I’ve posted scans of two of the following covers before, so in order to add value, I’ve rescanned one of the repeats and scanned the other from a duplicate copy that I have in my collection:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
I’m certainly no expert on the publication history of the novels of Sax Rohmer, but it seems unlikely to me that they have ever been as attractively and appropriately packaged as they were when Pyramid was the publisher and Joe Lombardero was the cover artist. Sad to say, but sans Lombardero, Pyramid embraced a far more pedestrian design for their Sax Rohmer books (not that the actual readers of the books probably cared one way or the other). Here, for instance, is Pyramid’s edition of Emperor Fu Manchu, with art by Len Goldberg, that was published in the same year, 1966, as four of the five paperbacks posted above with art by Lombardero:
Oddly enough, around the same time, Sax Rohmer and Pyramid Books got a bit of “free” publicity from International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York:
Unfortunately, librarians have often used exactly the same argument that the folks at ITT deploy in that advertisement to defend Corpsman C. Sanders’ preference for Fu Manchu over Hamlet to defend the inclusion of comics in library collections…
But anyway, no publicity is bad publicity, right?
Keywords:Brood of the Witch-Queen, The Dream Detective, The Golden Scorpion, The Green Eyes of the Bast, The Yellow Claw, Sax Rohmer, J. Lombardero, Len Goldberg.
Every once in a while, in my weekly rummage through the local thrift stores, I come across a few old paperbacks that call out to be purchased not for the stories, which may or may not be any good, but for the covers. That’s the case here:
Sax Rohmer, of course, is the creator of Fu Manchu, but who is J. Lombardero? He’s an illustrator, obviously, but beyond that, I have no idea.
On the same trip, I bought three original paperbacks in the “Operator 5” series (which I’d never heard of before I bought the books). Perhaps I’ll scan the covers of those for a later post. There’s one, in particular, that’s absolutely wild.