Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Front to Back: Wrapping It Up

Part V of a series spotlighting wraparound paperback art.

The Great Silver Bonanza, by Don Martin (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1979). Cover illustration by Ron Lesser.

When, last summer, I set out to exhibit on this page fine examples of wraparound paperback art, I had in mind four categories: historical fiction, science and fantasy fiction, crime/thriller fiction, and western historicals (specifically those penned by A.B. Guthrie). I had plenty of such covers in my computer files, and wasn’t really looking for more. Over the months of my posting on this subject, however, other specimens of the breed have drawn my eye.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find some of those until after I’d put up the original category posts. I could have simply sneaked any and all additions onto the appropriate pages, hoping nobody would notice. But then maybe nobody would notice—and I wanted to be sure Killer Covers readers had the chance to appreciate the stragglers.

So today, I’m posting a cross-genre miscellany of extra wraparound paperback fronts. The art on many of these includes the blank white space that first became popular in the late 1960s; and with the notable exception of 1968’s Corgi release, The Naked Ape (which employs a photograph), all boast painted imagery. Artists represented here range from Sandy Kossin (Cockpit) and Fred Pfeiffer (Tender Fire, The Beggars Are Coming, Soho, and Geisha) to Louis S. Glanzman (Sachem’s Son, Children of the Lion), Lu Kimmel (The Fabulous Finn), Fred Gambino (Ship of Shadows), Bruce Pennington (Startide Rising), and of course, Ron Lesser.

Click on any of the covers below for an enlargement.

Certainly, this does not exhaust the number or variety of outstanding wraparound paperback fronts that have been published over the decades. There are many more that could be presented, and I’m sure I shall take the chance soon to exploit this theme further.

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