Sunday, August 31, 2014

Helen MacInnes cover gallery


Above Suspicion (1941)
Corgi Books T3, 1953, 281pp. Cover by Mates
Fontana Books 1537, 1965, 254pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 1967.
---- [4th imp.] 1970.
---- [17th imp.] Jun 1979, 254pp, 80p. Cover photo by Robert Golden
Titan Books 978-1781-16153-1, 2012, 345pp.

Assignment in Brittany (1942)
Corgi Books G79, 1954, 382pp, 3/6.
Fontana Books 1263, 1966, 317pp.
---- [2nd imp.] Jan 1967.
---- [3rd imp.] Feb 1968, 317pp, 5/-. Cover photo
---- [4th imp.] 1969, 318pp.
Fontana Books 0006-14997-9, 1977, 318pp.
Fontana Books 0006-16713-6 [17th imp.] Dec 1985, 317pp, £2.75. Cover by N.C.B.?
Titan Books 978-1781-16151-7, 2012, 429pp.

While Still We Live (1944; UK as The Unconquerable, 1944)
Fontana Books 0006-17065-X, 1970, 511pp.
---- [16th imp.] Apr 1990, 619pp, £3.99. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16155-5, 2013, 681pp.

Horizon (1945)
Corgi Books T96, 1955, 192pp, 2/-. Cover by S. R. Boldero
Fontana Books 0006-11922-0, 1969, 191pp.
---- [7th imp.] Jun 1975, 191pp, 50p. Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-15691-6, 1979, 191pp.
---- [11th imp.] Oct 1985, 191pp,  £1.75. Cover photo by Robert Golden
---- [13th imp.] 1990, 191pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16327-6, 2013.

Friends and Lovers (1947)
Fontana Books 0006-16718-7, 1972, 336pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16334-4, 2014.

Rest and Be Thankful (1949)
Fontana Books 0006-16379-3, 1973, 317pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16157-9, 2013, 475pp.

Neither Five Nor Three (1951)
Fontana Books 0006-17121-4, 1969, 350pp.
---- [12th imp.] Apr 1985, 350pp, £1.95. Cover photo
---- [13th imp.] Feb 1986, 350pp, £2.95. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16156-2, 2013, 483pp.

I and My True Love (1953)
Fontana Books 0006-17120-6, 1968, 287pp.
---- [Xth imp.] 1971.
Titan Books 978-1781-16325-2, 2013, 379pp.

Pray for a Brave Heart (1955)
Fontana Books 176, 1957, 253pp.
Fontana Books 1398, Jul 1966, 253pp,, 5/-. Cover photo
---- [5th imp.] 1969, 253pp.
Fontana Books 0006-14426-8, 1980, 253pp.
Fontana Books 0006-17066-8, n.d., 252pp. 
Titan Books 978-1781-16152-4, 2012, 343pp.

North from Rome (1958)
Fontana Books, 1960.
Fontana Books 1145 [2nd imp.] Jul 1965.
Fontana Books 1728 [3rd imp.] May 1968, 253pp, 5/-.
Fontana Books 0006-12534-4 [15th imp.] Jun 1976, 287pp, 65p. Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-15184-1, 287pp.
---- [20th imp.] 1990, 362pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16326-9, 2012, 394pp.

Decision at Delphi (1960)
Corgi Books FN1292, 1963, 381pp.
Fontana Books 1532, 1967, 444pp.
---- [4th imp.] 1970, 444pp.
Fontana Books 0006-14427-6, 1977, 444pp
Titan Books 978-1781-16154-8, 2012.

The Venetian Affair (1963)
Fontana Books 1330, 1966, 348pp.
Fontana Books 1602 [2nd imp.], 1967, 348pp.
Fontana Books [4th imp.] 1968, 348pp.
Fontana Books 0006-12533-6, 1971, 348pp.
---- [11th imp.] Apr 1976, 348pp, 80p. Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-15013-6 [15th imp.] Dec 1986, 348pp, £2.95. Cover by Unknown
---- [16th imp.] Jun 1990, 382pp.
Diamond Books 0261-66511-1, 1994, 382pp. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16330-6, 2012, 483pp.

The Double Image (1966)
Fontana Books, 1968, 317pp.
Fontana Books, 1970.
Fontana Books 0006-14998-7, 1977, 317pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16328-3, 2013.

The Salzburg Connection (1968)
Fontana Books 2499, 1971, 378pp, 7/- (35p). Cover photo
Fontana Books 3035 [2nd imp.] Sep 1972.
---- [3rd imp.] Feb 1973, 378pp, 40p. Cover still. Movie Tie-In.
Fontana Books 0006-13035-6 [4th imp.]; [5th imp.]; [6th imp.].
---- [7th imp.] Oct 1975, 378pp, 75p. [Cover still as above]
Fontana Books 0006-17268-7 [12th imp.] Mar 1986, 378pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown
---- [14th imp.] Aug 1990.
Diamond Books 0261-66441-7, 1994, 378pp. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16329-0, 2012.

Message from Málaga (1971)
Fontana Books 0006-15298-8, 1973, 352pp.
---- [4th imp.] 1978, 352pp.
---- [6th imp.] Jan 1982, 352pp, £1.50. Cover photo by Robert Golden
---- [8th imp.] Jun 1986,  352pp, £2.95. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16333-7, 2012.

The Snare of the Hunter (1974)
Fontana Books 0006-14414-4, 1976, 252pp.
---- [6th imp.] Jun 1979, 252pp, 85p. Cover photo
---- [13th imp.] 1990, 252pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16332-0, 2013.

Agent in Place (1976)
Fontana Books 0006-17265-2, 1977, 320pp.
---- [10th imp.] May 1987
---- [11th imp.] Jun 1990, 346pp, £3.50. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16335-1, 2013, 421pp.

Prelude to Terror (1978)
Fontana Books 0006-15935-4, 1979, 320pp.
---- [8th imp.] Mar 1986, 320pp, £2.95. Cover photo
---- [9th imp.] Feb 1990.
Diamond Books 0261-66438-7, 1994, 399pp. Cover photo
Titan Books 978-1781-16336-8, 2013, 432pp.

The Hidden Target (1980)
Fontana Books 0006-16329-7, 1982, 352pp.
Fontana Books 0006-17220-2 [4th imp.] Jan 1986, 352pp, £2.75. Cover by unknown
Titan Books 978-1781-16339-9, 2013, 483pp.

Cloak of Darkness (1982)
Fontana Books 0006-16796-9, 1983, 315pp.
Titan Books 978-1781-16337-5, 2013.

Ride a Pale Horse (1984)
Fontana Books 0006-17119-2, 1986, 320pp, £2.75.
Titan Books 978-1781-16338-2, 2013, 429pp.


Sexual Life in Ancient Rome by Otto Kiefer, translated by Helen MacInnes Highet and Gilbert Highet (1934)
Panther Books 02715-7, 1969, 399pp.
Constable 0094-74480-7, 1995, 380pp.

Friedrich Engels: A Biography by Gustav Mayer, translated by Helen MacInnes Highet and Gilbert Highet (1936)
(no UK paperback)


Home Is the Hunter: A Comedy in Two Acts (1964)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

D. L. G. Stainton / Guy Leslie / John Southcombe

John Southcombe is an author from my file of "mysteries that have me mystified". He contributed a handful of stories to annuals published by Boardman in the 1950s but is otherwise absent from any publication that has been indexed. The logical explanation is that he is not a real person... but if that's the case, who was behind the pen-name?

I wonder if Southcombe was another pen-name for D. L. G. Stainton, who was a contemporary also writing for many of the same annuals. Notably, Stainton used the pen-name Guy Leslie to pen half of the text stories in the later Boardman annual, which also contained multiple stories by Southcombe.

Donald Leslie Guy Stainton served in the Royal Army Service Corps.—the transport corps—during the Second World War. A cadet in 1942, he rose to the rank of 2nd Lt. on 16 May 1942. He was later listed as a Lieutenant (Hon Capt.) in 1950.

Born in York in 1919, the son of Lesley Arnold Stainton (1892-1974) and his wife Gladys May (nee Creaser, 1895?-1964). He had a younger sister, Gladys V. Stainton, born 1924. The family lived in Muswell Hill, London, in the 1920s and 1930s.

Stainton was married to Marion Rose Partridge (b. 10 March 1921) in Fulham, London, in 1940. They were living at 72 Niton Street, Fulham SW6 in the 1950s/60s. He later moved to Bexhill-on-Sea, E. Sussex, where his wife died in 2002.


Short Stories as D. L. G. Stainton
The Case of the Disappearing Gangsters (Okay Adventure Annual, 1956)
The Unwilling Hero (Okay Adventure Annual, 1956)
The Atomic Aeroplane (Okay Adventure Annual, 1956)
The Secret of Grey Range (Treasure Story Book for Girls, 1956?)
Menace on Wheels (Speed Stories for Boys, 1957)
(title unknown) (Garland Story Book for Girls, 1957)
The Guardian of the Devil's Cave (Giant Story Book for Boys, 1957)
The Sea Witch (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
The Kidnapped Millionaire (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
The Air Pirates (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
Intrigue at Cannes (The New Parade for Girls, 1959)
Myra Makes the Grade (The New Parade for Girls, 1959)
The Vanishing Gangsters (The Big Parade for Boys, 1959)
The Forbidden Island (The Big Parade for Boys, 1959)

Short Stories as Guy Leslie
Heroes of the Sea (The Horizon Book for Boys, 1957?)
What an Exhibition (The New Parade for Girls, 1959)
A Friend in Darkness (The New Parade for Girls, 1959)
Mystery on the Marshes (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)
Jet Age Safari (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)
The Submarine Hunters (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)
Jungle Adventure (The New Target Book for Boys, 1960)
Highland Christmas (The New Target Book for Girls, 1960)

??Short Stories by John Southcombe (ascription uncertain)
Pirate Island (Ajax Adventure Annual, 1952)
Jungle Flight (The Adventure Annual, 1953)
In Search of the Abominable Snowman (Okay Adventure Annual, 1955)
The Raiders of Busangar (Okay Adventure Annual, 1956)
The Pride of the Tremars (Okay Adventure Annual, 1956)
Mutiny on the "Merrydown" (Okay Adventure Annual, 1957)
Orders to Wellington (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
The Glittering Hod of Nigai (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
Red Rock Revenge (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1958)
Desert Danger (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)
The King's Casket (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)
The Circles West Feud (Okay Annual of Adventure Stories, 1959)

Night Raider (Commando 35, Sep 1962, art by Matias Alonso)
Duel in the Sky (Commando 47, Dec 1962, art by Ferran Sostres)
Rogue Bomber (Commando 88, Oct 1963, art by Ferran Sostres)
Desert Ace (Commando 96, Dec 1963, art by Medrano)
Killer with Wings (Commando 103, Feb 1964, art by Peter Ford)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Comic Cuts - 29 August 2014

(* For unknown reasons, my internet connection has been playing up for a couple of days. Uploads and downloads are painfully slow when it's working and the connection has a habit of dropping out while I'm trying to save. So... this may be a bit short and under-illustrated. I'll do my best but if that's the case you'll know why.)

I'm making progress on our next book and should be heading into the approvals phase shortly. With the Bank Holiday upon us last weekend I kicked back and did a couple of bits and bobs that needed to be done, including a little bit of backing-up on my computer and looking at the lawn and deciding whether or not it needs cutting. Unwilling to rush such a major decision (especially on a weekend), I managed to keep the negotiations going until the rain came and made it a moot point.

The rain arrived on Monday and didn't cease for 25 hours and the lawnmower hasn't emerged from the shed. We risked dissolving by heading off to a local exhibition on the history of our new (four years one month) home town put together by the Wivenhoe History Group. I'm interested in authors and artists so I was hoping that there might be something on that subject. I couldn't find anything specific but there were an awful lot of scrapbooks that I never had a chance to look into. We did have a chat with the chap who was running the exhibition and I told him of the surprise I had whilst researching a piece on Dave Wallis, author of Only Lovers Left Alive, who (it turned out) used to live just down the road from where I'm writing this.

Other local authors include children's author Leila Berg, Elizabeth Jeffrey, author of historical novels, Belinda Starling, who wrote The Journal of Dora Damage before dying tragically young, regency novelist Fenella J. Miller and SF author Keith Brooke. I gather Nicholas Joll, author of Philosophy and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is also local; children's author Neil Jones (who also works on the Evening Gazette newspaper) may also be a Wivenhoevian. (I think I just made up that last word.)

There were hundreds of photographs of local people and local places. The notable locals looked severe and unyielding in portraits, while the shipbuilders and cargo loaders who worked at the local docks were smiling and dirty. There were a lot of beards, some ridiculously bushy, and boats. This was a shipbuilding area up until around 1961 and that industry dominated the photos. Captain Carter was given plenty of space. He was the Captain of the Royal Yacht Britannia on her maiden voyage in 1893. There's a blue plaque dedicated to Carter on a house just around the corner.

There were a couple of other things that I found very interesting and which I'm planning to find out a little more about: The Wivenhoe Flyer, built in 1909, the Volta pocket submarine, built during WW2 and The Man in the Iron Mask, who, for a bet, tried to walk around parts of the world without showing his face. How could anyone resist digging down into that little story.

As I've been writing about dystopian fiction, I've gathered together a few cover images that I'll run over the next few weeks. First up, Fred Pohl and C M Kornbluth's satire Gladiator-at-Law. Set in a future where corporations produce massive, violent celebratory arena games, it was first published by Ballantine Books in 1955, with a cover by Richard Power. The same cover was used on the 1958 Digit Books edition. The two Pan Books editions date from 1966 and 1974.

I have some bits lined up for the weekend... a look at one of the writers for Boardman's Okay annuals and hopefully a Helen MacInnes cover gallery, but it all depends on whether the internet can sort itself out. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

P.S. The tomato count is 108 from our two plants, including 83 from the cherry tomato plant. We're both turning slightly red.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Commando issues 4735-4738

Commando issues on sale 28th August 2014

Commando No 4735 – Deadly Enigma
Driving along a country road in neutral Switzerland, the Convict Commandos seemed to be enjoying a well-earned rest after a score of near-fatal missions. But appearances can be deceptive and, as the ever-fearful Jelly Jakes pointed out, their boss, Major Guy Tenby always had an unpleasant surprise up his sleeve.
   And so it proved. The Major’s latest escapade would plunge them into mortal danger once more as they tried to unravel a… DEADLY ENIGMA

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Manuel Benet
Cover: Manuel Benet

Commando No 4736 – Sea Wolf
Now they’re here; now they’re not!
   Now you see ‘em; now you don’t!
   They were the one thing the German Navy feared more than any other.
   They were commanded by men as daring as Sir Francis Drake, as crafty as Robin Hood.
   They were quite something, these MGBs.

Here we have a story that pits a man from a privileged background — and, let’s face it, a huge snob — against his family’s former chauffeur. That might make an interesting tale in itself, but Gordon Brunt wasn’t satisfied with that, writing in a second strand concerning impetuousness versus considered actions. It’s no doubt a tension that exists in all military actions but it works particularly well here.
   Lurking behind Ken Barr’s cover — which with a head shot dominating should be static but isn’t thanks to that MGB in the background — is some very fine black-and-white work from Sostres who manages action and humour with the same ease.
   Give it a try, it won’t bite.—Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: Gordon Brunt
Art: Sostres
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No 106 (February 1964), re-issued as No 623 (February 1972)

Commando No 4737 – Desert Hunters
The desert is a harsh place. It’s hard to survive in even when conditions are at their mildest. Fighting a war there seems utter lunacy — after all, there’s nothing of any value there. But all war is madness and can bring madness to those involved.
   So British Army Lieutenant Ray Sherrington wasn’t surprised to find the man he was up against was ruthless to the point of insanity.
   Captain Silvio Scappa was as mad as a cornered scorpion, and with a poisonous sting in his tail.

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Janek Matysiak
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4738 – Marooned!
No sailor likes the idea of being marooned…left high and dry on a remote spot of land. And when that island was held by a band of Japanese led by a fanatical officer who refused to believe the war was over, Lieutenant Commander Gib Davis and his crew had big trouble.
   And that was without taking into account the awesome secret weapon the enemy were determined to let loose…

It’s always a pleasure to re-visit the earlier work of our long-standing contributors and this fortnight it’s the turn of time-honoured, and very talented, artist Carlos Pino.
   Many a wet and windy so-called Summer’s day at Commando HQ has been enlivened by a cheery e-mail from sunny Spain…Carlos letting us know that a bundle of his precious pages are on the way — and that the temperature is usually around 30 degrees Celsius! Not that we’re jealous.
   We’re so lucky that this fantastic illustrator is still drawing new Commandos for us — but for now enjoy this welcome blast from the past.—Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: Markham
Art: Carlos Pino
Cover: Jeff Bevan
Originally Commando No 2302 (August 1989), re-issued as No 3851 (October 2005)

Logan's Run Annual (part 4)

(* Logan's Run © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


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