Monday, March 14, 2011

Eric Stanton: Paperback Cover Illustration 1960s

Eric Stanton, one of the names synonymous with American fetish art and illustration was a born and raised New Yorker whose early career is most closely assocated with Irving Klaw, Lennie Burtman of Burmel and Exotique magazine and Steve Ditko of Spider-Man fame. Living in obscurity for most of his career, Stanton found a certain amount of fame and recognition in his later years as a result of the books published by Glittering Images and later Taschen Books.

While nearly all of the attention goes to Stanton's illustrations for Klaw, Burmel and Selbee (where he was also art director for a period in the early '60s) some of his most sophisticated work was done for the covers of sleaze paperbacks published in the early 1960s by Wee Hours, Unique Books, After Hours and First Nighter. I had the pleasure of meeting Stanton in the early 1990s and worked on his behalf, selling his artwork and artwork he owned, made by like minded artists Gene Bilbrew and John Willie. What was striking about the few original pieces of paperback cover art that he offered me was his talent working with gouache, a difficult medium, and his attention to detail, not often called for in his earlier work.

Even though Stanton contacted me, he was dubious about who he was getting involved with, the result after years of being treated poorly by editors, publishers and other dealers. At first he was sure that we could not "get a long" but after a second meeting, when we compared bios, he realized we had a lot in common even though we were seperated in age by almost a generation. It was a sad day when he passed away in 1999, the last of the great American artists of the genre.

Note the general theme of lesbianism and female domination over men in these titles and illustrations, reflecting Stanton's personal masochistic proclivities, later explored in depth in his self-published Stantoons and Blunderbroad magazines. 

A selection of paperback covers from my archives follows in no particular order and without captions. Clicking on the image will open a larger version in the same window.

Click here for Eric Stanton material in my eBay store.


Click here for a selection of paperbacks available for sale in my eBay store.

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