NOT QUITE ROBERT McGINNIS: Australian copies of McGinnis Carter Brown Covers
Robert McGinnis’ stylish ‘Good Girl Art’ covers are almost synonymous with the American editions of the Carter Brown novels and probably part of the reason why the books sold so well.
Presumably for copyright reasons, rather than using the original artwork of the American editions of the Carter Brown novels, Australian publishers Horwitz would often hired unidentified local artists to copy paint the original Robert McGinnis covers for the Australian editions. Sometimes these would be almost direct copies, as in the case of Catch Me A Phoenix (https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-catch-me-a-phoenix-by-carter-brown/), but other times they would be more in the style of the McGinnis covers https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/australian-carter-brown-covers/.
The Australian editions usually stayed within the decency standards of the McGinnis covers (see The Blonde below), but this was not the case with the local edition of Had I But Groaned.
The Australian edition of Had I But Groaned (Horwitz, 1968), not only had a brighter, more striking colour palette, it also took a more risqué approach to the model’s behind. Gone is the bikini bottom painted by McGinnis, with the local artist baring her bottom. Otherwise the drawing is identical, with only some minor variations around the lounge, the shape of the trailing coat, toning on the woman’s back and shape of an arm to suggest that it is a copy. There are also changes to the font and positioning of the blurb.
It is an unusual change for Horwitz and is a bit more bolder than most Australian paperback covers in 1968.
Usually the Australian covers maintained the same levels of discretion, as can be seen in the American and Australian editions of The Blonde below.
As can be seen above, the Australian Horwitz edition is identical to the American cover, with the exception of a brighter colour palette, different coloured earrings and arm band and a different shaped and coloured towel. There are also sight differences to the toning and the hair.
I will cover some more Australian variations of Robert McGinnis’ classic artwork in future articles.