Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: One lovely cover with art by James Bama

I don’t usually buy paperbacks that are in as rough a condition as this copy of Tomboy by Hal Ellson, but I was drawn in by the excellent cover art, which I was surprised to note is by the American illustrator/painter James Bama, who is perhaps best known for his hyper-masculine paintings of cowboys, mountain men, rodeo heroes, Native Americans, and others, including the bronze-haired, bronze-skinned, musclebound pulp-fiction hero Doc Savage! The severe wear and crisscross of cracks and creases on my copy of Tomboy reduce its value, if it has any at all, to that of a “reading copy,” but weirdly, they also seem to reinforce the theme of social disintegration and personal turmoil in the inner city that is central to both the painting and the book:


An interesting “bonus feature” of the 1969 Bantam edition of Tomboy displayed above is that it includes an introduction by Fredric “Seduction of the Innocent” Wertham, M.D., who praises the novel “as a good test for people’s knowledge of literature and life.”

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Dean Ellis · Illustration Art · Look Here

Connections: James Bama and Dean Ellis

The V. cover (1964) is by Bama; the Eleventh Commandment (1970) is by Ellis. Both are attractive and effective variations on a “surrealist” theme, and both were scanned earlier this morning by me from my personal library of folded, spindled, and mutilated paperback fiction.


Keywords: V., The Eleventh Commandment, surrealism.