Friday, August 14, 2015

Paperbacking the Classics

We all know that sex sells, just as we also know that most people will almost always judge a book by its cover! So what would happen if one of the trashier publishing houses of the 50's decided to repackage the classics with sexy new cover art and provocative, arousing tag lines? Let cartoonist, legend, Ed Fisher show you the way with this handful of hilarious covers he originally reworked in 1954 for The Saturday Review.

Man oh man-- suddenly I want to read The Last of the Mohicans!















9 comments:

Craftypants Carol said...

these are pretty hilarious! an undifferentiated continuum never sounded so sexy!

the oliver twist on is so great, and i love the dinosaur in origin of the species

Craftypants Carol said...

oh man i just noticed your new header pic! hopefully it hasn't been there too long without me noticing.

it's really cute!!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Sure, we've had plenty of Naughty Alice versions since 1954, but something that made me smile ... is the connection between Colossal Ahab and Moby "Dick"...
Oh, and read well the lines written for "Meeting of East and West". Wise, wise cover. It beats killing each other, definitely.

Drazen said...

These are great tho they could use some lurid color

Donald Benson said...

This was common enough that a lot of satirists jumped on it.

If anybody remembers the non-Marilyn parts of "The Seven Year Itch", Tom Ewell oversees a reprint of "Little Women" as "Secrets of a Girls' Dormitory" and explains to an outraged author why his serious book on male psychology has been retitled "The Seven Year Itch."

MAD Magazine was more intent on movies, showing how innocent, dull flicks could be semi-honestly peddled as lurid exploitation. One piece followed a hypothetical romantic epic from ads for its classy first-run engagements to its lurid grindhouse finish. Another pitched Disney's "Snow White" with the line "She needed SEVEN men!"

Still goes on, especially in cheap DVD cover art. How many editions of the grim and unsexy war story "Two Women" placed a low-cut glamour shot of Sophia Loren on the cover? How many cartoon collections headlined Woody Woodpecker or Donald Duck on the basis of the single title of each that had gone PD? When Columbia released its outrageously silly Batman serials from the 1940s, they put a sleek and modern Dark Knight-type illustration on the cover.

JMR777 said...

Clever. Funny. Loved it.

Brian Barnes said...

They managed to sexualize gruel! Bravo!

Naila Rainmaker said...

These are great! Now I'm going to go around imagining the cover of every classic novel as a pulp.

Karswell said...

I've got some more Ed Fisher gags coming up, and then we'll finally take another look inside that Fireside cook book-- thanks for the comments and stay tuned! :)