Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Oddball pulp and paperback covers

I love cover art, particularly from the days when the covers worked to reach out and grab you to make you buy them. But sometimes the effort to become interesting just looks … weird, one way or another. Not that this would necessarily stop me …

For example what the hell is going on in the scene on this Robert Foster cover? I’ve no idea but it does make me curious about that “Strangelove hell” inside.Then there’s these two mystery covers by Robert McGinnis. I know they’re not specfic but one woman looks like an ET and the other a zombie (new from AMC, The Drunken Dead!). So not so much oddball as unsuccessful?This Charles DeFeo cover works, but who the heck goes to a picnic in an off-the-shoulder evening gown and stockings?This uncredited cover makes me want to read the book though it does have a WTF quality to it (the book concerns a New Guinea tribe living on a country estate for anthropological studies).Sometimes it’s the cover copy that gets to me. Like the searing question expressed on this uncredited cover — who among us hasn’t grappled with it at some point?And this George Rozen cover tickles my fancy because of the reference to a “bowling detective” backup feature. There really was a pulp genre for everything.Here’s one by Boris Dolgov that’s somewhat odd, but I thinkit’s intriguing too.And this final image by Morton Roberts. What on Earth does the cover have to do with an alien invasion theme?#SFWApro


  1. Le Messor

    Those are some intriguing covers.

    Your E.T. girl is on a book about cats, so I’m seeing some catness (not Katniss) to her. And the zombie girl is going on a Date With A Dead Man, so…

    Bowling detective? What next? A rock ‘n’ roll detective? A pet detective?

    I suppose for the last one, it’s that people are being caught?

    I have a friend who has a book that’s just lurid covers from old horror novels. He’s even found a few of them at second-hand places.

    1. Le Messor

      I’ve just been reading old Avengers comics (real old – the first 20), and considering how Stan Lee wrote sci-fi, I find it very easy to believe that there’s an invasion story from that period where the aliens catch individual people in mechanical cages. 🙂

      (I’m not saying that to belittle the concept – I get the impression they wrote stories with fun in mind first, anything else second. I’m all for that.)

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