Friday, 30 December 2011

Harlequin Artists Part VI

There were 483 illustrated covers on the books published by Harlequin Books between 1949 and 1959. Some artists like Paul Anna Soik illustrated dozens of covers. Others less than five.

One of these artists is "Ikeno" who illustrated three covers, all westerns, in 1952 and 1953. This is likely Masayoshi Ikeno who is listed in the 1952 and 1953 Toronto City Directories. The first as an artist with New Liberty Magazine, the second as Art Director of the magazine. I can find nothing else about him.

The Canadian edition of New Liberty Magazine seems to have hung around from the twenties to the sixties. The copies I've seen from the early fifties and early sixties (then called Liberty) show an uninspired family magazine. The February 1953 issue has Mas Ikeno listed as Art Director and well known Canadian businessman Jack Kent Cooke as President and Publisher.

Harlequin 263

Harlequin 163 - April 1952

Harlequin 260 - November 1953

Harlequin 263 - December 1953

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Fireside Publications Part IV

In parts I and II I discussed 10 of the magazine sized paperbacks from Toronto's Fireside Publications. As far as I know there are only two more. One I've not seen is Evelyn Dick: The Tragic Story of an Emotional Degenerate by Keith Edgar and Richard Daniel. However the book is briefly seen in this Evelyn Dick clip at 1:28.

The other is the undated 64 page Women of All Nations by Watson V. Somers which appears to be a paperback original. The cover art is by O.W. Peak. Subtitled "Strange Customs the World Over" Mr. Somers takes us to Africa, India, Southeast Asia and around the world ending with the cave man's woman. Notwithstanding the picture of "the Canadian girl of today" we learn nothing about Canadian women.




Monday, 26 December 2011

Mass Market Paperback (1935 - ?) Part I

A recent NY Times article talks about the rapid drop in mass market paperback (MMP) sales in the US. Looking for more information I came across a 2011 study (Bookstats) of publishing trends from 2008 to 2010, a period when net sales revenue of MMP dropped 13.8 % to $1.28 billion and 16.8% to 319 million units. Net sales revenue is the publishers revenue net of discounts to booksellers and credits for returns and not sales to consumers which of course is at the book's list price.

The American Association of Publishers issues monthly sales reports. The latest October data show MMP sales revenue has dropped 34% in 2011 over 2010. This survey is from 80 publishers whereas the more comprehensive BookStats has data from 2000. But the 80 have sales of more than 50% of the market so the drop in 2011 is likely representative of the full market.

So MMP unit sales have dropped from 383 million in 2008 to 319 in 2010 and heading for 200 million in 2011. Hard not to agree that the MMP is rapidly being eclipsed by ebooks.

Here are a few of my favourite non-Canadian paperbacks.

Pelican S35 - 1939

Dell 270 - 1948

Avon 314 - 1951

Penguin 2591 - 1967

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Most Viewed Post

After some 350 posts I thought I'd note the "most viewed post" with nearly twice as many views as the second most popular - More Canadians Abroad - Crown Novel. Why? Because Pulp International borrowed one of the images. Otherwise it would be as obscure as 95% of its fellow posts. I'm flattered but here's an image they won't be interested in.

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Time Machine Part VIII

"The Time Machine represents a revolution in storytelling. It may stand in a tradition of marvelous travel tales, but it presents us with something new: a story whose mainspring is a dramatization of the grand, grim process of evolution. Unprecedented as this was in 1895, one might think that by the time a century had passed, the bemusement of literary critics might have given place to a general acknowledgment of H.G. Wells's stature and the new gifts and vistas he brought to a traditional form of literature."

Brian W. Aldiss "Doomed Formicary Versus the Technological Sublime", George Slusser, Patrick Parrinder, and Daniele Chatelain, eds. H.G. Wells's Perennial TIME MACHINE: Selected Essays from the Centenary Conference, "The Time Machine: Past, Present, and Future" Imperial College, London, July 26-29, 1995. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 2001.

How many editions of The Time Machine have been published? Including all languages, thousands I'm sure. Here are four paperbacks, three English, one Bulgarian.

The first English is a special one - the first British edition in wrappers, one of two currently for sale. 

William Heinemann - 1895

Pan - 1953 (37th printing)

Tor - 1992

1984

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Arrow Publishing Part V

The final three (for now) books from Toronto's Arrow Publishing.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a paperback original
Four Great Classics is a paperback original
Until They Do Not Breathe is a paperback original

All books are 128 pages.

Arrow 118 - February 1950

Arrow 118 back

Arrow 119 - February 1950

Arrow 119 back

Arrow 120 - February 1950

Arrow 120 back

inside covers of Arrow books

Export News Stand Library US Series Part X

For me the most appealing feature of the 28 book US series from Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises is the dust jacketed books. In earlier posts I've shown 19 of the 20 DJ books plus examples from non-Canadian publishers.

The books are uncommon, even rare. But which is the least, most uncommon? I'd say Jesse James is the least, Sin for Your Supper the most. I have two copies of Jesse, there have been two for sale on ABE for years from the same dealer and two copies have shown up on eBay in the last few months. I have a copy of Sin but I know of one collector who has been looking for 30 years.

Joining these books is a 1946 digest sized paperback "cheap edition" from the Scottish/British firm Wm. Collins & Sons and Co. Indian subsidiary. This has a dust jacket glued on at the spine covering blank card stock with the illustration from the original edition published in 1944.

News Stand Library 15A with DJ - January 1950

News Stand Library 6A with DJ - June 1949

Wm. Collins Indian "cheap edition" - 1946

Wm. Collins Indian "cheap edition" back

Arrow Publishing Part IV

Four more books from Toronto's Arrow Publishing.

Live in Any Village is a paperback original
Bad Men of Canada is a paperback original
Seconds to Go is a paperback original - pseudonym of Danny Halperin
No Tears for Goldie is a paperback original - pseudonym of Thomas P. Kelley

All books are 160 pages except 117 at 128 pages.

Arrow 114 - February 1950

Arrow 114 back

Arrow 115 - February 1950

Arrow 115 back

Arrow 116 - February 1950

Arrow 116 back

Arrow 117 - February 1950

Arrow 117 back

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Arrow Publishing Part III

Here are four more books from Toronto's Arrow Publishing.

Hallelujah Brother first published New York: The Beechhurst Press, 1946
Showdown is a paperback original
Curtain Call first published New York: The Beechhurst Press, 1946
Becky's Corset first published New York: House of Pettit [sic], 1942

All books are 128 pages except 111 at 160 pages. The artist on 110 is D. Rickard.

Arrow 110 - January 1950

Arrow 110 back

Arrow 111 - February 1950

Arrow 111 back

Arrow 112 - January 1950

Arrow 112 back

Arrow 113 - January 1950

Arrow 113 back

Check the attic: Paperbacks turn golden Part III

The first parts of this post have been about the first few paragraphs of a 1981 article in The Windsor Star by Alan Abrams about collecting Canadian paperbacks.

After the discussion of Export, Harlequin and White Circle Abrams has an odd paragraph mixing John Glassco's The Governess with "historian [?] T.T. Kelly's [i.e.: Thomas P. Kelley] book on the Black Donnellys [which] was preceded by a paperback entitled Gorilla [i.e.: The Gorilla's Daughter]." The paragraph ends with "now-senator Donald Graham" without noting the book and Sunburst from Phylis Gottlieb. I wonder if Abrams thought it strange that a historian wrote a book called Gorilla?

Next is a comment from Rollison that some of his best finds have been in Florida, "where sun-seeking Canadians often left behind their light reading." Rollison also says that he has 800 of the 1150 collectible Canadian paperbacks. The article ends with some tips on collecting. My figure for the number of collectible books is over 1800, including reprints and variants, 1300 if only first printings and no variants are counted.

Summing up the article is a mistake filled introduction to collectible Canadian paperbacks. Wonder if anyone started to collect because of the article?

Harlequin 289 - April 1954

News Stand 122 - August 1950

Check the attic: Paperbacks turn golden Part II

"But the magic name in Canadian paperback collecting is Harlequin." So says Alan Abrams in his 30 year old article in The Windsor Star. He then notes Brian Moore's two books for Harlequin - Wreath for a Redhead and The Executioners. Oddly he gives incorrect numbers for the books that aren't even close - 40 (instead of 102) for the first book and 45 (instead of 117) for the second. He says that they would cost, depending on condition, between $50 and $100. A look at ABE today shows 14 copies of both books ranging from $38 to $735.

Next is a comment that the 1942 White Circle edition of Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is worth more than the first edition (John Lane, 1912). That isn't the case today and I would be very surprised if it had been true in 1981.

Harlequin 102 - March 1951

Harlequin 117 - June 1951

White Circle 39 - 1942

Monday, 19 December 2011

Arrow Publishing Part II

Here are four more books from Toronto's Arrow Publishing.

Everything is Quite All Right first published New York: Bernard Ackerman, 1945
Backstage with Joe first published New York: Roy, 1946
Sextet first published New York: The Beechhurst Press, 1946
Tokyo Romance first published New York: Didier, 1947

All books are 128 pages. The artist on 103, 108 and 109 is D. Rickard.

Arrow 103 - November 1949

Arrow 103 back

Arrow 106 - November 1949

Arrow 106 back

Arrow 108 - November 1949

Arrow 108 back

Arrow 109 - January 1950

Arrow 109 Back