Sunday, 6 January 2019

Something Different Part I

To start the new year here is a small mid-century Canadian paperback that isn't a Harlequin or White Circle or Crow or any number of other obscure mass-market Canadian publishers.

Published in 1961 (Np: Aleph Press) The Drunken Clock is a 16 page collection of 12 poems by Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941-1987) and her second book. 

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Harlequin Artists Part XXXIX - Paul Berta

In my last post I noted the signature of an artist on a 1958 Harlequin cover that I could not entirely decipher. A recent correspondent (thanks, Grant) has found the artist. He is Paul Berta. A now retired Toronto artist, this was Berta's only cover for Harlequin.

Berta is the 23rd Harlequin cover artist from the first 500 books that I have at least a partial name. I recently completed a survey of these Harlequin artists and here is the summary.

The art on 11 of the first 500 covers had been used on an earlier book. The remaining 489 books included seven covers with photographs and one with only text, leaving 481 books with original art. The work of at least 32 artists is seen on these books, some relatively well known, most forgotten and some anonymous. A surprising 304 (63%) covers are signed by 23 artists (22 men, one woman), three of whom are known to be alive in 2018. I have identified the likely artist on 62 of the unsigned covers, meaning 366 (76%) of the covers have identified art. On the remaining 115 books there are 14 covers with the unknown initials or unintelligible signatures of nine artists.

Here are a few covers from the 23 artists.

D. Rickard - Harlequin 75 - September 1950

Lyle Glover - Harlequin 84 - November 1950

Wesley Chapman - Harlequin 131 - September 1951

Friede - Harlequin 189 - September 1952

Friday, 23 November 2018

Harlequin Artists Part XXXVIII - Who?

I've been reviewing the artwork on the first 500 Harlequin books the last few weeks - trying to identify the remaining unknown artists. Here's one that continues to puzzle. There is a signature but I cannot decipher completely. I see "Paul (B or E)??t?".

It appears to be his only work for Harlequin.

Harlequin 434 - August 1958

Harlequin 434 artist

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Two Solitudes Part III

In the first of the posts on the Canadian novel Two Solitudes I highlighted the new edition from McGill-Queen's University Press. McGill holds Hugh MacLennan's archives, including this correspondence between him and Margaret Paull about Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada's paperback editions of two of his novels.

Did Collins eventually cut 39 pages? A quick comparison of the two editions shows that the foreword and chapter 39 are missing. But these are 3 or 4 pages. Only a close reading will establish if more is cut. The Collins's edition is 320 pages, the maximum they published in this series.

White Circle CD540 - 1952

McGill-Queen's Press - 2018

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Collins White Circle Artists Part XXXVIII - Harold Rayner (2)

In my first post on Canadian mid-century Canadian artist Harold Rayner I showed his first three of six covers for publisher Wm. Collins & Sons Canada.

I have some more information on Rayner. His nephew, Gordon Rayner, was an artist who, in this piece, describes his early life with his father, Gordon, and his uncle, Harold, both artists.

Here are the last three of his White Circle covers.

White Circle CD495 - 1951

White Circle CD527 - 1951

White Circle CD538 - 1952