Sunday, January 2, 2011

Suffering from Time-Warp

Okay, this cover has convinced me there's a place for Lurid on our blogs. When I first saw this while searching for quite another author's cover, I stopped dead in my tracks, did a double take, then laughed. It's not often I sit at my computer and just laugh out loud. But the title, the artwork, I mean, it's just too much. Every now and then when I come across one of these types of covers, I simply must talk about it. Maybe we could do a regular post: Lurid Cover of the Week, Month, Year. Maybe.

I'm sorry but this cover is just plain fun. Though it's lurid (and garish) as all get out, it's also funny and, judged by today's standards, kind of innocent in its obvious prurience. I think that's the drop dead charm of these old covers - artwork which seems so neat and tidy no matter how nasty the titles and blurbs may be. I mean, the blond is wearing a beret, for goodness' sake. She's actually got on an outfit. You think she went to 'Hussies Are Us' and purchased it all in one box? Maybe this is the officially sanctioned street corner outfit. You see what I mean? It's probably got it's own logo. Did women EVER look like this? (Come to think of it, she does look a bit like Anne Francis in BATTLE CRY.)

And look at the guy leering at the blond. He's wearing a blazer! (Well, the fact that it's brown probably indicates his fall from grace.) What side of town did he wander in from? Obviously these two are headed for a very bad end. After all, according to the book they are living life on the skids.

Ah, the good old days.


  1. I love the covers on these old pocket size books. You know what I really wonder though? What exactly is that box she's holding? Is that the box the hussy outfit came in? LOL.

  2. That's her cute little purse, Bev. Even hussies must have purses. Ha! If you look real hard you can see it's got a little handle on it. :)

  3. Looks like we've got trouble right here in River City. Evil pool halls.

  4. Ha! And it starts with T and it ends with....Hmm, forgot. Something like that. :)

    Yeah, I noticed the Pool Hall AFTER I'd written my post and had another laugh. And I think the guy with the brown blazer is wearing a string tie. You know, like cowboys used to wear?
    Too much.

  5. I love all those covers....when I find calendars that feature them I buy them in a second. I even have one image framed and hanging on my wall, it's called "Coffin for a Cutie". Here is a link to the image,

    I don't have the poster, though now that I know there is one I'm so buying it. I just have the calendar page framed.

  6. Oh yes, Ryan, calendars are a great source of art for framing. It all depends on the printing. COFFIN FOR A CUTIE, Ha! Love it. I love good posters, too.

  7. And a good book beneath the cover.
    As for the beret, I think it serves the same function as a saint's attribute, though that dame ain't no saint.

    The beret, and its association with the French (and we know how oversexed they are!) and as an essential component of the apache dancer's costume (along with tight top, tighter skirt, fishnet stockings)--think a cleaned up version of Cyd Charisse and co. in the "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" number in "The Bandwagon."

    As for the guy in the blazer... I think the fact he is not wearing a tie and that his shirt is unbuttoned at the top is enough to tell us that he is a suitable libertine partner for the blonde.

    I, too, love these covers and have been known to buy some even when I have no idea of the quality of the contents.

    J. Kingston Pierce (of the Rap Sheet blog) has another blog: Killer Cover of the Week for more great old covers.

    But when it comes to great old lurid covers + a love of books, I think this one is my all time fave.

  8. Hi Elisabeth, thanks for stopping by on this snowy, icy day. Yes, I've been known to buy a book by its lurid cover. :)

    I love these old covers, love the graphics. Different definitions of 'good and bad' for different times. Or, I should say: the appearance of what good or bad.

    Thanks for the links.
    Is the one of the Bookman book a real cover? It almost looks like a parody. Ha!


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