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0309 Deadly Welcome

June 21, 2012
0309 Deadly Welcome 381
  • Title: Deadly Welcome
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1966
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: D1659
  • Cover Price: $0.60
  • Cover Artist: Robert McGinnis (see comments)

Image courtesy of the John D. MacDonald Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Deadly Welcome has a bunch of great covers; try looking here and here and here. Hear, hear! Now we have yet another. At first glance, this one doesn’t look like much. We’re deep into the 1960s and John D MacDonald’s name is going to sell more copies than a lurid cover, but the unknown artist Robert McGinnis (see Steve Scott’s comment below), despite having his artwork nearly pushed off the page, has done a superb job.

First off, he (somehow I don’t think it’s a she) has drawn the girl in a very awkward pose and yet has pulled it off. Secondly, although she is technically clothed, none of it does more than a token job of covering her and those bits that are gainfully employed look like they’re about to be sacked quicker than a lazy order fulfillment specialist at a WalMart warehouse. Personally, I’m keeping my eye on the last remaining blouse button, whose thread can’t take the strain much longer. Neither can I. Thirdly, I’m a sucker for well-drawn clothes, the way they drape (or don’t) and thereby reveal what isn’t actually revealed. Look at the stretched fabric coming down from her shoulders or the wrinkles in the hiked up skirt. This is Art, and this artist knows what he’s doing.

I’ve lost count. Oh, four. Fourthly, what the heck is she doing on the floor? Although there is nothing specific you can point to, it is obvious to anybody that the man has just knocked her down and she is considering the advisability of getting up. My suggestion would be “no”, because the man is a sadistic brute just itching to knock her down again. And yet all this is gleaned without a single tangible clue to go on, other than possibly those badass boots.

Tenthly, I love the perspective. If we’re seeing this, we must be on the floor too if we’re viewing it all from this angle. That makes us a victim as well. This is great stuff.

And c), what’s outside the frame is often as interesting as what’s inside it. This is a family blog, so I am not going to speculate on why the girl’s face is drawn between the man’s legs, and I’m not going to even think about what she might be looking at. What plans does he have for her?

This is a first class cover that can’t be ruined even by squeezing the artwork practically out of existence.

Update (09/25/2013): The cover is so good it deserves a better image, like this new one.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 6:57 pm

    According to JDM’s bibliographer Walter Shine, this cover was illustrated by Robert McGinnis, although I’ve always had my doubts.

    • June 22, 2012 7:01 pm

      I never would have thought it, but who am I to argue with Shine? I’ll change the post.

  2. warren shrimpton permalink
    June 22, 2012 9:08 am

    A great cover………described greatly.

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