Thursday, 23 February 2012

Crow Part I - Al and Morris (1)

A recent post (thanks for the compliment) at Vintage Sleaze has inspired me to start a series about the 24 books published by Alval Publishing of Toronto in 1949 and 1950 as Crow Editions.

I'll start with 2 of the 20 Crow books which connect two classic publishers from the 1940s and 1950s - Canada's Al Valentine and American Morris S. Latzen. Valentine was Alval's owner and Latzen was the owner of a number of companies which published digests in New York from 1948 to 1957. One of them was Astro Distributing Corporation, the name seen on issues 11 through 18 of an 18 book series. Three other companies are the named publisher on the first 10 issues (thanks to Kenneth Johnson and his invaluable Publishers Index of digests for this information).

Book 24 (May 1949), Overnight Girl, by Joan Sherman was first published as Overnight Cabin (New York: Godwin, 1935). It is first seen under the new title in 1948 as book 31 (an incorrectly numbered 13) in the Astro series. Sherman is a pseudonym of Peggy Gaddis. I haven't seen the Astro edition but the Crow edition is likely cut as are two other Crow editions that I discussed here and here. As with every Crow the book has 160 pages.

Like many of the Crow editions the artwork is cribbed from the Astro edition.

Crow 24 -May 1949

Crow 24 back

Astro 31 (13) - 1948

Book 25 (July 1949), Reckless Maiden, by Peggy Gaddis was first published as One More Woman (New York: Godwin, 1935) as by Joan Sherman. It is next seen as Shameless Virgin and a new author in 1948 as book 14 in the Astro series. I haven't seen the Astro edition but the Crow edition is also likely cut.

Crow 25 - July 1959

Crow 25 back

Astro 14 - 1948


  1. Thanks! (And thanks for your good, serious work here! When I was searching for information on my crow books, You were clearly the source, and I was so impressed with your informative posts. MUCH appreciated! Jim Linderman