TRASHY TUESDAY: CATCH ME A PHOENIX by Carter Brown
Robert McGinnis’ famous Good Girl Art covers are synonymous with the American Signet editions of the Carter Brown novels in the 1960s. These covers were sometimes reproduced on the Australian editions of the books by Horwitz (the original publishers of Carter Brown), but more often they would they commission local unacknowledged artists to copy paint the original McGinnis covers or paint similar covers in the McGinnis style. See my earlier article: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/australian-carter-brown-covers/
With Catch Me A Phoenix! the publishers would seem to have replaced the McGinnis cover with a very good copy. It is almost identical to the original, apart from the brighter background and different colour scheme and some slight differences in the drawing. They also changed the font a little on the blurb to make the model more prominent and central, and for some reason removed the ! after Phoenix (although it is retained on the title page inside). At first glance it seems to be the original painting with a change to the background, but on closer examination you can see that the bent arm is different and the bow on the girl’s pants are also slightly different. Detail from the bow on the bra is also missing and there are slight differences with her hair.
The revamped McGinnis cover with its bright purples and green is much more striking cover than the original version with its muted browns.
Horwitz also included the monochrome cover of McGinnis’ art for Blonde On The Rocks on the back cover of Catch Me A Phoenix!, in the same way as it appeared on the Signet version.
The McGinnis cover for Blonde On The Rocks:
Two Australian versions of Blonde On The Rocks for comparison.
In the end I think that the Horwitz revamping of the original McGinnis cover for Catch Me A Phoenix! actually improved it and made it more striking!
The Australian cover is actually a repaint. A close look reveals numerous differences. The background, most clearly, isn’t the same as that of the McGinnis painting. The pattern on the woman’s pants is different. The bow cinching her pants is different, and the distance between the top of the bow and her navel is different.
Tim, thanks. When I started doing the post I thought it was a repaint, but then I convinced myself that it wasn’t. As you would seen on my blog, most of the repaints are pretty obvious, but this one was really close. Now that I look I can see that the right hand is also different. Cheers, Jeff