Saturday, 28 March 2015

Digest Photo/Art Reference pictures !

These fantastic Digest books in most cases have exceptional cover artwork, but not all good artists use photo's for inspiration, some just used their imagination, others like you will see below used B/W professional model photo's to get the required image the book company had requested .

I have hunted through old Detective mags and the early digest pulps to find these images and then try and locate the cover where the image was finally used. Sometimes I see a photo and it can take me days to track that cover down, sometimes it drives me mad because I recognize the photo but just cannot find the digest cover it was published with.

These below are the ones I have located so far and where I can I will list the publication where the photo was found and the digest book in question.

1 - Quarter Book #79 

      Pin-Up girl B/W Photo taken from page 39 'Best True Fact Detective' Magazine from Story 'Hercules and The Pin-Up Girls' May 1952.

2 - Venus Book #154

B/W Female photo taken from back cover 'Farmer's Woman' - Venus Book # 172
Artwork by Raymond Johnson.

3 - Cameo #301 & Ecstasy #11

B/W photo taken from Quarter Book # 87 'Ticket To Passion' 

Same photo inspiration with guy lighting the ladies cigarette and in both cases she has control as she is holding his wrist. On the Cameo version she is a hot redhead and she has gone blonde bombshell on the Ecstasy edition.

4 - Croydon Book #41 

Inspiration B/W photo shows female model and the artist himself Bernard Safran pouring the young lady a drink !

5 - Quarter Book # 46 

B/W Pin-up photo taken from inside Ecstasy Novel 'Harlot In Her Heart' # 03/1950.

6 - Carnival Book # 909

Photo taken from back cover Venus Book # 158 'Girl On Parole'

7 - Exotic Novel # 1949/12

B/W Pin-up photo taken from inside pages of 'Paula Has A Price' Ecstasy novel # 01/1950

Art by Fred Claude Rodewald 

8 - Quarter Book # 88.

Photo found inside Venus Book #108 'Cutie' . Hair changed from brunette to blonde, her top from black to animal print (note her sleeve cuffs are diamond cut in both) and for added spice a bottle of booze in the artwork !

9 - Star Novel # 762 

B/W Photo taken from back cover 'Shanty Girl' Venus Book # 159

Artwork by Rudy Nappi 

10 - Quarter Book # 36

B/W Pin-up girl photo was inside 'Quarter Book' Frisco Dame # 80 .
Book cover art by Fred Claude Rodewald.

11 - Quarter Book # 22

Photo model shot taken from inside pages of 'Paula Has A Price' Ecstasy Novel # 01/1950 

Artwork by Fred Claude Rodewald

12 - Exotic Novel # 04/1949 

Photo of model leaning against wall is taken from inside Exotic Novel 04/1950 'Once There Was A Virgin' this was used as inspiration art for Fred Claude Rodewald and previously used on the first ever Exotic book cover 'Pay For My Kiss' .

13 - Ecstasy Novel # 01/1950 

The red hot smoking blonde photo found inside 'Detective Annual 1951' and proved to be another art inspiration for Fred Claude Rodewald and used on cover Ecstasy Novel 'Paula Has A Price'.

14 - Venus Book # 112 

Another red hot smoking blonde bombshell (Below) painted by George Gross and used on cover 'Temptation' in 1950 and the very close reference photo which I found when I purchased 'Smash Detective-Crime Cases' magazine from Jan 1951. The girl has a cigarette in her mouth and the guy in the back ground does not in the photo image but her dress, hair and ankle straps on her shoes gives the game away!

So there you go, sometimes even great artists just need a little inspiration, sometimes it is just a guide like the one directly above and other times an exact copy. More to follow as I match them up by flicking through countless early books and mags !

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Digest Art meets Phantom Books Australia !

Phantom books were printed in Australia from 1951 right up to 1959, they were Crime, Pulp, Sleaze and Murder mystery novels. The artwork was of better quality than the Star covers and some issues are highly prized when found in great condition.

Here I have listed Twins that I own only but there are many more twins that I am still searching for .


 Same cover , but I prefer the Phantom cover as it is not over powered by the title like the Falcon original !
Woman Hunter has been re-drawn with inspiration from the Falcon original !

Both copies of 'Evil Sleep' are highly prized and collectable, a key drug novel by Evan Hunter !

 Pretty good re-drawing of Howell Dodds 'The Long Night' on this Bryce Walton book 'Hate Killer'

Case of the Cancelled Redhead gets some truly great treatment here, The Falcon edition left is pure magic and the Phantom Book runs it a pretty close second !

Two Dagger's of Flesh are better than one ........the fantastic Rudy Nappi art from the Falcon original (left) is copied with very little success on it's Aussie twin.

When you get to the night you might get some desire so here we have it twice and in both covers the fella looks very very happy!


In America she was a "Tramp" but in Australia just a "Deadly Lover"

Two gangs, two smoking babes, one a 'Moll' the other just a 'Girl'! great art by Rudy Nappi.

 Two great books with the same cover only the title gets changed!


Merit digest book gets the Phantom twin treatment and the Australian holds up pretty well against the USA original/


Same Kiss one for death the other of Fire ! in this case the Australian twin has been badly drawn !

The Rainbow edition the Vice- Cop is bare chested but on the Phantom Johnny Murdock has covered himself up with a pristine new white T-shirt ........must have got a bit chilly !

Bedroom in Hell gets the twin treatment but you'll notice the Phantom edition she seems to be showing a little bit more cleavage than the Rainbow copy!

Other Phantom twins to be found are ;

Come Night, Come Desire (Rainbow)
Farewell To Passion (Original) - How Dead My Love (Phantom)
Sleep With The Devil (Original)
Body & Passion (Original) - Dear Deadly Past (Phantom)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Digest art meets Star Books Australia !

Star Books were published in Australia from 1953 to 1955 and ran from numbers #201 - 310 then they changed to Star Mystery books from #311-334. They were a digest size book (and published up to 6 issues per month) and used covers and reprinted stories from Cameo, Falcon, Rainbow, Venus, Original and many more . All the art appears to be redrawn (sometimes pretty poorly)


Sins of The Flesh ( with art by George Gross) shows a closer aspect of the couple .

Falcon again (Above) and this time it's Whip-Hand with a pretty decent art job on the Australian edition.

Lay Down And Die ....twice ! great art by Howell Dodd gets a re drawing and overall is not to bad .

A 'Sweet Savage' Falcon Book # 38 by Norman A. Daniels becomes a 'Beloved Enemy' by Kermit Welles by Star Books # 252

Slave Girl twin by Tom Roan has been copied pretty much down to the last straw . Falcon Book # 31 and Star Book # 220


Rainbow twin 'Walk The Evil Street' # 111 which was re- titled in Australia as 'Sinister Street' # 216. 

Double Joy Ride joy by Roger Treat ! The George Gross art work on the Rainbow Book # 119 cover has been given a terrible reworking on the Star Book # 218 .

This original Howell Dodd 'Rainbow Book' art has been sympathetically reproduced on this early Star Book!


She is still on parole ! but a gal needs to change outfits when the parole officer checks up on her !

On the cover art above (by Rudy Nappi) the Girl has had her hair dyed from Red to Blonde and has changed Doctor and now has a society quack to tend all her medical needs !

This Venus book (Art by Raymond Johnson) has been re-titled and re-worked so that she has magically got a new job in the nursing profession, which is nice !

Another Venus twin and again with a change in colour for her clothes. Both books by Peggy Gaddis .

Other Venus re-workings are 'Crossroads Of Desire'


This cover art by Lou Marchetti has been dramatically changed from the Croydon book (above) but you can really see where the inspiration came from within the art on the Star Book cover !

Original art again by Lou Marchetti. Here the dress has changed color and she obviously didn't feel much desire in the haunted woods so moved to the waterfront where she didn't feel so strange !


The only Quarter Book that I can find that was duplicated as a Star Book and as a re draw they did a great job . Not sure how the same art can be used on 'Three Men and a Mistress' then used on 'Satan's Gal ' !!!


 Street Of The Blues (Above) with great art by Herb Tauss. In this 'Star' adaptation only her skirt has changed colour from brown to red .                                                                                                                                                '
Star next took a chance on 'Gambler's Girl' with fantastic art by Rudy Nappi. The re draw is not to bad really and the Gambling girl remains a safe bet !

Original titled 'Baby Peddler' gets a new title 'Desperate Lives' in Australia and artwork from the superb 'Al Rossi' original on the left.

Two forever Evils and both looking great, two blondes and two pervy old guys!


And as if by magic she turns from Nurse to smoking red hot redhead ! original art by Samuel Cherry .

With this Cameo / Star twin (above) the whole artwork (by George Gross) has been re-painted, quite subtle changes but the inspiration is unmistakable if not done very well !

Cameo & Star at the Crossroads with these two twins by Amos Hatter . Artist is unknown but has been redrawn with love .

Two Affairs for the price of one! Cameo # 308 and Star Book # 207 get copied well and even a bit saucier on the Aussie book as they have revealed a bit more ladies bottom on their cover .......nice !!!

Double amounts of Tight Skirts but the sultry brunette is now a red hot blonde! go figure! maybe the artist in Australia could only paint blondes! either way Rudolph Belarski wont be very happy to his original great art!


Don't you believe that a Mail-Order Passion can turn into a Mail-Order Romance? well here you go!

Only one Fiesta Novel got re-printed in Australia 'Unwanted Wife' art by Warren King !


And finally here is the French cover twinned with Star in 'See No Evil'.

Check out this great and informative website for great scans on Star & Phantom books.