Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Shelf: Ridiculous Vintage Philip K. Dick Paperback Covers


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Poor Phil! These are original mid-1960s Ace paperback editions of his now-acclaimed novels. Any of you who have read these will recognize that the lurid cover illustrations have nothing –nothing whatsoever– to do with the contents within. Artwork like this is often known to collectors as the "peeled eyeball" style. Ace knew the stuff was good, but they also had no trust in the general public and also knew they had to appeal to 14-year-old boys who really just wanted to read about zap guns, robots and bug-eyed monsters. Solar Lottery was originally serialized in 1955 and had to wait ten years for a "first edition" book release! These are trashed; if I wanted to read these novels again (and I will), I'd buy the tasteful reprints currently available in most bookshops, because if I were to open any of the ones shown here, they'd probably explode in a cloud of splinters, sawdust, and silverfish parts. Here are two more:




9 comments:

Matty Boy said...

Robert E. Howard's work would have languished forever in the scrap bin if it were not for the eye-catching Frazetta covers on the 1960s reprints of his Conan stories.

So, yay, peeled eyeball artwork!

Madduane said...

Of the 3, I've only read Clans, and yeah, that's a ridiculous cover! I love the fins on the helmet most of all...

Jon said...

I had an almost complete set of PKD first editions. I sold them to pay the rent one month. That was back in the '80's. Oh well. I like the tasteful new editions too.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Those covers are brilliant!

baragon63 said...

The cover for "Solar Lottery" was done by the great Jack Gaughan; it may have nothing to do with Dick's story, but he was a pretty amazing artist. Here's the cover without the typography:
[img]http://www.askart.com/AskART/photos/HER20071212_5115/58206.jpg[/img]

Peteykins said...

Baragon, that's very cool! Thanks a bunch.

The "Solar Lottery" one is the least inappropriate of the bunch.

I'm glad this has gotten some interest; I'll scan more later. I've also got some very, very cool early JG Ballard and Thomas Disch paperbacks.

sfmike said...

I adore Ballard and Disch, but frankly worship Samuel R. Delany, who is/was god, and who also started publishing for Ace as a freakishly precocious teenager in the early 1960s. Do you happen to have any for scanning?

And nice to see your consciousness out in public again.

Lulu Maude said...

Graphic designers lose it when they are working with an author named Philip K. Dick.

Note the major p.s. (phallic symbol) on cover 3. They final said WTF, let's go for it...

Karen Zipdrive said...

Lulu--lol.