There is no need to tell
you about James Bama. He has been well covered elsewhere, and there are several
books about him (listed in our Bibliography section here) and articles that
tell his life story. As of this writing he is living in Wyoming, age 90. This
checklist covers just one aspect of his amazing career – the paperback covers.
I will leave the hundreds of magazine illustrations to a future researcher. You
can always tell an artist is breaking new ground by the number of copycats who
are soon making paintings that look just the same. We will show a few of the “imitation
Bamas” here as well. Nobody seems to know exactly how many covers Bama has
done. If he has listed them somewhere I have not seen the list yet (most of his
current internet presence deals with his Western art and paintings). This is my
attempt to create such a list for the 21st Century, and to show a
representation - not of all his covers, but of many of the very best of them.
“To find what’s never been painted. To feel instead of
being told what to feel. To see instead of imitating what others have seen.”
Thank you to Tom Lesser,
Robert Speray, Rachel Parker-Stephen, Jim Caron, Michael Munroe, Melinda
Ornburg, Rodney Schroeter, Grant Thiessen, Dr. Brian M. Kane, Chris Eckhoff,
Bruce Brenner, Attila Gyenis, Bruce Black, Steve Wallace, Ken Huebschman, Rahn
Kollander, James Nobel and Art Scott. Perhaps you have noticed that on every
catalog for the past twenty years my thank you section always includes Tom Lesser
and Robert Speray and Rachel Parker-Stephen. Tom Lesser is my consigliere, the
foremost collector of and authority on vintage paperbacks in the world, and I
am but one of the countless paperback collectors he has nurtured and educated.
Tom has been the driving force behind the Los Angeles Paperback Fair since its
inception. Many others have come and gone, but Tom is still one of the hosts
putting on this great show. I encourage you to attend the next one on March 18,
2018, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. Tom has been my #1 booster, advisor,
lawyer and support system since I met him, and I can honestly tell you this:
without Tom Lesser there would have been no Lynn Munroe Books.
Robert Speray is my
Webmaster, friend and guru. His collection is amazing and his knowledge of
vintage books is awesome. Knowing I could always call on Bob has been a
tremendous assurance for many years. Time and again he has solved any technical
problems that come up. And we have shared some unforgettable experiences.
The other person I would
have never made it to 2018 without is my wife Rachel. Her love of books was the
second thing that intrigued me about her when we met. (The first thing was, of
course, her breathtaking beauty.) Rachel’s advice and support have been
invaluable, and her editing skills and computer know-how (especially image
enhancement) have improved my lists more times than I can count. Rachel arrived
in my life as an answer to prayers, so now, when I say my prayers each evening,
I always thank God twice for Rachel.