Archive for the 'Cover Art' Category

Robert Adragna Cover Art for the Three Investigators Series (Random House, 1979 – 1985)

Three Crooked

Three Coughing

Three Phantom

Three Haunted

Three Invisible

Three Magic

Three Blazing

Yes, many of you will remember these wonderful books. If you held onto them, good for you. They’re costly today. It’s one of many series we plan to review at We Are the Mutants (launch still scheduled for late August or early September).

The Three Investigators debuted in 1964 and went through several editions. Pictured here are a few of the “Hitchcock” and “Keyhole” editions (the ones I read), published between 1979 and 1987, with cover art by Robert Adragna. Read more about Adragna, and see more of his fantastic covers, here.

Cover Art for No Way Back by Karl Zeigfreid (Badger, 1964)

No Way Back Zeigfreid 1964-3

No Way Back Zeigfreid 1964-2

Karl Zeigfreid was a house name for Badger Books; in this case, R.L. Fanthorpe is the author. The cover artist is unknown, and the synopsis of the book makes it highly unlikely that a skeleton in a spacesuit holding what appears to be a South Seas dancing girl made an appearance. Skeleton astronauts are often seen on sci-fi covers, but rarely have anything to do with the stories inside.

Ed Valigursky Cover Art for The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein (Ace, 1972)

Heinlein 1972

The book is a collection of short stories, none of which feature a dead astronaut. See more of Valigursky’s work here.

(Image via MPorcius Fiction Log)

Cover Art for Stanislaw Lem’s The Invincible (Ace, 1975)

Invincible 1973-1975

Very similar to the Angus McKie piece that was published the following year. The artist of the Lem cover is unknown, and you can see details on the book here. More skeleton astronauts, a recurring theme in sci-fi since the genre’s beginning, here.

Alien Animals by Janet and Colin Bord (Granada, 1980)

Alien Animals 1980

Alien Animals 1985

Cover and interior illustrations are by Gino D’Achille. Unfortunately, I have no scans of the latter. The cover above is from a first edition, while the back sleeve is from a 1985 edition. The book follows the format established by John Keel’s Strange Creatures from Time and Space (Fawcett, 1970). See below for that cover: yet another stunner from Frank Frazetta.

Strange Creatures Keel 1970

(Back cover image via Library of the Phantasmagoria)

Richard Corben Cover Art for Piers Anthony’s Ox (Nelson Doubleday, 1976)

Corben Ox

My God, the colors!

John Holmes Cover Art for T.L. Sherred’s First Person, Peculiar (Ballantine, 1972)

First Person 1972

Delightfully disturbing work from Holmes, whose series of H.P. Lovecraft covers I posted here. First Person, Peculiar is a short story anthology and includes the influential “E is for Effort,” published originally in Astounding Science Fiction in 1947.

(Image via Øyvind)

Harry Borgman Cover Art for The Dracula Horror Series (Pinnacle, 1973)

Dracula Returns 1973

Hand of Dracula 1973

Dracula's Brothers 1973

Dracula's Gold 1973

Borgman illustrated the first four volumes of the nine-volume series, which you can read about at Too Much Horror Fiction and Monster Memories. The Groovy Age of Horror reviews all of the books here. Images are via Monster Memories.

Borgman talks about the covers here.

Great Tales of Horror and Suspense (Galahad Books, 1974)

Great Tales 1974-2











Great Tales of Horror and Suspense would be a superfluous anthology of famous horror stories if not for the extraordinary illustrations of Norman Nodel and Harry Borgman. Nodel painted the cover and did interior art for the first half of the book, while Borgman handled the exquisite line art for the Dracula section. See more of Borgman’s Dracula at And Everything Else Too. The black and white pages are from Borgman’s blog, where he talks about the assignment:

The art was rendered with a Crowquill pen with brush accents using India ink. It was a fun assignment and a real break from some of the Detroit automotive work that I was involved with at the time. Randy Mulvey, my New York [agent] during that period, landed this assignment for me as well as a series of Dracula paperback covers.

He goes into more detail about the gig in another post. I’ll post his Dracula covers later.

Frank Frazetta Cover Art for Tales from the Crypt (Ballantine, 1964)

Tales Frazetta 1964

Tales Frazetta 1964-2

Nine years after Bill Gaines was forced to shelve EC Comics’ horror, crime, and sci-fi titles due to creative restrictions enforced by the Comics Code Authority, Ballantine reprinted a number of the original tales in five volumes published between 1964 and 1966: Tales from the Crypt (1964), The Vault of Horror (1965), Tales of the Incredible (1965), The Autumn People (1965), and Tomorrow Midnight (1966). Frazetta, who had worked briefly for EC in the ’50s, painted the covers for the whole series. Original art for The Autumn People and Tomorrow Midnight are below. You can see all the volumes together here.

Autumn Frazetta 1965

Tomorrow Frazetta 1966

Although the stories were in black and white and awkwardly laid out due to the smaller paperback format, the series is notable because it marked the first time the comics had been anthologized, thus introducing a new generation, already developing a taste for what would eventually be called speculative fiction, to the visceral and groundbreaking (pun intended) work of EC.

The following year, Ballantine would release the first authorized paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings, probably the single most important event in the popularization of the fantasy genre. Starting in 1969, Ballantine struck again with the remarkable Adult Fantasy series, which gave H.P. Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, Clark Ashton Smith, William Morris, Lord Dunsany, and several other genre pioneers the lofty status they hold today.

(Images via Cap’n’s Comics and Pinterest)




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