More random book cover designs, and a spotlight on British Salvationist illustrator Jim Moss

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. 1999 Harper Collins. Cover by J.R.R. Tolkien.

We have you covered… again!  (See part one here)

Today’s book post features design covers and illustrations published between the 1920s and 2010s, courtesy of a generous donation of old books to TVTA!

What happened was this… an English teacher working in France was moving home and job, and before leaving she decided to give away a number of her old books. Finally, after a Pandemic-lockdown-observed-meeting outside the local park gates, two bags of wonderful books were handed over for the reading and scanning pleasure of those inside TVTA Towers – cue happiness 🙂

Some of the titles will be instantly recognisable, others obscure, some have been adapted for stage, film or television, but all are equal here in having interesting covers to bind their tales.

Enjoy your donated book!

1920 William Heinemann.

Lorna Doone Vol 1. by R.D. Blackmore.

1966 Bantam Books. Cover uncredited.

Donated book TVTA spotlight!

The art of Salvationist illustrator Jim Moss

In Tune with Mutt & Bone by Jim Moss. 96 page paperback published by The Salvation Army, 2002, featuring 185 Jim Moss comic strips.

Luckily, Jim Moss signed all his illustrations ‘Moss’ or ‘M’ in the 1955 edition of Black River – a Salvationist produced novel written by Bernard Watson – making it fairly easy for me to track the artist down.

Jim was born in London in 1926, one of seven children. After serving in India and the Middle East during the Second World War, he studied at the Borough Art School in London for four years, taking his NDD course in Illustration. During his career as an illustrator he designed posters, book jackets, logos, and children’s books. Jim’s long-standing dedication to the Salvation Army saw him design the Bram cartoons which delighted generations of young Salvationists, and in 1987 he devised the Mutt & Bone cartoon series featuring two Salvation Army band musicians.

Image taken from Salvation Army Burton Upon Trent Corps

Mutt & Bone is drawn in a typical cartoon style, so it was interesting to see that Moss could turn his hand to more realistic illustrations, and with a darker tone, as seen by his work in Black River.

Below are the complete chapter illustrations from Black River. Moss goes uncredited but it is clearly his work, as identified by his signature and his association with the Salvation Army.

About Jim Moss

Author information from Amazon Books page for the 2002 book In Tune with Mutt & Bone states:

Jim Moss was born in London in 1926, one of seven children. In 1939, as war broke out, the family became scattered evacuees and 13-year-old Jim, with brother Pete, travelled to Reading, where they were billeted. Sent out of the house in all weathers, Jim and his brother one day took refuge in the Reading East Salvation Army hall opposite their billet. They were warmly welcomed and, said Jim, ‘great tolerance’ was shown as he struggled to play E flat bass in the young people’s band. Jim was in the military for four years during and just after the Second World War, serving in India and the Middle East. When demobbed, he was given a wonderful opportunity to study at the Borough Art School in London for four years, taking his NDD course in Illustration. His wide range of hand-skills enabled him to use many different kinds of medium – from pencil, pen and ink to scraperboard – to complete the brief and get the message across. He often said, ‘It’s not the drawing that’s the problem, it’s finding an original idea! After a long, exciting career designing posters, book jackets, logos, children’s books for many different clients, as well as the Bram cartoons which delighted generations of young Salvationists, in 1987 Jim devised the Mutt & Bone cartoon series. Jim was, in the Salvation Army phrase, ‘promoted to Glory’ in July 2001 and this book is an affectionate memorial to a well-loved figure who has helped The Salvation Army both look and laugh and sometimes ponder! Just as Jim would have wished, had he lived to see Mutt & Bone in book form, all profits from this book are being donated to The Salvation Army’s Ethembeni Children’s Home, Southern Africa, for the caring ministry of its HIV/Aids clinic.


Thank you for looking at book covers and illustrations with us 🙂

All images scanned from donated books to TVTA.

Chip Kidd quote art courtesy of quotefancy.com

Six Sentence Stories: The hen that came down a beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk. Illustration by Eric Winter, 1965, Ladybird Books.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is Eternal.

 

 

The hen that came down a beanstalk

Jack is dead, oh, eternal be his memory –

Yet I have no time for his eulogy, as I clamber down this bristling stalk,

Over leaves as long as surfboards, over beans as big as basketballs,

Down, down, to meet my new horizon which shimmers with a hope

That I may return to a coop of my own.

 

Down I climb to claim this liberty, but – curses – that ogre is after me;

Bigger than me, bolder, brasher, brawnier, broiling with anger and betrayal and

Bloodlust!

 

“Get back ‘ere!” the ogre screams.

 

Frightened, frantic, faster and faster down the beanstalk I scarper,

While above me the ogre booms down oaths of murderous revenge:

The rain is his sweat, the wind is his breath, thunderbolts his words,

Flies and mosquitoes his crumbs of bread…

Broken from the bones of Englishmen like Jack.

 

Down, down, about to touch the ground, and there at the foot of the beanstalk stands

Jack’s mother – her each axe-chop a strike for Jack (oh, eternal be his memory) …

Chop… chop… chop… and at last the beanstalk topples, and with it the ogre

Who breaks his neck as easily as once he broke his bread.

 

Jack’s mother, she scoops me up and cradles me with more love

Than I had ever thought possible could exist; and for this, tomorrow,

After resting, and mending my wings and bruised beak,

I will lay for her a golden egg, as she puts on black robes for the eternal memory

Of her son, brave Jack, who set me free from a castle in the sky.


 

Six Sentence Stories: circles of unsleep

1983. Sleeping Beauty. Brazil.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Circle.

 

 


Poem: Circles of unsleep (I wanna be sedated)

Circle is the clock face saying I should be asleep; circle is the cycle ride to work and back again; same shift, same protocols of care delivered in protective bubbles I dare not breathe too hard against.

Lately I have become disc-shaped playing cards of the person I once was; shuffled, dealt, a forever-hoped-for lucky hand, laid out on a round table next to coffee cup ringlets and saucers of treats meant to keep me going… like a faithful mouser at the family farm.

Circles, circles, going round and round, loops without digression, boomerangs navigating space to return to fingers that grasp in all faith the hope we will defeat the monsters which orbit us.

Will I soon sleep soundly and not awake in the night?

Come full circle, after untold circuits, round and round, our retrodden footsteps stamped into the ground, balls of confusion and spheres of illusion as misty as peering into crystal balls with both eyes shut, will we, will we, will we circumnavigate that which seeks to destroy?

Circle is the mask I wear on my face; circle is the hole in the heel of my sock; circle is the wheel spinning on my bike; circle is the pizza and the cherry pie; circle is the window I gaze longingly through, at the lantern light of the fat, full moon: O moon, you remind me of a great wheel of cheese, as I drift off to a sleep I know I will soon be disturbed from, ba ba baba, baba ba baba… I wanna be sedated.

(After Ramones)


Metallica vs. Ramones – Sedate And Destroy (YITT mashup)


 

Six Sentence Stories: Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace

Dracula. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Noise.


Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace  

The noise began as a SCREAM, then pitiful groans, soft whimpers, lastly a hollow silence before the tools of Comtesse Marie-Paule set to work making noises of their own: hack, chop, grind, slice, rend; noises which leeched into the downstairs quarters of the lodge, where Emilio stared grimly at the rafters and said to Lucianne, “What’s she doing up there?”

“She’s making sure,” Lucianne said evenly, her old, grey eyes not daring to shift from the lodge door and the yet banished possibility of minions charging in to avenge a slain two-thousand year old master.

Upstairs, the noises persisted: thump, slop, splat, burst, spatter – and a reek pervaded the lodge like a creeping mist clad in the robes of all fevers, plague, leprosy, and rotting bodies strewn about fields of military campaigns.

Comtesse Marie-Paule closed the door upstairs, and clopped down the steps to meet her two servants, and she gave to Emilio her wrap of tools, bloodied, wet and stinking, as was her cloak, her chains and crosses and pale skin, and she said to him, “Clean them.”

“You took your time, Comtesse,” Lucianne said to her mistress.

Marie-Paule gave a knowing smile and said, “These ancient vampyrs… you know… such tough meat to cut while abroad… unlike the tender, young ones we always find at home.”

Dracula N°6. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I Vampire N°308. 1982. US.


Thank you for assisting us with an ancient menace!  🧛‍♂️🦇


 

Six Sentence Stories: The Duet at the End of the World

WH Barnes Ltd Vinyl Records. 1955. UK.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Safety.


The Duet at the End of the World 

It was said that each evening at seven, the sound of the boy’s piano would chime from the window where he sat and played, his notes flitting about the apartments and balconies like fluttering butterflies, damselfly chords and dragonfly harmonies beating wings above rooftops and chimneys to the inevitable dusk, and the saddening of yet another thieving night.

Lo, the residents, in fear of their number – they claimed safety in the boy’s music, wore his tempos and flourishes as suits of armour against the marauding dark; his soothing renditions of Rachmaninov, Satie, Chopin, Beethoven – they placed these compositions to their hearts like a sonic crucifix to ward off the night.

The residents, ever dwindling in number – would catch their breath at the boy’s bombastic offerings of Gershwin, Joplin, Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk – once, Queen: But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me (He’s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity).

Hark, the residents, huddled in their cubes of isolation – did listen to the night come rapping at their windows with slimy fingers and hacking lungs, while the boy played on: ‘twas Holst, Mars, Bringer of War.

And it was said, as the gathering night claimed its last souls, that the boy struck notes upon his piano sweeter than a whispering call to Heaven’s gate, and that he played until midnight, and only stopped when there was no more audience to hear his song.

And then, one evening, lo, when all was silent and the night had grown old and weary and relinquished its sting, the boy played a song by Elton John… which was magically claimed by a girl’s voice, lyrics poured loud from her balcony below the boy’s window, a magenta feather boa waving to the night as she sang, she sang, she sang, she sang: I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah…


Corgi audio range. 1980.

Play this one fkn loud!! \m/

Six Sentence Stories: Adam’s Imaginary Friend

Image from the illustrated book and record The Jungle Book. Walt Disney. 1983.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is Question.


Adam’s Imaginary Friend

 

Adam decided to name his friend Bagheera, after the black panther in The Jungle Book. Inseparable, they spent hours playing in the basement: Dungeons & Dragons, Pac-Man, Star Wars, Hungry Hungry Hippos and G.I. Joe…  while Dad – upstairs in the study, agonized over family bills, and Mom – at the kitchen table, inserted pieces of paper into envelopes to earn extra money.

An only child, Adam embraced Bagheera as his best friend and confidant; secrets whispered, anxieties shared – the grave mood of Mom and Dad and the way they never seemed to have time anymore to give to Adam, and all their hopes, dreams, wishes… evaporating in inky mists made to disappear in the blink of tired eyes.

One evening, in the basement, Bagheera gave Adam a shoe box – inside it, tightly-wedged bundles of bank notes – twenty dollar bills – hundreds upon hundreds of them crammed together like paper sardines, the wild-haired and bushy-browed face of Andrew Jackson staring off into the distance.

With eyes the size of frisbees, Adam said, “But where did you get all this money?”

Said Bagheera, “Don’t ask questions… just hurry upstairs and put this box on the kitchen table, while your mom and dad are busy watching St. Elsewhere.”


Thanks for reading 🙂

500 vintage bonus points for the first person to state which year this story is set!

Six Sentence Stories: a viral poem

Britains toys. 1983. UK.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue word this week is Routine.


A viral poem:

The rime of the ancient healthcarer

 

07h: Colleagues arrive, smiles behind masks, Wuhan shakes all around, wash hands, clean-crisp uniforms, temperatures taken.

09h: Patients washed and fed, some ache, some throb, some sneeze, some cough, mask on, wash hands, gloves on, temperatures taken.

14h: Sanitize, sterilize, realize some don’t like their own company in isolation, oxygen, pills, hand gels and meals on wheels, change mask, wash hands, touch face – blast it, wash hands again.

16h: Mask on, mask off, wash hands, mask on, disinfect, tick boxes checked, temperatures taken.

20h: Wash hands, change clothes, mask off, go home, wash hands, change clothes, watch news with family, prepare sandwiches for tomorrow.

00h: A routine sleep brings bad scenes lathered in dystopian creams, because there’s not enough water to keep us clean in viral dreams it seems we all must share, day after day, day after day, they dropped down one by one; virus, virus, everywhere, and all the crowds were gone.


After The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

#Coronavirus #WashHands

Six Sentence Stories: The Girl in the Coat

FAO Schwarz Fall / Winter catalogue logo. 1980. US.

Greetings, vintage mates. I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue word this time is Coat.


The Girl in the Coat

 

The harsh Winter was almost over, yet no less fierce with the promise of precious Spring about to come: that blissful, two, three weeks at best, tolerable weather event, before the incomprehensible heat of Summer broiled us in our skins.

The girl, she was shivering under blankets plundered from the last town we passed; the forsaken church we had taken shelter in, before the roof collapsed under the weight of snow as filthy and heavy as a Christmas scene postcard sent straight from hell.

The girl, feverish, with me as her guide, the endless walking, sleeping in abandoned trucks and barns, chicken coops long ago ransacked of fowl and eggs, the girl, the girl, the girl and me, hiding in trees from marauders and murderers, and those driven mad by Summer and Winter’s brutal empire… the girl, oh that poor girl, how she shivered.

The girl, in her fever, she called out to me: “Mommy…” and I wept for the girl, and for her mother too – and whichever cruel season had snatched her away.

And I wondered: should I give the girl my coat… if I did, she would surely survive until Spring, yes, but I would freeze, for certain, me… her weathered protector, her compass, her source of advice and well of resourcefulness, her hand to hold in countless blizzards and wind and rain and fog and storms, and heatwaves out to desiccate us.

The girl, I stared at her trembling bag of bones body, me… with no maternal feathers nor stripes to call my own, and she, the girl, the girl, no daughter of mine, just a girl I once found hiding under a bed; the girl who I take my coat off to and wrap around her frame, and fasten each button as her eyes at last brighten, and me, shivering now, the fingers of the wind entering my pores like frost-swords and ice-needles, my eyes glazing over as I give the girl up to the coming of Spring and all I had taught her.

 


#climate #change #care #love

The Girl in the Coat is inspired by The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Huge thanks to Denise for hosting Six Sentence Stories #inspiring

Six Sentence Stories: Sweet tooth / Meat tooth

 

Zapf dolls. Hamleys. 1983. UK. Image enhanced by TVTA.

Greetings, vintage mates. I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue word this time is Slice.


Sweet tooth / Meat tooth

She lived in a house made from gingerbread and candy, with marshmallow walls and marzipan doors, butterscotch tables and toffee chairs, and two plump beds made from Turkish Delight – for when the children stayed over.

A sweet tooth she had, but always craved something saltier; something hot and tender she could slice into succulent cubes, and watch the pink juices run loose.

She glanced through the window at the arrival of the boy and his sister.

She licked her lips and threw another crooked handful of salt into the cauldron.

She tipped back her head and cackled at the thought of such delicious stew to come, never knowing as she let them in – until it was too late – of the sharpened axes they were hiding behind their backs.


Thank you for eating candy with us 🙂