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Behind the Cover: Barye Phillips

Barye Phillips (1924-1969) started by working for Columbia Pictures' advertising department in the early 1940s and did training booklets and propaganda during WW II. He began painting paperback covers around 1943 and was very prolific, working for several publishers in various styles. His best known work was probably for Gold Medal and other Fawcett imprints.

His work was much in demand, and he did covers for Avon, Bantam, Dell, Pocket Books, and Signet, although he is most remembered for his numerous Gold Medal covers, including some of the early Shell Scott's.

From The Paperback Explosion: How Gay Paperbacks Changed America ~ Ian Young: This motif of the Concerned Woman was frequently used: Dean Douglas’s Man Divided (Gold Medal, 1954) and Dyson Taylor’s Bitter Love (Pyramid, 1957) were among many whose covers showed eye-catching dames displaying concern for depressed-looking fellows. The prototype was an early, undated paperback reprint of Richard Meeker’s 1933 novel Better Angel; retitled Torment, it showed a woman reaching out to a man in a suit who appears to be hiding his head in the curtains.

His speed (he consistently turned out four finished paintings a week) and his ability to work in a variety of styles lead to his being referred to throughout the industry as "The King of the Paperbacks".

Poster for Goldfinger

Cover Art for Odds Against Linda

Cover Art for Satan is a Woman

Cover Art for The Wild Breed

In addition to "Diamond Lil" gem for Sheridan, Barye Phillips did the dustcover for: Case of the Vanishing Beauty by Richard Prather [Fawcett Gold Medal, 1950]; On the Road by Jack Kerouac [Signet, 1958]; The Big Caper by Lionel White [winner of the Frederick Muller Gold Award, 1961]; and the first paperback edition of Casino Royale by Ian Fleming [Signet].

Barye Phillips died in 1969.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I had On the Road by Jack Kerouac and my sister had Pal Joey by John O'hara. Even back then we were world's apart


Lambda Literary Awards Winner 2010/Bisexual Fiction for Holy Communion
Aug. 20th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Covers
But look, you are now near one after the other with the same cover artist ;-)
Aug. 20th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Covers
Oh wow, I didn't notice that. It is indeed a small world, will tell my sister about it, she too will be surprised


Lambda Literary Awards Winner 2010/Bisexual Fiction for Holy Communion
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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