AUSTRALIAN CARTER BROWN COVERS
Robert McGinnis’ famous Good Girl Art covers are synonymous with the American Signet editions of the Carter Brown novels in the 1960s, and are also often to be found on editions outside America. The covers, nearly always featuring an attractive, scantily dressed woman staring directly at the potential reader, became closely associated with the Carter Brown novels and were probably directly responsible for their huge sales.
In Australia, the original publishers of Carter Brown, Horwitz, sometimes used the American McGinnis covers, but more often they would they commission local unacknowledged artists to paint different covers in the McGinnis style. And in a strange twist, they would also occasionally use monochrome versions of the McGinnis drawings on the back covers of the books (see The Sometime Wife below).
The Australian covers lack the style and quality of the McGinnis covers, but they have a certain charm about them.
Set out below, I have included some of my favourite ones from my collection.
The Girl From Outer Space (see above) lacks the elegance of the McGinnis covers, but is quite provocative, even if the drawing of the blonde highlighted girl on the cover seems to contradict the description below it: “She was a dazzling dark-haired import.”
Blonde On A Broomstick is probably the most suggestive of a McGinnis cover, and is a nicely positioned drawing, even if it looks like she is wearing a wig.
There is nothing very subtle about the cover for The Plush-Lined Coffin, although the swirling purple background gives it the nice 1960s psychedelic feel that you would associate with a “California love cult”!
Another good McGinnis imitation.
Quite a nice drawing and the McGinnis Signet cover for the same book was used on the back cover.
I don’t think the artist of the cover for The Unorthodox Corpse liked painting eyes. It gives the impression of being a lazy, rushed job and pales in comparison to the Signet cover (below) by Robert McGinnis (which featured Shere Hite as the model).