TRASHY TUESDAY: BABY YOUR TYPE’S MURDER BY Marc Brody (Horwitz, 1958)
Marc Brody was supposedly the author and the main character in a series of tough novels written between 1955 and 1960 for Australia’s Horwitz Publishing. Much like his Sydney contemporary Carter Brown, the Brody novels were inspired by the popular hardboiled American fiction of the time and were largely set in America. Brody was a crime reporter who managed to get himself in a wide of troubles in the over 80 books he was featured in. In real life Marc Brody was W H (Bill Williams) an Australian novelist, journalist and editor of the tabloid newspaper Melbourne Truth.
The Brody books were initially published in digest format with photos of models on the covers, with a backdrop of action drawings (see below for some examples). When the books moved into numbered paperback format in 1958, they adopted an illustrated cover as shown on Baby Your Type’s Murder. However, they continued with the signature Brody silhouette in the top left hand corner of the cover (more clearly evident in the covers below than in Baby Your Type’s Murder where it is lost against the purple background). They also continued with the photo and biography of Marc Brody on the back cover (below), similar to the approach on the early Carter Brown books. I do not know if the photo is actually of Williams, or if it is a stand-in.
The Brody novels were produced at the rate of almost two a month and were quite popular, although they did not enjoy the international success of the Carter Brown books, apart from being reprinted in Scandinavia.
The Cover: The cover for Baby Your Type’s is Murder lacks the eye-catching model approach of the early Brody digests. I am not sure who the artist is, but the cover illustration pales against the Good Girl Art (GGA) covers that were prevalent on American books at the time. The blonde girl at the centre of the cover has uneven eyes and a ‘stunned mannequin’ look, which is a little off-putting. The effect is also heightened by the red dress she is wearing, which appears to shine like it is tightly wrapped plastic. She is also holding a gun, which is almost de rigueur for crime covers at the time. In background Marc Brody (we assume) is lurking, also with a gun and sporting a strange wink. In the bottom corner there is a poorly drawn boat, which foreshadows the book’s conclusion. The cover also has the ‘A Crime Reporter’s Inside Story’ tagline which appeared on all the books. It is not a great cover, but it does have some charm .
The two covers below give some idea of the ‘photographic model’ covers which were used on the digest editions of the Brody books, including the odd ‘lady wrestler’ one for the unfortunately titled A Blonde For My Punch-Line.
I intend to add more Brody covers from my collection in the future.