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Off the Shelf #2
Sometimes I buy books to read, and sometimes I buy them purely for the cover art and design. Here are a few more of my favourites. Some of them are pristine, some are battered, but I really don’t mind.
From my bookshelf; a 1966 copy of Up The Junction by Nell Dunn with one of my favourite book cover illustrations from the period, but - there's no artist credit as usual.
Monkey Planet by Pierre Boulle. Penguin edition 1970. Designed by Ivan Atanasoff. This year is the 60th anniversary of the book first published in France in 1963 as La Planète des Singes. As it says on the cover - the book that inspired Planet of the Apes in 1968 and everything that followed.
Escape From The Planet Of The Apes was definitely one that followed. 1973.
Inside MAD. Another favourite from my bookshelf. This printing from 1961.
Ode to Billy Joe. 1976. I have a movie poster for this one too, with a lovely uncredited painting. Ideas anyone?
From 1961, the Pan book: Ellery Queen's 'The Origin Of Evil'. Art by Sheldon.
I bought this solely for the cover painting by an artist credited only as ‘Thomas’. There's something so incredibly wonky about the hand drawn logo that I find strangely appealing. Analog (British Edition) - August, 1962.
The Reluctant Tease. This one, a first edition from 1965. Great art style of the period but (as usual) not a mention of the cover artist anywhere. What is it with these publishers? A simple credit for the artist is not exactly a big ask!
Corpus Earthling. A science fiction horror novel by Louis Charbonneau (1960). I originally bought this book for its retro cover art, though try as I might, I can't seem to find out who did it. I know who's work it looks like, but I need to do a bit more research to establish if I'm correct or not. What I did discover however, is that this seems to be quite an important novel and was apparently adapted for an episode of the classic 1960s television show The Outer Limits. The episode, ‘Corpus Earthling,’ aired on November 18th, 1963.
if. 1954. I found this in the basement of an old bookshop on Charing Cross Road, London. The art is by someone called Kenneth Fagg and is titled The Old Spaceman's Tales. He's an artist that I'm not familiar with, so a little bit of online research tells me that he was a brilliant cartographer who worked for Life, Saturday Evening Post and other national magazines. This UK edition includes ‘The Thing in the Attic’ by James Blish.
Pigeon’s Luck. 1973. I first saw Tretchikoff’s framed prints for sale in 'Boots the Chemist' as a kid and they left a lasting impression. I have three of his hanging on my wall back in London.
A Clockwork Orange. 1972. I spotted this classic book cover, designed by David Pelham in the window of a shop in St Leonards-on-Sea, just as I was about to get a train back to London, but it was closed! Thanks to Alexander Brattell for collecting it from the shop for me the very next day, before anyone else could grab it.
I was thrilled to find this rather large hardback tome in my local charity shop back in London, for two quid. A Viking, American edition of Desperation by Stephen King, featuring a Mark Ryden cover. A winning combination!
She moves with trained-to-kill reflexes, clicks with an IBM brain. She's cool, ingenious... and sexy. She's a pro from the top of her beautiful head to the tip of her painted toenails. She's Mr. Waverly's right-hand girl and her heart belongs to U.N.C.L.E. (back cover text). Stephanie Powers as April Dancer, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. 1966. I love the simple design of this, especially the fact that it's orange.
Open Channel D!