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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Mitchell Hooks: Some More Paperback Covers 1950 -1960

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

For some reason I've been thinking about Mitchell Hooks recently. I had the great pleasure - honour, actually - of meeting Mitchell in person last summer. He is both an incredible artist and a truly fine gentleman. Spending a couple of hours over lunch at the Society of Illustrators with Mitchell, Murray Tinkelman and Bob Levering will always be one of my most cherished memories.

Hooks10

I've previously written about Mitchell's career so there won't be a lot of text accompanying this week's posts - but I did want to share more of his artwork with you. Since writing about Mitchell I've noticed more of and more of his work - especially his paperback covers - is beginning to appear on blogs, websites and especially on Flickr, among those who archive old paperback covers.

Hooks44a

Chief among those doing the good work of preserving Mitchell Hooks' legacy in paperbacks is my friend, Uilke (AKA UK Vintage). Most of today's scans are from Uilke's Mitchell Hooks Flickr set - a truly stunning, always growing collection that currently comprises 72 covers - so many thanks, Uilke, for generously sharing these treasures with us!

As you scroll down, just look at how Mitchell's style changed over the first half of the '50s...

1950

1950 - Signet 820

1951

1951 - Bantam 965 + Backcover

1952

1952 - Bantam 1050a

1953

1953 - Bantam 1154

1954

1954 - Bantam 1271 _ Mitchell Hooks

1955

1955 - Bantam 1360

1956

1956 - Crest 139

1957

1957 - Bantam 1565

1958

1958 - Cardinal C 302

1959

The Two Lives of Dr. Stratton

1960

1960 - Dell B 134

These last two are from Flickr member Kay Atkinson (AKA The Woman in the Woods) and are from 1955...

The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary by Erle Stanley Gardner

... and 1958, respectively.

The Case of the Empty Tin by Erle Stanley Gardner

The bold, graphic treatment Mitchell developed makes his work during the second half of the '50s among my favourite of all time.

To see many more examples of Mitchell Hooks' paperback cover art, visit UK Vintage's Flickr set.

11 comments

  1. "Shriek with Pleasure"????

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  2. Yeah, some of the best copy writing of all time! ;^)

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  3. Is there no end to this excellence?
    The deftness and economy of the brushwork is mindblowing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Scott; Mitchell did over 400 paper back covers during his career so, no, there will be no end to this excellence. At least not any time soon! ;^)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I'd have bought 'Shriek With Pleasure' just to have it sitting on my bookshelf...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous4:29 PM

    'Shriek' was apparently also cover illustrated by Lou Marchetti:
    http://fineart.ha.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=7016&Lot_No=97132

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting! I guess readers just couldn't get enough of Shrieking for Pleasure. ;^)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous, a good title on your shelf is always fun to have, which is why I picked up that copy of "Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama!" by Julius Lester eons ago.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Michael Fraley-- I always wondered what Julius Lester did after he completed his annotated translation of Georg Freidrich Hegel's "Phenomenology of the Mind."

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice, well done, thank you!
    Jim Linderman
    Dull Tool Dim Bulb

    ReplyDelete
  11. this was amazing ..thank you.. for paperback at http://www.muselibrary.org/

    ReplyDelete

 

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