Dime Store Books

2 Apr

I like to collect vintage books that have well illustrated covers for inspiration.  As an artist and collector  I think that it is important to one’s art practice to keep interesting objects in one’s living environment.

Both of these books were bought in the one dollar racks outside BMV Books at 2289 Yonge St. (and others) in Toronto, a great place to find vintage books, art books and comics at low prices.

BMV 2289 Yonge St

The first book is an awesome science fiction novel called Survivor by Laurence Janifer.  The colours are just fantastic, wouldn’t you agree, dear reader?

Our hero, Gerald Knave

When I looked carefully at the handsome, manly face of  ‘Knaves’,  the book’s hero, I couldn’t help feeling that he looked somehow familiar.  Lets take a closer look, shall we?


Those small squinting eyes, that smug, smiling toothy face…so familiar…  Then it hit me, it looks much like a character Daniel Clowes would draw.  Does anyone else see it?  Take a look at a couple of examples, maybe you’ll see the resemblance.


      Perhaps I just have Daniel Clowes on the brain, as I love his comics.  Stay tuned for more cheap discarded items that remind me of his work!

The second pulp novel I found had this amazing illustration:


This book, entitled Nightmare Alley, By William Lindsay Gresham, promises ‘occult depravity’, and also boasts a succinct review by The New York Times: “Hundred Proof Evil”.   Tantalizing, no?


2 Responses to “Dime Store Books”

  1. tamarahaskett January 23, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    I would love to read your take on John Benton books if you ever find one in Canada. He was this former pastor who published a series (sort of) of books in the 1970s and 1980s. Most were titled simply with a girl’s name, which often ended in the letter ‘i’ — Cindi, Patti, Candi, etc. (There was also Debbie, “Crazy” Mary, Carmen, Julie, and numerous others; there were even some boys, i.e. Lefty and Auggie, and even a DOG! Tasha!) The books themselves are classics, and — while not technically a series — feature remarkably similar plots, all about prostitutes, drug addicts and other wayward girls who eventually encounter the author himself (!) and go to his Walter Hoving Home, where they find the Lord. But these books also featured some pretty amazing covers. In fact, the “Nightmare Alley” guy looks a little bit like Lefty! (And a little bit like the pimp, Harding Mason, on the cover of “Debbie”!)

    • missladyheart February 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      I’ve never heard of this series, but I’ll keep my eye out for them. I love cheap paperbacks with odd hand illustrated covers. Ill post more on that soon. Is this something you collect? I’d love to hear more about the quirky things that interest you that brought you to this blog! There is just so much wonderful, wacky pop culture detritus out there just waiting to be collected, classified and hoarded. Thanks for reading!

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