As patrons flock to SoHo's Openhouse Gallery to take in cutting edge art commissioned by Harlequin Enterprises, thoughts turn to News Stand Library. The publisher's early rival, New Stand was much more willing to use sex and scandal to sell its wares. In nearly every way, their books were cheaper, nastier and inferior. It makes perfect sense that Harlequin published Brian Moore's first book, while Hugh Garner's second, the pseudonymous Waste No Tears, came from News Stand. And yet, the two competitors did share a few writers, including prolific pulpist Thomas P. Kelley.
The most valuable of all New Stand titles, Kelley's The Gorilla's Daughter – ' OFFSPRING of MAID and MONSTER' – cannot be had in any condition for under C$400. Its cover is more polished than most; a typical example of the publisher's look would be that found on the author's Jesse James: His Life and Death.
The type is ugly and in places difficult to read. Note that the author's name is misspelt, an error found time and again on News Stand covers. Here we have Bentz Plagemann , author of Each Night a Black Desire, identified as Bentz Plageman.
By my count, a dozen covers suffer similar mistakes. Niel H. Perrin is Neil H. Perrin, Murry Leinster is Murray Leinster and Ursula Parrot is good time gal Ursula Parrott. The cover of Alan Marston's Strange Desire reads 'Strange Desires by Alan Malston'.
Other blunders are more curious, and may reveal the true names behind pseudonyms. Just who wrote Private Performance – the Glen Watkins on the cover or the Eliot Brewster credited on the title page? Perhaps the most amusing error is found on the cover of Terry Lindsay's Queen of Hearts, which has the title as 'Quean of Hearts'.
In keeping with the previous post, here are my three all-time favourite News Stand covers. A couple appear to use work produced in a high school art class, but what I find most appealing are the pitch lines above each title. 'Never Will HELL Admit a Gayer Sinner than Laura Warren' reads the first – printed on the cover of a book written by... Laura Warren. An unforgiving editor, perhaps?