Monday, July 12, 2010

Mickey Spillane 1950's Paperback Book Covers

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them. In 1953 and 1954 we did not have much in the way of stimulation at the newstands. This was before Playboy and all the rest. Well there was Dude and Cavalier and Jem and a few magazines of that nature. But we did have Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer. And as good as the hard boiled writing was in Mickey's books I think the covers of his paperbacks in the 1950s were even better.
Newstands were where the action was in the 1950s. Movies were still quite tame but newstands had all kinds of wonders to behold. Whole racks of lurid paperback covers. Some of them on classics. Not to mention all the horror comic books of the 1950s. What I remember most about these newstands was the smell of the newspapers and magazines and comic books mixed with the smell of popcorn. One of my favorite newstands was right across the street from the main movie theater. Some of these newstands sold beer in the back to adults so that beer smell also mixed into the smell of popcorn and newsprint and ink. And mixed in also was the smell of tobacco. The smell of cigarettes and the strong smell of cigars.
But we had to go to the train station back in the early 1950s to find the men's magazines like JEM. They did not hide them from teenagers. They were right out on the racks.
Here are a few of the types of covers that could be seen on the newstand racks in the 1950s.