Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Bell Features and Publishing Artists Part III - René again

The mystery discussed in the last post on early Canadian paperback artist René has been solved (thanks Morgan). He is Rene Kulbach.

He worked on Bell Features original early 1940s comics and did the covers on two of Bell's 17 paperbacks.

Here I'll show his front cover signature which matches up with his comic one.

Monday, 21 March 2022

Bell Features and Publishing Artists Part II - René

The seventeen paperbacks published by Toronto's Bell Features and Publishing circa 1946 have seven signed covers. Five are by Adrian Dingle and two by an artist signing as René. Both covers have a difficult to decipher signature. Fortunately he/she signed the back cover of The Canyon of Death more clearly as "RENÉ".

Assuming this is not René Magritte the artist remains unknown.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Studio Publications Part VII

Ten years ago I introduced the Junior Adventure Library from Toronto's Studio Publications. It is an obscure four issue paperback series targeted to kids published in 1952. Three of the titles are well known texts and/or authors. The fourth is different. I just found this uncommon book and learned that it is a collection of four stories.

The book is digest sized with 90 pages of text, including five illustrations. All artwork is unsigned.

Dawn Patrol by Thomson Burtis (1896-1971). First published in the June 1924 issue of American Boy. As far as I can tell this is the only book appearance.

The Man Who Went Down by Laurie York Erksine. The source for the story is unknown.

"I Am a Dog" Confessions of a Dachshund by Clark W. Grayson. I can find nothing about the author or story.

"Bawler Out" and "Nimble-Feet"  by William Heyliger (1884-1950). The source for the story is unknown.

A 1955 Canadian Lung Association Christmas Seal stamp has been added to the front cover.

Studio Junior Adventure Library J2 - 1952

Studio Junior Adventure Library J2 back

Friday, 3 September 2021

Addition to Collection Redux

Another addition to the collection of vintage Canadian paperbacks - Against the Grain by J[oris]-K[arl] Huysmans (1848-1907). Published by Fireside Publications of Toronto (c. 1950) with an introduction by Havelock Ellis. First published in 1884 as À rebours, translated in 1922.

Unlike other Fireside novels which are magazine sized this book is digest sized. There are 128 pages, so the text is bowderlized - plus 15 illustrations.

The artist is Leo Orenstein.

Oddly there is another version of this title from Fireside. The text block is the same - just new covers. The cover tells the reader that it is the January 1950 issue of T.N.T. - "gusty [sic] - unusual - thrilling". The photograph of Fred Astair (!) is from the 1950 film Ziegfeld Follies. I don't know if there are other issues of T.N.T.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Bodies Are Dust

A new edition of the 1931 novel Bodies Are Dust (Vanguard Press) by P. J. Wolfson has just been published as the first in a new imprint from Stark House Press of Eureka, California. The first paperback edition of this book was Canadian - published by Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises in May 1949. The first American paperback edition dates from 1952.

Export had a habit of bowdlerizing its editions to fit a predetermined page count. A comparison of the two editions shows Export did indeed cut, by about 25%.

Staccato Crime SC-001 - 2021

News Stand Library 44 - May 1949

News Stand Library 44 back