Friday, November 25, 2011

John McDermott: "In the early '50s he did some paperback covers..."

The entry on John McDermott in Piet Schreuders' "The Book of Paperbacks" is brief. After a paragraph of biographical info, it reads simply:

"In the early '50s he did some paperback covers for Pocket Books, specializing in action scenes."

Dell 808

Not mentioned is that McDermott can lay claim to having illustrated the cover of one of the 20th century's most memorable pop culture tomes...

Dell First Edition 42

... or McDermott's dynamic graphic experimentation, which he began incorporating into covers he illustrated in the mid-'50s.

Terror on Broadway

In fact, John McDermott continued illustrating paperback covers well into the mid-'60s...

Blackmail Inc

... and continued experimenting with a variety of impactful graphic techniques that gave his work a thoroughly contemporary (for the times) look.

Gold Medal1238

Dell 1264

Michael Brett - Diecast

Murderers' Row

While paperback cover art will never be more than a footnote in John McDermott's diverse, prolific career, its certainly worthy of an appreciative glance...

Wade Miller - South of the Sun (1st printing)

... and, I think, a great way to finish up this week!

* many thanks to Flickr friends U.K. Vintage, John McClaverty and severance_23, who provided all of today's scans.


  1. Thanks for all the research and an interesting subject. I had never heard of McDermott until now but his art and story have impressed me. He sounds like my kind of guy.

  2. My pleasure, Joel - I'm very glad you enjoyed this series and thanks for commenting :^)