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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.


0308 Planeta de soñadores

June 20, 2012
  • Title: Planeta de soñadores
  • English Title: Planet of the Dreamers
  • Canon: Wine of the Dreamers
  • Language: Catalán
  • Country: Spain
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1964
  • Publisher: Vértice
  • Collection: Galaxia
  • Cover Artist: Unknown

I wonder if Spanish language editions printed in Spain differ from those printed in Argentina since the two dialects are different, or do they just use the same translation while the dissed group sits around and mutters about the unfairness of the world today. Not like when I was young, dagummit, we showed respect!

Update (08/17/2012): Uh-oh, I really screwed up. Again. During a trip to Catalonia, I insulted a store clerk by referring to the Spanish language as “Espanol” instead of “Castilián”. Now I just said a book written in Catalán is in Spanish. Will I never learn? Disculpa. Em sap greu.

The scan isn’t great, but I assume it’s supposed to show a man in a spacesuit (like this?) although I can’t tell if he’s smoking a cigarette. To tell the truth (why start now?), it looks more like a manly woman in scuba gear, but that’s a whole different story, isn’t it?

This puppy is yet another foreign edition that can’t get the author right. John McDonald?

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am a Catalán edition of The Deep Blue Good-by, titled Un adéu d´un blau intens (A Deep Blue Goodbye), printed in 1989 by Edicions 62 as Seleccions de la cua de palla 90 ISBN-10 8429729275, ISBN-13 9788429729276).

Update (11/08/2012): Found it! You can see it here.

0307 No Deadly Drug

June 17, 2012
  • Title: No Deadly Drug
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1990
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: 12809-1
  • Cover Price: $4.95
  • Cover Artist: Unknown
  • Author of: Travis McGee novels


This is a later paperback edition of one of John D MacDonald’s few non-fiction works, which covers the murder trial of Dr. Carl Coppolino for the murder of his wife. Coppolino’s wife, not MacDonald’s. F. Lee Bailey was Coppolino’s lawyer, so it ought to be good, but I have to tell you that I have started this book twice and been unable to finish it. This is very rare for me. YMMV.

The symbolism of the artwork is beyond me. Let’s see, a skull on one side of a scale and a vial of drugs and a hypodermic needle on the other. Can’t think what that means. And the skull is heavier, so that means…

Sorry, it’s too obscure for me.


0306 Madonna der sieben Sünden

June 16, 2012
  • Title: Madonna der sieben Sünden
  • English Title: My Lady of the Seven Sins
  • Canon: The Drowner
  • Language: German
  • Country: Germany
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1966
  • Publisher: Heyne
  • Collection: Heyne-Bücher
  • Collection #: 1222
  • Cover Artist: Stanley Zuckerberg


Sure, this is just a rehash of Stanley Zuckerberg’s iconic cover, with some German words to make it look German, but it’s quite possibly the best JDM cover art there is, so it’s worth re-seeing, even this lousy scan.

Sometimes I wonder if there is a law in Germany prohibiting the posting of accurate book cover images, probably to keep people like me from … er … borrowing them. It’s amazing how books are pictured on and many other German sites with the book just tossed on a table and quick photo taken, usually without regard to reflections or anything else. The US eBay is much more likely to feature a scanned cover. Can anybody clue me in?


0305 Dans les plumes

June 15, 2012
0305 Dans les plumes 726
  • Title: Dans les plumes
  • English Title: In Feathers
  • Canon: Judge Me Not
  • Language: French
  • Country: France
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1990
  • Publisher: Gallimard
  • Collection: Carré Noir
  • Collection #: 381
  • ISBN-10: 2070433811
  • ISBN-13: 9782070433810
  • Cover Artist: Unknown

The French covers are a binary bunch. Like ones and zeroes, they are all or nothing. Either they should be wrapped in brown paper covers (link is NSFW), or they cause terminal yawning. This one belongs to the latter category, unless you are a plumaphile. I’m hoping the title means more to a French speaker than it does to me.

An alternate idiomatic translation of the title is On the Attack. No, that doesn’t fit the story any better than the literal translation.

Update (09/25/2013): Added a better image.

0304 April Evil

June 13, 2012
  • Title: April Evil
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1979
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: 1-4128-4
  • ISBN-10: 0449141284
  • ISBN-13: 9780449141281
  • Cover Price: $1.75
  • Cover Artist: Robert McGinnis
  • Author of: Condominium


No, this is not a duplicate, although it’s pretty close. No doubt you are thinking of this more-than-just-slightly-similar cover that we have seen before. I knew this had to be McGinnis, and I’ve finally found somebody else who thinks so too (thanks, McClaverty), so McGinnis it is.

As I said, the differences between this cover and its near twin are minimal. The collection ID (and therefore the ISBN, probably, although I haven’t found an ISBN for the earlier cover) is different, the price has been jacked up by two bits, and it now plugs Condominium instead of Lemon. Yes, yes, it’s all very sad, but around such minutiae my life revolves.

0303 Area of Suspicion

June 12, 2012
  • Title: Area of Suspicion
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1972
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: T2539
  • Cover Price: $0.75
  • Cover Artist: Robert McGinnis


Nobody could draw a woman like Robert McGinnis in his prime. We’ve seen far too many of his montage covers lately and it’s good to get back to his early work. According to Steve Scott, the singer with the blowing hair and unrestrained … uh … crumpets is Hildy Devereaux, a minor character. I’ll take his word for it.

Richard Stooker provides an otherwise creditable review here, although I simply don’t understand why anyone feels the need to insult some of their readers with political epithets.

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am a US paperback edition of Area of Suspicion, printed in 1985 by Fawcett (ISBN-10 0449129934, ISBN-13 9780449129937). My cover price is $2.95.