Category Archives: Books

Paperback covers #7: Corgi Books’ Star Trek novels

Star Trek: Trek to Madworld A series looking at some of my favourite book covers and cover artists.

#7 Chris Moore’s Star Trek paperback covers from the 1980s

In the mid-1980s Corgi Books reissued all 12 volumes of James Blish’s best-selling Star Trek paperback series, containing stories adapted from the scripts of the popular science-fiction TV show. These books featured newly commissioned cover artwork from fantasy artist Chris Achilleos, and I’ve looked at them in more detail here. Alongside those books Corgi also reissued a handful of original novels based on the show – these also featured newly commissioned covers, not by Achilleos but by artist Chris Moore. Continue reading Paperback covers #7: Corgi Books’ Star Trek novels

Paperback covers #6: Corgi Books’ Star Trek Adaptions

Star Trek volume 1, cover by Chris Achilleos

A series looking at some of my favourite book covers
and cover artists.

#6 Chris Achilleos’ Star Trek paperback covers from the 1980s

A few months ago I posted an article celebrating the covers of Bantam Books’ Star Trek adaptations from the 1970’s. That post received a fair amount of traction so I thought it might be interesting to post the covers from UK publisher Corgi Books’ reissues from the mid-1980s. Continue reading Paperback covers #6: Corgi Books’ Star Trek Adaptions

Marvel Pocket Books

The Amazing Spider-Man #2

Marvel Pocket Books

September of 1974 saw the publication of the first collaboration between Marvel Comics and book publisher Simon & Schuster. The book, Origins of Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, was a soft cover collection of reprinted stories featuring the origin tales of Marvel’s most popular characters. Published by Simon & Schuster’s imprint Fireside Books the collection would be one of the very first of what are now commonly known as trade paperbacks, a format that now dominates the comic book industry. The Marvel/Fireside books were aimed at two new potential markets: established comic book readers who wanted to own older stories that they may have missed, and readers new to the medium. The book featured text introductions and commentaries by original author Stan Lee and was clearly aimed at a more mature audience. Continue reading Marvel Pocket Books

50 Girls 50

50 Girls 50 front cover

Seattle publisher Fantagraphics are currently reprinting
EC’s hugely influential line of comics from the 1950’s –
this is the third volume in their EC Comics Library

50 Girls 50 and other stories
illustrated by Al Williamson

Between 1950 and 1956 EC Comics enjoyed an almost unparalleled run of success publishing a range of groundbreaking horror, science fiction, war and crime comics whose influence can still be felt to this day. Anthology titles like Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Two-Fisted Tales and Crime SuspenStories proved hugely popular and EC quickly gained a reputation as a publisher of top quality, entertaining comics. To help create such a diverse selection of titles publisher Bill Gaines and editor Al Feldstein called upon the capabilities of possibly the most diverse and talented collection of artists ever assembled in the industry. Concentrating on one artist per volume Fantagraphics are currently reprinting EC’s back catalogue with 50 Girls 50 showcasing the work of Al Williamson. Continue reading 50 Girls 50

‘Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity!

'Tain't The Meat front cover

Seattle based publisher Fantagraphics are currently reprinting
EC’s hugely influential line of comics from the 1950’s –
this is the fourth volume in their EC Comics Library

‘Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity!
and other stories illustrated by Jack Davis

Fantagraphic’s EC Comics Library collection continues with ‘Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity! showcasing artist Jack Davis’ work from the comic publisher’s seminal 1950s horror anthology Tales From The Crypt. Continue reading ‘Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity!

The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu

The Ten-Cent Plague

Halfway through The Ten-Cent Plague, David Hadju’s excellent account of the American comic book witch-hunts of the 1950’s, there is an anecdote concerning Will Eisner, creator of the hugely influential The Spirit and one of the industry’s elder statesmen. Eisner was at a cocktail party in New York in 1953, and after spending a pleasant evening chatting with one of the other guests, the conversation turned to careers. When asked what he did for a living Eisner replied “I write comic books” whereupon the guest walked away in disgust. For Eisner it was just one more insult to his chosen profession and even though he had already scaled back his involvement in the industry, he turned his back on mainstream comics and wouldn’t return for almost 30 years. Sadly Eisner’s experience was by no means unique and illustrates the level of condescension and mistrust directed towards those who had chosen to work in the filed of comics. Continue reading The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu

Paperback covers #5: The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars

A series looking at some of my favourite book covers
and cover artists.

#5 Michael Whelan’s John Carter paperback covers from 1979

1912 was a good year for Edgar Rice Burroughs. After several uneventful years eking out a living as a ranch hand and other low income jobs, he turned his hand to writing fiction and in the space of a year saw the publication of his two most famous creations. One, a British Lord raised by apes in the African jungle, would quickly become a global phenomenon. The other, a Virginian gentlemen who travels to Mars, would take a little longer to achieve public recognition. Continue reading Paperback covers #5: The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs