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Sunday, May 09, 2010


Ulrich is a pen-name for an artist who produced artwork for paperback publishers in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily for Scion's gangster novels by Al Bocca and Brad Shannon, but also a couple of romance titles. A closer look at the signature reveals something interesting: rather than Ulrich, which is how I've listed him as in the past, the signature actually reads ULRICH, with the 'ric' in smaller capitals than the 'u', 'l' and 'h'.

It's definitely not just a slip of the pen as the same large/small combination of capitals can be seen in the signature on other covers. It could be a stylistic quirk or it could be a clue to the actual name of the artist.

Unfortunately, that's as far as my research has progressed on this one. These old paperbacks are so scarce that I've only access to a tiny percentage of them and it has been over twenty years since I went through the holdings of the British Library. Some artists signed with a variety of different names but as far as my memory allows I've not seen covers by the same artist under a different name. Maybe I'll come across more as I get more of my old book covers scanned.

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