Thursday, October 27, 2016


I thought I'd do something a little different than I have before in my posts. Paperback covers! Jim Steranko is my all-time favorite comic book artist, which is not hard to image for most of you out there. His work on Captain America, Nick Fury, Tower of Shadows and Our Love Story were groundbreaking in comic books. He opened up a new way to cinematically illustrate and enjoy viewing comic books in a new vision.

Haven't seen so much of Steranko's foray into the western genre, but I loved his Wildcat covers, even though I didn't read many westerns I just had to have them.
I loved his gritty western covers, but then came his Why Isn't A Nice Girl Like You Married? which was a simpler, humorous stroke of genius.
Here's some of the first sci-fi covers of his I purchased. These are my favorite sci-fi paperback covers of his because they were the first I came across, introducing me to the elevation of him from striking comic books to magnificent painting!
Steranko also broke into young reader books with a couple of covers in the popular Time Machine series. I hadn't seen the Guillotine cover before, wow, but the cover for the Pancho Villa paperback was also used on one the great Argosy magazines he did many years earlier.
I thought I would go over a period of time in his career he ventured into paperback book covers. He did many covers for genres you'd expect to see him illustrate, pulp and science fiction. But he also did a few you may or may not have seen. What was great to me, was seeing him do painted covers! Gave me shivers of delight!
I didn't miss the first The Shadow cover, but somehow I did miss the second #1 he did. Damn it Jim! Magnificent! Steranko also did a cover for another Maxwell Grant book I acquired as a hardcover, Norgil the Magician. I'll find a pic and use it in another post of further Steranko paperback covers.
Here's a couple of the original The Shadow covers he did. He managed to blend the pulp, as well as his own style, so well into many great covers.
Some of the striking, redesigned The Shadow covers he did. So captivating!
Not long ago, Steranko painted a couple of The Spider covers, used on the trade & mass market paperbacks and even the Kindle editions! This one I haven't seen in trade paperback, just a MMPB, unlike the first one published in both  formats. Both books had multiple Norvell Page stories under one volume.
I believe I may do a complete post on his The Shadow covers by themselves, since he completed so many in that wonderful reprint series. Then again, there are a few more mystery novel covers of his I need to find or scan as they come to mind, Norgil the Magician by Maxwell Grand and Tomorrow I Die by Mickey Spillane.
His magnificent covers, and trend setting interior graphic work grabbed me right away in the new concept Weird Heroes series (eight gripping volumes total)! The fantastic first volume of new pulp stories was reprinted a few years back as an anniversary edition and you can still find it on Kindle. 
I missing The Shores of Tomorrow somehow, but The Bat Staffel is a great introduction to the fantastic G-8 and his Battle Aces series, reprinted from the pulp books.
The first three G-8 and his Battle Aces reprints from the marvelous pulps, were some of Steranko's best and my favorite paperback covers! If you haven't read any, you need to, don't miss them!

Here's a couple newer covers of his. Unfortunately all I have is a picture of the Rear Window cover, but here's the first The Spider (another pulp entry) cover Steranko did that was gloriously published in Trade & Mass Market paperback formats (and even on Kindle to my satisfaction).
So, without further ado, enjoy a gallery of Jim Steranko paperback book covers. Additionally, I'd like to thank Tony Robertson and his Drawings of Steranko web site for pics I've used in this post. Thanks Tony!

I thoroughly enjoyed Steranko's delving into the sword and sorcery & barbarian hero collections. Marvelous anthologies incorporating some of the best authors in this genre like Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Lin Carter & Fritz Leiber.
Somewhere along the line, I think someone ripped off the Ginger Star cover for a book I saw on an eBook cover. What a shame if it's so.
He also did the striking covers for the three Eric John Stark paperbacks. Striking! These are powerful books you do not want to miss!

Another powerful entry in the sword and sorcery covers were for the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser reprints. Here are some in the lighter side of fantasy!
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!
One of the few I missed was Police Your Planet, drat, but not Return to the Stars. Believe you me, anything by Edmond Hamilton is tops in my book.
Kelwin was and unfortunately, still is new to me. This Michael Moorcock (of Elric fame) paperback was part of a trilogy he did in conjunction with Edgar Rice Burroughs series of "Mars" books, under the pen name of Edward Bradbury. 
Dave Van Arnam also wrote a great Lost in Space tie-in book back in the sixties. Bestselling historical fiction writer John Jakes was a master pulp author back in the day, in the sci-fi and thriller genres.
Some more fine sci-fi covers from the master painter. I mean, how can you not go wrong with the selection of writers, Ron Goulart (Weird Heroes: Gypsy), James Gunn (The Immortals), Arthur C. Clark (2001) and William F. Nolan (Space for Hire), in both of these volumes.


  1. And that Ginger Star cover (which first appeared in Comixscene #5) was originally meant to be for the Talon Visual Novel, which makes me sigh every time I see it.

  2. Nice comments on the paperbacks. It looks like all of these were originally posted (mostly from my personal collection) on The Drawings of Steranko website. Maybe you could mention that somewhere.