Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Lucky 13

I can’t say that I have watched more than a few episodes of Mr. Lucky, the 1959-1960, Blake Edwards-created CBS-TV drama starring John Vivyan as an honest gambler and operator of a floating casino, with Ross Martin (later of The Wild Wild West) playing his right-hand man. Nor do I own the tie-in novel embedded above, the 1960 Dell release Mr. Lucky, by “Albert Conroy,” aka Marvin H. Albert (cover art by Mort Engel). But both came to mind as I thought about celebrating today’s 13th anniversary of Killer Covers’ launch.

The last year has been more trying than I had expected. This was partly due, of course, to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, and partly because I’m extremely tired of working alone, bereft of office colleagues with whom I can bat ideas around and thereby help refine my thoughts on editorial coverage. Also discouraging—as I explained here earlier this month—was the fact that the exterior hard drive on which I had for so long been keeping much of my book-cover art, together with the vast majority of my video clips from old TV series, suddenly ceased operating. One day a few months ago, I went to retrieve something from those computer files … and nothing happened. The unit was plugged in, yet no electricity seemed to be reaching it. I hoped that my usual computer guru could fix things, tell me that all I needed was a new power cord, but he informed me that nothing could be done. I have spent more than a little time since, just trying to re-create files on which I have depended for posts in Killer Covers, The Rap Sheet, CrimeReads, and other sites.

Only with all of that done, can I finally look ahead to what the next year might bring. There are a couple of artist interviews I’d like to do for Killer Covers. In addition, I have in mind a few series of themed posts that should keep this blog’s readers entertained. And I want to get back to writing more regular pieces about individual paperback fronts of note. If I am lucky, all of those things will be possible.

Which brings me back to Mr. Lucky.

Despite occasional frustrations, I consider myself pretty damn fortunate to have found free time enough to keep Killer Covers going for these last 13 years. So let’s celebrate that success with 13 paperbacks that include “luck” in their titles. The fronts below feature the work of such artists as James Meese (the first Good Luck to the Corpse, 1952), Robert Maguire (the second No Luck for a Lady, 1958), Sam Peffer (the second Case of the Lucky Legs, 1960), Darrel Greene (The Case of the Lucky Loser, 1959), Chuck Pyle (Lucky at Cards, 2011), and Ron Lesser (Virgin Luck, 1960).

Let me just thank everyone who has followed Killer Covers over these last 12 months, ever since the blog’s last anniversary. With any luck, we’ll all be around for many years—and many covers—to come.


Gary said...

Thanks for writing your column.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Pierce! I have thoroughly enjoyed all your posts this past year and appreciate the work it takes. Keep on posting - I'll keep on reading. I most enjoy the cover collections you post from time to time, as well as posts dealing with specific artists.

Drake Maynard

Rick Robinson said...

Damn and blast those pesky hard drives, always good to back up the backups. Hope you recover that massive amount of data!

Evil Woman Blues said...

I read this blog every day and enjoy it immensely. Thanks for the ride.