Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Find My Killer, by Manly Wellman (Signet, 1957), with a cover illustration by Paul Rader.
Several months ago, I realized that the 110th anniversary of Brooklyn-born paperback artist Paul Rader’s birth was approaching. I didn’t know what the exact date was, and I couldn’t seem to find that information online, so I submitted the question to a closed Facebook group of which I’m a member, and which focuses on vintage book and magazine illustrations. Nobody there seemed to know the date of Rader’s birth, either … but one member did know how I could contact the painter’s only daughter, Elaine, who is now a jewelry maker in her early 60s. Needless to say, I wrote Elaine Rader as soon as possible, and have been corresponding with her off and on ever since.
Well, as it turns out, Paul Rader was born 110 years ago today—on October 5, 1906. In recognition of that fact, I have just launched a new series of posts, in my Killer Covers blog, celebrating his life and “virtuosic” creativity. From now until Halloween, I’ll be installing on Killer Covers at least one of my favorite Rader paperback fronts each day. Most of those will likely be drawn from his wealth of sexier cover artistry (for which he may be best known), but others demonstrate his equal skill at crafting jacket art for crime novels and romantic tales. I guarantee, none of the examples to be shown will be boring!
So make it a habit to check Killer Covers every day in October.