheet (see here, here, and here) as well as Kirkus Reviews (here and here), and I needed a break. I am back on the beat now, though, bringing you first some links to design-related stories elsewhere on the Web.

• I’ve written infrequently in the past about 1950s British “girlie” paperback cover artist Reginald Heade, both in The Rap Sheet and in Killer Covers. Those efforts pale in comparison, though, to the gallery Rob Baker has assembled for the blog Flashbak. As he explains,
Heade’s lurid covers adorned pulp paperbacks of authors such as Hank Janson, Roland Vane, Michael Storme, Paul Renin, Gene Ross and Spike Morelli. The artwork often pushed to the absolute limits of what was legally allowed for the time. Heade also worked in comics and drew “The Saga of the Red”, “The Captain from Castille”, “Sexton Blake versus the Astounding John Plague” and “Robin Hood” in Knock-Out (1949), and “The Sky Explorers” in Comet (1952-53).

After [World War II] Heade had moved to Barons Court in Westminster and this was where he died in 1957 aged just 56. There were no obituaries in the press and to this day not much is known about the English pulp-fiction cover artist.
Flashbak’s entertaining array of Heade works includes the fronts from such intriguingly titled books as White Slaves of New Orleans, Dame in My Bed, Plaything of Passion, and Me and My Goul.

• Fragments of Noir offers collections of covers by artist Lou Marchett (about whom you can learn more here) and those taken from the novels of James Ellroy.

• In his blog, Illustrated 007, Peter Lorenz showcases a new set of James Bond audiobook fronts from Audible UK (more on those here). He also presents a new interview with Brian Bysouth, who, he explains, “has created adverts, storyboards, covers and hundreds of iconic film posters in his 40-year career,” though “007 collectors probably know him best for his work on the posters for For Your Eyes Only, A View to Kill, and The Living Daylights.”

• If you’re interested in the history of paperbacks, check out this splendid piece by Louis Menand in a recent edition of The New Yorker, looking back at the history of those cheaper editions and how they “transformed the culture of reading.”

• Finally, the Classic Film and TV Café’s Rick29 has dug up some of the much-prized comic-book tie-ins to vintage American television programs, including The Wild Wild West and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. You can enjoy those right here.

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