In the last post I mentioned that one of the characters on one of the book covers looked very much like a friend's husband. I sent her a jpg and she and her daughter were dumbstruck. I am sending them the book. Turns out her husband was also a big Louis L'Amour fan.
This time I've got three more L'Amour covers with what appears to be another "guest star."
I love illustration, much more than I like fine art. I guess it's the graphic designer in me. I'm fascinated by someone working within set parameters and how with a limited amount of time they can turn out work that fills the need and is memorable.
When you think of all the art that has been created for paperback books it's staggering. And when you think about the fact that there's been some seriously good work that once used was relegated to the trash bin, it's heartbreaking. I'll admit to not being a fan of the majority of art used on romance novels, but mysteries and westerns can be very enticing. I'd love to have any of this work to hang on my wall.
Image from 1972 edition.
Image from 1973 edition.
So here we have the "guest star, " though maybe I'm the only one noticing it. Dean Martin. Yes, THE Dean Martin who starred in many Westerns with the likes of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Robert Mitchum. Now, did the illustrator intend for readers to recognize this as Dean Martin? Who knows. Illustrators often work from photographs. I know of a book done by a famous illustrator who used the wife of a politician to portray the Wicked Witch of the West in his book of Oz. You had to be blind to not recognize her face.
No edition information given.
I've never been a fan of Louis L'Amour books, but my father has a big stack of them given to him by the wife of a deceased friend. I think over the years dad has probably read all of them, but has no interest in me buying more of them. These days he's a big fan of Craig Johnson's Longmire series, a pseudo western. When my dad finishes reading a book he always hands it to me, no matter if I'm interested in it or not. I am the repository of books. I still say that anyone could walk into my home and find at least one book they'd like to read.
These three books were stuck in a paper bag of books I'd taken off a bookshelf when some new windows were installed last year. Yes, it's taken me this long to get the bookshelf back in place and start sorting the books. This time I'm going through and picking out stuff that will not go back on the shelf. Mind you, it's hard for me to get rid of a book. I love books, but then I'd have to since I make my living creating them.
1979 edition. Click on image to see it larger.
What first struck me about one of these is how much one face looks like a friend's husband. Now, that would seem highly unlikely, except for the fact that he was an actor who did appear in several westerns. So maybe, just maybe, the illustrator was working from a photo of him. I've sent the image along to my friend to see what she thinks.
1985 edition. Click on image to see it larger.
No information is ever given about the illustrators of these books, which to me is a shame. Just a brief callout on the copyright page would be nice. I'd like to be able to compare images they've done. It sort of boggles the mind how many illustrations have been done for paperbacks since their inception. Artists cranking out one cover after another, but still giving their best. A lot was riding on these illustrations, no pun intended. Point of purchase sale was the most important element behind what finally got chosen. Did the illustration capture something that would make a buyer stop and become a reader?
1979 edition. Click on image to see it larger.
Will I toss these books as I put the shelves back together? Probably not. I'll never read them, but I do like the covers.
Do you have memories of riding the range though you never left your neighborhood? You might have been a buckaroo or buckarette.
Do you remember thinking you could vanquish the bad guys with a song in your heart and a six-gun on your hip? You might have been a buckaroo or buckarette.
Do you remember singing Happy Trails and knowing all the words? You might have been a buckaroo or buckarette.
Tattered and Lost: Buckaroos and Buckarettes should easily fill that void of forgotten memories when all kids dreamt of joining their heroes Roy, Gene, Hoppy, and Annie. You'll smile, you'll laugh, you'll wonder how you ever lost the dream.
Need a special gift for someone? Tattered and Lost: Buckaroos and Buckarettes might just be what you're looking for. Sure to start conversations for people of any age.
104 pages with 94 photos, available at Amazon. Photos from the early part of the 20th Century through the early 1960s.