“Nice Guys Finish Dead” – Part 2

I had so many great covers left over from the last post that I decided to put them in a follow-up. As with the first batch, these depict lives largely lived in dirty back alleys with broken bottles on the pavement, in a kind of netherworld. These are not visions of the traditional American dream. For me, they’re a direct connection to film noirs of the late 1940s and ’50s.

My focus has been on paperback covers. I haven’t gone into the authors or content. That would be another kind of piece. But in the process I’ve missed some interesting connections. It’s been pointed out to me that the author of Lovers Are Losers, Howard Hunt, is the same E. Howard Hunt who gained notoriety as a Watergate conspirator. It turns out that during and after World War II he wrote novels under his own name as well as spy and hard-boiled novels using a variety of pseudonyms. Night Light was written by Douglass Wallop, who would write the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the Broadway musical Damn Yankees.

Okay, here are more covers. I think the most problematic aspect of these, from a “woke” point of view, is the way women are depicted. But as before, I’ll let them speak for themselves. The first one doesn’t waste any time.












I particularly like the title of this one. Very hard-boiled.















































I want to wrap up with a really strong cover. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing more of these. – Ted Hicks


About Ted Hicks

Iowa farm boy; have lived in NYC for 40 years; worked in motion picture labs, film/video distribution, subtitling, media-awards program; obsessive film-goer all my life.
This entry was posted in Art, Books, Fiction, Film. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Nice Guys Finish Dead” – Part 2

  1. David m fromm says:

    Quite a collection

  2. tainui says:

    Fantastic, Ted! One of the the great themes in self-publishing is to have a cover that’s appropriate to the genre. These illustrations prove the point to the max! Thank you for your service.

  3. Jeff Harris says:

    Random fact: My mother modeled fo the cover of Elisa, Story of a Prostitute, for the illustrator, who was a friend and business partner with my father. Just came across your post randomly while looking for the illustration.

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