Nominated for a Bouchercon Anthony Award. The definitive story of the emergence of the post war publishers, with an introduction to pre-war publishers. Extensive coverage of: the emergence of Panther, Corgi, Pan and others from the fly by night post war publishing world; the mystery surrounding publishers such as Scion, Gannet, Muir Watson, Brown Watson, R&L Locker, Harborough and many, many more; the search for the origins of those many pseudonyms and house names, such as Griff, Hank Janson, Ben Sarto, Vector Magroon, Volsted Gridban, Roland Vane, Dale Bogar. The story of the entanglement of publishing with a sleazy underworld and the complete low down on the Hank Janson Obscenity Trials. Also a run down on the 1950s comics purge, the superb artists of the period -- Reginald Heade, Ron Turner, Denis McLoughlin, James McConnell, Perl -- with prime examples of their work, and interviews and comments from the authors and publishers of the era. A superb book that documents Steve Holland's many years of research in a one well-illustrated authoritative volume. All the information is illustrated by many black and white and colour illustrations of those great paperback covers.
From the Back Cover
Cheap paper and lurid covers, the paperbacks of the postwar period were intended to sell in large numbers, and they did. Surprisingly this period of British literary history has never been documented before. So here it is at last, a book for the scholar, the collector or the reader. Steve Holland's study of paperbacks will evoke memories for some, and enlighten others, of the blossoming of the modern paperback from the Mushroom Jungle
of postwar backstreet publishing houses.
This book reveals the origins and history of these publishers, together with the story of popular authors and artists of the period. In so doing it has done much to preserve an endangered part of our recent cultural heritage.