Archive for the 'Books' Category

Usborne Guide to Computer and Video Games (Usborne, 1982)

Computer Games 1982-1031

Computer Games 1982-3033

Computer Games 1982-4034

Computer Games 1982-5035

Computer Games 1982-5036

Computer Games 1982-5038

Computer Games 1982-5039

Computer Games 1982-5040

Computer Games 1982-5041







Computer Games 1982-5044

Computer Games 1982-5045

Computer Games 1982-5045 Computer Games 1982-5046

Computer Games 1982-5047

Computer Games 1982-2032

Just a few pages I scanned from my copy—this particular book is not yet available at the Usborne site. Note the “long distance game” predicted “by the year 2000,” somewhat anticipating the internet. The irony is that the internet has enabled an attention deficit disordered culture that, with few exceptions, no longer has the patience or smarts to play a game of chess.

Write Your Own Fantasy Games for Your Microcomputer (Usborne, 1984)

Fantasy Games Usborne 1984

Fantasy Games Usborne 1984-2

Fantasy Games Usborne 1984-3

Fantasy Games Usborne 1984-4

I’m happy to say that Usborne has made this wonderful book available, along with several other early computer and coding books, right here.

Sirs, since when is a scholar a good fighter?

Flash Gordon and Hawk the Slayer Novelizations: `A Bargain Bumper Double’ (New English Library, 1981)

HTS Novel 1981

The Hawk the Slayer novelization can be yours for a mere $1,259.85.

(Image via Pinterest)

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)

The Hamlyn Book of Ghosts in Fact and Fiction by Daniel Farson (Hamlyn, 1978)

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-3

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-7

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-2

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-5

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-6

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-9

Hamlyn Ghosts 1978-8

The Hamlyn Book of Ghosts in Fact and Fiction was the first in a four-volume series by UK publisher Hamlyn. The other volumes, which I’ll post about separately, are The Hamlyn Book of Horror (1979), The Hamlyn Book of Mysteries (1983), and The Hamlyn Book of Monsters (1984). All but one were written by Daniel Farson (Bernard Brett wrote The Hamlyn Book of Mysteries), and all featured spectacular wraparound cover art by Oliver “Zack” Frey.

The series was probably prompted by rival publisher Usborne’s The World of the Unknown series (see here and here), first published in 1977 and aimed directly at the paranormal-obsessed youth market, although Hamlyn had been dabbling in the subject for many years: of particular interest is 1971’s Witchcraft and Black Magic by Peter Haining, a well-written overview featuring surreal, nightmarish illustrations by Jan Parker.

Ghosts in Fact and Fiction is not quite as garishly illustrated as Usborne’s All About Ghosts, though Hamlyn would ramp up the intensity for The Hamlyn Book of Horror. Usborne responded in kind—or maybe it was simple coincidence—with their Supernatural Guides (1979), three of the most delightfully gruesome introductions to occult subjects ever published.

Writer Daniel Farson led quite the eccentric life. He started his career as a journalist and appeared on several groundbreaking, investigatory news programs in the 1950s and early 1960s. He abruptly quit television and left London in 1964 to become a full-time writer. His 27 books include biographies (including one on his great-uncle, Bram Stoker), several memoirs of bohemian Soho (of which he was a contributing rake), travelogues, and two horror novels. He also wrote a volume for Aldus Books’ A New Library of the Supernatural called Vampires, Zombies, and Monster Men (1976), and a volume for Smithmark’s Great Mysteries series, Mysterious Monsters (1980).

Special thanks to The Cobwebbed Room for an excellent entry on the Hamlyn series, including full artist credits and contents lists.

(Images via Flickr and Pinterest)

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

Corben Ox

My God, the colors!

Clash of the Titans Illustrated Storybook (Golden Press, 1981)

COTT Golden 1981

COTT Golden 1981-2

COTT Golden 1981-3

COTT Golden 1981-4

COTT Golden 1981-5

COTT Golden 1981-6

COTT Golden 1981-7

Not the best pictures, I know, but it’s the best I could do. Illustrations are by Mike Eagle.

Gobots on Earth and War of the Gobots Super Adventure Books (Golden, 1984)

Gobots Ditko 1984-1

Gobots Ditko 1984-2

Gobots Ditko 1984-3

Gobots Ditko 1984-4

Gobots Ditko 1984-5

Gobots Ditko 1984-6

Gobots Ditko 1984-7

Gobots Ditko 1984-8

What’s interesting about these books is that they were illustrated by comics legend Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and creator of Doctor Strange. It’s hard to believe now that someone like him would do art for a kid’s book about a second-rate transforming robot franchise, but comics artists and writers at the time held no rights to their work, and worship at the altar of pop culture was not a mainstream pursuit. Illustrators had to knock out an endless amount of pages to make a living. From a New York Post article from 2012:

To this day, Ditko has probably made very little off his billion-dollar co-creation [Spider-Man]. He has no ownership of the character and was paid a modest per-page rate at the time. He does collect royalties each time the comics are reprinted, but he says he has not earned anything off the films, despite his name appearing in the credits.

The covers of both books are illustrated by Jeffrey Oh and written by longtime Ditko collaborator and champion Robin Snyder.

(Images via eBay, Beer and Robots, and Life with Fandom)

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.




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