Book Covers

  • Brigade Mondaine

      

      

      

    Shitty books. Great graphic design. Don't judge a book by its cover.

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  • French Book Covers

    French Book Covers is a blog devoted to none other than French Book Covers. Most of them date pre 1950, and the overwhelming majority of them feature girlie / nudie book art. It's run by the same bloke behind Au Carrefour Etrange, which is a good thing. Below are some of my favorites.

     

      

        

      

      

         

      

      

      

         

    Categories: art, Book Art, Books, Book Covers
  • Hanuman Book Covers

         

         

    When editor/publisher Raymond Foye was visiting his good friend Francesco Clemente, the artist, in Madras, India, once, they decided it would be very cool to publish some sort of arts and literature thing together. They rejected the idea of doing a magazine in favor of starting a small press to publish books (Foye had started working at City Lights bookstore and press at the beginning of his career). Hanuman was the favorite Hindu deity of both men, and they decided to name their press after him. The Hanuman Books series, which includes at least 24 titles by now, has published works by William Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Jack Kerouac, William de Kooning, Robert Frank and other visionary and countercultural writers and artists. The tiny format of the books -- they measure 3" by 4" in size -- is based on prayer books in India. They are hand-made in India, where each little book is colored with deeply saturated tones to produce a limited edition that resonates with the charm and mystical potency of art miniatures around the world. And the books are easy to slip into your pocket and carry around as a sort of talismanic artifact, if that is your inclination, too.

         

         

    Hanuman is a very popular deity among Hindus. There are many stories about this trickster god. In addition to being the god of grammar, Hanuman is the general of the monkey people. In the epic Ramayana Rama was a great human hero, the son of a king, who eventually became mythologized as an avatar of the important deity Vishnu. When Rama's beautiful and exemplary wife Sita was kidnapped by a powerful demon, Ravana, Hanuman and his monkey people were instrumental in freeing her from captivity on the island of Lanka. The visionary lit and counter-culture press Hanuman Books is named in honor of this delightful figure. According to a blurb posted on Hanuman Books' website, Hanuman is "the son of Vayu, the wind god. He is the conqueror of demons and hostile spirits, god of strength and wisdom, faithful to friend and unselfish servant to Rama. Able to fly and change his shape, he is often depicted as a buffoon-hero in the Ramayana epics. Humble and playful, he is revered in Southern India, where temples are erected in his honor."

      

    I've been collecting these books for a while now and have about a dozen. They're small. Roughly the size of a pack of smokes and about 1/4 as thick. The content is a bit lucid. They've been selling on ebay from $30 - $200 bucks a pop.

    Text via: JX Briton | Images via: Vernacula
    Categories: Books, Book Art, Book Covers, art
  • Honey West | Girl With a Gun

      

      

    From Bookhound:

    Honey West was a female private eye that invaded the hardboiled detective scene of the 1950s and muscled over some of the big boys. Created by G. G. Fickling (the pseudonym of husband and wife team, Gloria and Forest Fickling), Honey West starred in eleven novels before cashing out in 1971.

    The 1950s were the heyday of the paperback novel. Men returning from World War II wanted something to read that was different from the relatively tame pulps they’d read prior to the war. Mickey Spillane was one of the first to offer the edgy kind of entertainment those men (and some women) wanted when he created his two-fisted private eye, Mike Hammer.

    Honey West was the feminine version of the time. Before women’s lib, women depended on sexual allure and wiles to get what they were after. Honey oozed sex and wile, and frequently ended up in situations where clothing was not exactly optional, but she ended up underdressed all the same, usually through no fault of her own. She carries a .22 revolver holstered on her garter and is forever reaching up under her skirt/mini-dress to pull it out.

     

         

     

    Godard, who was also a fan of American detective fiction, once said, "All you need to make a good movie is a girl and a gun". Whether or not that holds true to books is debatable. Though the American covers got better with time, the Europeans are far more convincing.

     

         

         

     

    Categories: Books, Book Covers
  • Per Ahlin | Artist & Animator

         

         

         

         

         

         

     

      

    Per Ahlin is a Swedish artist and animator who has animated Picasso's paintings and provided the art for numerous book covers. His film, Sagan Om Karl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton is shown every Christmas Eve in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

    Eugene Bilbrew | Vintage Book Covers | Alan Aldridge | Andrzej Kilmowski | Stan Vanderbeek | Oz Magazine Covers

  • Rare 70's Erotic Magazine Covers

    Editions du Japyx

      

      

      

      

    Edtions Les Naiades

      

      

      

      

      

    via Au Carrefour Etrange

  • Richard Allen | The Charles Dickens of Skinheads

      

      

       

       

     

    Red 777
    Undo Mundo

    "James Moffat (1922-1993) was a Canadian-born writer who once published a magazine about bowling and who, under sundry pseudonyms, wrote hack fiction (westerns, children’s stories, mysteries). In 1970 he was asked because he was so versatile and prolific, to write a book for the New English Library about skinheads, the white working-class youths whose thuggery seemed, to some, an authentic cry of alienation and, to others, the decline of Western civilisation.

    Allen’s first novel, Skinhead, uneasily combined self-righteous fascist rhetoric, nihilist indifference and the shocked voice of reason. But it succeed with its authentic portrayal of Joe Hawkins, the 16-year old gangster convinced the Cockneys had lost control of their patch, London, and whose life of rape, drink and hooliganism ends in a kind of triumph when he is jailed for beating a cop – a punishment which, he gloats, makes him king of the skinheads.

    After that sold a million, the formula stayed pretty constant for 17 other novels – seven with the words “skin” or ‘Skinhead’ in the title. Allen bought to the task an enthusiasm for research, speed – he once completed a novel in less than a week – narrative drive and pulp fair. The opening line of Suedehead is masterful: “As he stood in the dock, Joe Hawkins considered the situation with a detachment”. Yet the author, uncomfortable with charges he encouraged violence, later blamed “leniency in courtrooms, catering to fads by mercenary-minded rage-trade merchants, a soft-peddling attitude by politicians who look for teenage votes and a overwhelming pandering by the media”.

    Rediscovered in his seventies, Allen was planning a sequel Skinhead Return, when years of writing at short notice aided by tobacco and booze finally caught up with him. He died in 1993."

    - The Richard Allen Project

  • Roman Cieslewicz

      

    Above & Below images from the collection of Agnes B

      

    above collaboration with Helmut Newton

      

      

    Roman CieĹ›lewicz was a Polish graphic artist and photographer.  He was artistic editor of "Ty i Ja" monthly (Warsaw) 1959-1962 . In 1963 he moved to France and  worked as art director of Vogue, Elle (1965-1969) and Mafia - advertising agency (1969-1972) and was artistic creator of Opus International (1967-1969). Kitsch (1970-1971) and Cnac-archives (1971-11974). Taught at the Ecole Superieure d'Arts Graphiques (ESAG) in Paris. In 1976 he produced his "reviev of panic information" - "Kamikaze"/No. 1/ published by Christian Bourgois. In 1991 he produced "Kamikaze 2" with Agnes B.

  • Selected Titles From The Weird Book Room

         

     

         

     

         

     

         

     

         

     

         

     

         

     

    Discovery via The News in Welsh for Life

    Should any of these books address your problems, they can be purchased at Abe Books

    Categories: Books, Book Covers
  • Trashy Book Covers

       

       

       

      

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    Trash Fiction is a great UK based site dedicated to obscure paperbacks. The have hundreds of covers and it's well worth the visit. Some of the books are for sale and every one of them should be adapted to films.