Archive for Blue Moon Books

Thoughts on Eye-Catching Book Covers

Posted in Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The great art found on 1940s-60s bools — not just sleaze, sex, and sin, but all paperback genres — were meant to catch the eye: when a customer saw the cover on the newsstand or bookstore, they would pick it up out of great curisoity: is the cover as good as the story inside?  Sometimes people bought the books on covers alone, just as collectors do today (collecting Bonfils or Rader, they don’t care about the text).

I never heard of these two books below, for instance, or the writers, and have no idea what they are about, I just now got them on eBay because I liked the covers:

Beacon - Twisted

deadlu desire

Look at those bosoms on that Bonfils art!  Push-up 50s bras!

And Twisted — the cover seems to hint at incest.  From a Beacon?  I don’t know yet, but I have a feeling the cover is misleading, that the girl’s father is strict and mean and she takes off and rebels, and not that her father is the man on the cover wanting to prove that incest is best in some sort of gutter laden lust of shame!

I am often annoyed when the cover is indeed misleading, if the girl on the cover does’t match the main character.  Bonfils always illustrated a scene in a Nightsand book, unlike Midwoods where Harry Shorten would buy art and have writers compose something around it, or just attach art to a book that doesn’t quite fit the story, like Mel Johnson’s Instant Sex.

In the 1970s and 80s, sex books started to use photos of real people models, believing that is what customers wanted.  Perhaps they did, and perhaps paying a model a few dollars was cheaper than commissioning original art.  I don’t care much for photo covers, and they tend to not fit the stories either.  This is true for today’s erotic books — at Blue Moon Books, sometimes the Avalon art dept. just randomly slapped some photo they had in stock (sometimes even putting the same one on two books); and they would put modern age women on Victorian novels.  Some of my Blue Moon covers I hated, like The Dress

The DressThe dress in the novel is short and black, and the female character is blonde  — the other female is a red-head.  So who the hell is this on the cover supposed to be?

(Note: The Dress is being made into a sexy art film in New York soon, after three years of development, and is available in ebook format at Olympia Press, or you can get it used online.  I wrote it as a novella in 1996, published in The Mammoth Book of New Erotica (edited by Maxim Jakubowski) in 1997; I then expanded it as a full novel in 2001 for Blue Moon.  Of all my erotic books, this one has made the most money, mainly from the film option.)

Some covers I really liked, such as The Rooms

The Rooms

I actually saw the cover before completing the book so I wrote a scene that describes the cover.

For Amateurs, I took my own cover photo —

The amatuers

This was a girl who lived nextdoor, she was from Argentina.  She had a website where she sold pix, and sometimes videos if her having sex with her boyfriend.  I was happy when she agreed to grace the cover of one of my books, just as another female friend appears on the cover of one of my Dr. Mundinger-Klow books:

Klow - Swap

But…they just don’t make paperback or hardcover covers like they used to in the 1940s-60s.  Some imprints imitate the look, like the Hard Case Crime books, and they are cool, but they are just retro — they have the look but not the spirit and the feel.

Here are some other covers that are great, worth the price of admission  alone, but tend to not reflect the actual novel — posted here for your eyeball’s fancy, because I know you’re reading this blog because you dig these nifty covers a much as any other vintage book fan does…

Teen Brides

Lustful Ape

Williams - Bayou Sinners

Rader - Teacher's  PetDykes on BikesNovel Books - Don't Touch My Broad

Wall Street WantonElliott - Flesh BoarderHitt - Sheba

Lord - Husband Chaserbeauchamp - anoyher night another love

G. Klow - Sex Under SixteenAllison - Flesh is My UndoingEllis - teenage Hideaway

Hudson - Gang GirlEllis - Gang GirlHastings - Heat of the Day

Midwood - Penthouse Party

Summertime Affair by Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) NB #1509

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks


Elliott - Summertime Affair

Summertime Affair is the third Nightstand Book (#1509) Robert Silverberg wrote for William Hamling — the first being Love Addict, the second Gang Girl (to be reiewed soon); Party Girl came right after it (#1510).

Note above the differences in the covers from the 1960 original and the 1973 reprint — hairstyles are updated, her skirt is shorter.  The one thing that bigs me is the woman in the story is blonde, not a brunette. Don’t these artists ever read character descriptions? (I had a long-running beef with the Avalon art dept. who would never match covers right to the novels for Blue Moon.)

This is a bit of a mundane and predictable story, the moral: “Be careful what you wish for…”

A married man with two kids, 34, who has never cheated, is having a mid-liife crises and desires to have an affair or two.  His wife has been distant.  His wife and kids go upstate New York for the summer and he stays behind, a bachelor on the prowel in a modest Queens apartment building.

He sets his guns on Janice, a 22-year-old woman married to an army guy stationed in California.  She resists, gives in, then falls in love with him. He falls in love with her. There’s no way out.  What he had hoped to be a short fling is now a complication, as his brother-in-law and another couple find out about the affair…they plan to leave heir spouses and marry…and then the army husband pays a surprise visit…and there’s a fist fight…

Normally I read these books in a day, often one sitting in 2-3 hours, but this one took me 3 days because I just wasn’t into it.  I knew what was coming 40 pages ahead.

That isn’t to say the writing is not good; it is. It is vintage early Silverberg. In fact, it has a calm, mundane, New Yorker-ish feel to it; I bet that had Silverberg sent this book off to Random House or Lippincott, at the time, instead of Nightstand, it would have been published as a quiet little urban literary novel.