Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dames, Dolls & Delinquents -- Gary Lovisi

Gary Lovisi is a publishing industry unto himself with things like Paperback Parade, Hardboiled, and so on coming from his Gryphon Books. Recently I reviewed an anthology of crime stories he edited. It has a great Maguire cover (see yesterday's post on Maguire). And now he's got a fat coffee-table book filled with those great paperback covers we all love, books like The Queer Sisters, Dance Hall Dyke, and Four Dames Named Sin. I'd break the bank to own all the books pictured inside this book. As who wouldn't?

My only complaint is that some of the covers aren't reproduced faithfully. The colors are off, over-saturated or something. Certainly not all of them, though, and don't let the ones that are stop you from buying this. It's an essential part of every paperback fan's library.

7 comments:

Frank Loose said...

It's a fun book. And like you say, you can't thumb through it without finding dozens you'd like to own.

Max Allan Collins said...

Delightful book. My only compliment is Gary largely ignoring Spillane and the popularity of those books, and those covers, in sparking most of what is in this otherwise great volume. There's only one or two Spillane covers and nothing indicating they had any special role.

Max Allan Collins said...

Sorry -- that was "complaint," not "compliment."

Frank Loose said...

One of the things i noticed - after i could focus on something other than the cover art - is the price estimates. I have tried to buy several of the books shown here (to actually read!) but they are so scarce that when one turns up, say on Ebay, the winning bid is so expensive as to be ridiculous. I'm talking hundreds. Whereas Gary Lovisi lists "good quality" costs for those books at the affordable $18 range. No such animal.

I think the cover art, while great and fun, has created a collectors market for the artwork, with collectors who will pay a lot, whereas people who want to actually read the book seem to be in a different mind set regarding value and cost. Or maybe I'm just poor.

Bill Crider said...

Does Gary ever sell books? Maybe you need to get to NY for his paperback show and see what you can find.

Frank Loose said...

Actually, I have bought some books from Gryphon, his publishing company. They were reprints of some hard-to-find books, some Harry Whittingtons; Browne's If You Have Tears, aka Lona; Sin Pit. Titles of which i know you are intimately familiar.

I have never bought an original edition book from him, though i believe he does sell some. A trip to NY in search of books would be quite cool. I hear they have some great book stores up there.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Maybe he'll send me one.

WV Stshiv. Patron saint of switchblades.