Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Croydon Books: An Under-Appreciated Sexy Digest Publisher

In the vintage paperback hobby, collectors get a sense of how valued a particular publisher or imprint is on the basis of how much money it sells for on eBay, ABE, and the like. Having collected them for years, I've consistently watched "Croydon Books" sell for much lower prices than sexy digest publishers such as "Quarter Books," "Exotic Novels," Rainbow Books," Falcon Books," and "Venus Books" (just to name a handful, there are more). I wanted to showcase some "Croydon Books," because I think they are an under-appreciated line. There's no denying that George Gross was the master of the sexy digest, and these do not feature George Gross art. However, they do feature nicely rendered illustrations from artists such as Bernard Safran and Lou Marchetti. They also have titles that are often campier and kitschier than those featured on other lines. My favorite of this group is "Confessions of a Wild Co-Ed." I can't resist a good title with "Confessions" in it! It makes the book all the more charming to me. Cover art by Lou Marchetti on "Army Mistress" and "Intimate Affairs of a French Nurse." Cover art by Bernard Safran on "Confessions of a Wild Co-Ed" and "Love-Crazy Millionaire."