Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pathway to Cleavage

"Stanley Brack had a one-track mind... his particular goal was building better guided missiles.... fantastic machines for destruction and counter-destruction...."

A gorgeous, bosomy brunette hanging on his arm, and all he can think about is how better to obliterate whole populations of innocent civilians thousands of miles away. Stan's manly, firm-jawed focus on his long, gleaming shaft as it blasts off is all the proof you need that the dorks running the arms race are, shall we say, overcompensating here!

Science Fact

As best they could imagine it in the early 1950s, before My Favorite Martian established once and for all the truth about the solar system.

Those hands are making me uncomfortable. "I just crawled in here looking for a warm place to sleep and now I'm on Mars?"

Pretty soon we'll be sending up rockets, so watch out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Lust Variations

Sadly, it's all downhill from the cover. One is hard pressed to find sexytime prose in these poorly written, censor-phobic PG-13 productions from the early 1960s. "Starway to Lust" makes not a whit of sense, though the title page attempts to clarify things by proclaiming "Stairway to Lust." The imprint on the spine casts its vote for "Starway," so who knows. On the other hand, "hot bodied volupto-starlets!"

Page 129: "He opened the door and stepped into the room. She was sitting before a dressing table with a hairbrush in her raised hand and she wore a heavy quilted robe and fluffy slippers. She looked at his reflection in her mirror and smiled."

Not bad if you happen to be a quilted robe and fluffy slippers fetishist.

Advanced Degree in Nympho Nursing

Now this is something that happens all the time, I'm quite certain. The first thing on my mind whenever I'm in the hospital recovering from surgery or a major illness is whether or not a hot nurse will want to jump my bones.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Old Cary Grant?

Old Cary Grant fine. How you?

Well, it looks like Cary Grant. Anyway, could William Powell really hoist a sodden blond over his shoulder and carry her upstairs? Nah.

Instant Women!

A fine and rare combination of our preferred themes.

Coquettes Through the Ages

This makes perfect sense. Why wouldn't a lady keep a revolver nearby while she's taking a shower? Lather, rinse, lock and load, repeat. 1947.

A nice stylization of the theme. 1954.

It's 1959, and someone at Pocket Books decided to drop the shower curtain-firearms theme for this dame in a magician's cape and skin-tight, off-the-shoulders unitard. Bad call. The big .44 revolver has been downsized to a tiny Luger-style derringer, which might stop the neighbor's poodle, but not much else.

I'm guessing the hat and cane on the chair means her boyfriend is Sebastian Cabot?

A return to the theme, thankfully. Now she's Barbara Feldon in a beehive. Glad to see she wised up and decided to go with the big-calibre revolver again. 1964.

Friday, April 17, 2009


When it says "a thrilling mystery novel," I for one certainly believe it. How could I not, when the cover is delightful beyond words? This edition, 1944.

Just in case there was any question, it's an Atlas Mystery.

Watergate Much?

Yep, that's him. With some sort of hair thingie pasted on.

"Fifi, ripe Russian tramp who knew her way around Shanghai...." No wonder Nixon liked him.

Nice Gurls

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow Indeed

As a kid growing up in the swinging sixties, I assumed life would be pretty much just like this. Imagine my surprise.


Ninth printing, 1949.

Career Opportunities

Are you sure you want to work in radio?

Spring Cleaning

All kinds of things are turning up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I always preferred Ginger to Mary Ann.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Metal Marauders, Utopian Planet

These cover illustrations are tops with me. They seem to have been done by someone signing themselves "Yaughan."

"Turn this book over for a second complete novel." From a better time, when the Ace Double ruled the rotating wire rack down at the drug store.

Planet of Wantons

Maybe I should reconsider my decision not to work in the space program.

No amateur models were harmed in the production of this book. Despite the lack of an author's name on the cover, the title page indicates that this 1962 gem was written by Olin Ross, which was a pseudonym for Alan Smithee.

There are also some imaginative sci-fi illustrations, like this one on page 19.

The Big One

"Who would build a great civilization upon a huge crack in the world's surface? The Californians did...." From the back cover.

Inside, the preface page is stamped "J. L. CAHOGA BARGAIN BOOK. YOU SAVE WHEN YOU SHOP AT J.L.'s!!"

Dean R. Koontz

Since 1969 at least, one of our leading opportunistic hacks. His tendentious Author's Foreword is worth quoting at length:

If there was a single phrase that captured the public's attention more than any other in 1967, it was this one: "The Medium Is the Massage." Marshall McLuhan not only made a fortune with it, but established himself as a prophet and philosopher. When McLuhan says the printed word is doomed in our time of electronic communication, everyone listens. Somehow, no one seems to notice that McLuhan's own predictions are presented via the printed word and -- by his own theories -- are doomed from the start.

Oy, could we tear into that one if it wasn't so late. Let's see: Dean Koontz, Marshall McLuhan, Dean Koontz, Marshall McLuhan... I give up, I can't decide who has had more impact on, you know, the world. Anyway, it's 129 pages of dialogue-heavy woodchopping, about which Koontz proclaims, "I have tried to shape a society that has advanced along the lines of the predictions in The Medium Is the Massage... and then advanced a little farther -- a little too far." Cue the sinister laugh already.

I've read McLuhan's best-selling picture book, and it's pretty much "Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan, for Dummies." McLuhan's bigger book, admittedly no light reading, was probably too dense for dizzy Dean to squeeze a bargain-basement dystopia from, which presumes he had a look at it in the first place. Actually, there's no indication that the Dean had any direct contact with the short book, either. His understanding of it seems gleaned from a Newsweek blurb.

What say we flip the Ace Double over for something a little less full of itself?

That's more like it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh Darlene

This is about as non-sequitur as it was possible to be, in June of 1966. In 2009, incoherence of thought has progressed remarkably. Still, tunnels!

Don't be a fool, stay in school. Because reading is FUN-damental. So, you know, books, check 'em out.

Anyway, who says there aren't good jobs to be had during our fun recession?


"Mike Lacklaw" I get, but I'm not exactly sure about "Professor Butch." Amazing what you find around the house during spring cleaning. Why is there a cop with X-ray eyes watching this suggestive grappling?

These men are enjoying this entirely too much. Don't let the National Organization for Marriage get wind of this.

A Boy and His Lynx

Actual item from my childhood library. Acquired around the age of 11. Early entry in what would prove to be a long-standing tradition of buying books that I will eventually get around to reading.

Eisenhower Dad and Lad Fantasy

Ex-in-law nightmare for me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

La vie bohemienne

Artists are always letting this kind of thing happen.

Louis B. Seltzer Boy

This is significant only to Clevelanders of a certain age. Manry was a copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, not Seltzer's Cleveland Press, but I needed a 1960s-era Cleveland newspaper pun for the headline. You can still see the little skiff in Cleveland's Western Reserve Historical Society.

Pertinent Question

I don't know, what do they think could happen?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Flaming Starmen

Another double but without the charm of a two-sided book. Peril of the Starmen comes up the loser in this cheap gambit from Belmont Paperbacks, starting on page 101 without a title page of its own.

This is hackery at its finest. The Flame of Iridar concludeth thusly: "It was this same Thar, Son of Chandar (you may remember), who was many years later to go forth on the famous Quest of the Sword of Psamathis, where he discovered the age-old terror... But that's another story! THE END."

Over at Peril of the Starmen, it's not much better, but at least there's a guy with an actual name such as you might encounter in real life, if you lived in the 1960s: "And Herb felt free. For the first time in his life. Here on Earth... It was a wonderful feeling. THE END."

There you have it. Roll the credits, Jimbo, and pass me a Guinness.

Bloch Party

I tried to peel those discount stickers off but they were on with a vengeance. Anyway, they're not without a certain charm. The back of Horror-7 has a thrift store sticker partially obscuring the information that "Robert Bloch is one of the last of the old Lovecraft circle still writing."