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53. THE UNASHAMED – Hastings. Easy to confuse this with the similarly titled UNNATURAL (above), especially when Rader uses the same models on both covers. Although Midwood used the standard publishing trick of having men write lesbian books using female pen names, they also are to be credited for publishing real lesbian stories by lesbian writers, like UNNATURAL and UNASHAMED

54. LANA – Joan Ellis. This was one of my friend Lance Casebeer’s favorite Rader covers, and I never appreciated it until Lance took the time to explain its charm to me. The first of many Ellis-Rader Midwoods. A perfect marriage of author and artist’s styles. Our auction copy is signed by the author.

<55. 21 GAY STREET – Lord. Rader would recycle this art for Bee-Line 235, FORBIDDEN WOMEN, which gives us more of the original art than the Midwood did. >



56. THE BLONDE – Peggy Swenson. Peggy was the pseudonym of Richard E. Geis, a still-prolific writer of everything from softcore stuff like this to porn to science fiction. The pin-up as cover art.

<58. SABRINA AND THE SENATOR – Vendor.

59. A TWILIGHT AFFAIR – Harvey. This brunette-blonde couple seems to get around. I think that’s them again on the next book.


60. ALL THE WAY – Avallone.

Not shown. See 34-627 for a look at the same cover art.

62. SALLY – Marshall (2nd printing). Not shown. Reuses cover art from Midwood 22.

63. THE UNFORTUNATE FLESH – Randy Salem. According to Midwood gossip from Gil Fox, Randy Salem was March Hastings’ lover.


64. MILLION DOLLAR MISTRESS - Clyde Allison. Pseudonym of William Knoles. Back when I did my Clyde Allison catalog the obvious choice for our cover book was one of his 0008 books. But I fell in love with this cover art and used Midwood 64 instead. Blocks of abstract colors surround the titular heroine, each gently leading into the next. A perfect cover for one of the best-written Midwoods.

<65. NURSE CAROLYN – Loren Beauchamp. The last of Rader’s 27 or 28 covers for Midwood in 1960, an incredible output averaging a cover every two weeks for the entire year. Rader would later recycle this cover for All Star 135, MATERNITY WARD, eliminating both the nurse’s bra and her beau. >

<69. LIZA’S APARTMENT – Ellis. 1961.

70. SIN ON WHEELS – Beauchamp. A classic bit of American trailer trash, this cover has been reproduced on a popular postcard. See also F276.>

 


<71. A WOMAN – Elliott. For now unknown reasons, the staff at Midwood changed the title of ALL WOMAN after the cover had already been printed. They sprayed some silver over the “LL” & spine, and shipped it out. Excited to find someone selling ALL WOMAN on eBay, I bought it. What I found was that someone had scraped the silver paint off. Unsigned.>

 


72. THE PATH BETWEEN – Jay Warren. Pen name of Ron Singer.

74. CONNIE – Beauchamp Says “Third Big Printing”, so Midwood 18 must have gone through two printings. New cover art. >

 


75.COMMON-LAW WIFE – Kramer. At least one collector doubted this was Rader, but his signature is on the cover, almost impossible to see, in red on a red background

76. PLEASURE GIRL – Joan Ellis No signature. Mrs. Rader told me Paul signed every painting, but sometimes the art dept. would crop it. >

 


<78. RESTLESS VIRGIN – Paul V. Russo. Pen name of Gil Fox. A swirl of color suggests shadow and light.

80. THE JEALOUS AND THE FREE Hastings. How do I feel about this cover? When I did a catalog on the first 50 years of paperback originals, I tried to choose a perfect book for each year. This was my choice for 1961. >

 


F82. THESE CURIOUS PLEASURES – Sloane Britain.

Rader had all kinds of tricks to suggest nudity without blatantly presenting it; here he does it with shadows. I’m not sure if real shadows have cleavage, but they do here. Interestingly, this novel is told in the first person, and the lesbian narrator’s name is Sloane Britain. The real-life Sloane Britain worked for Harold Shorten, in the book her boss’s name is Harold “Happy” Broadman.


<87. DRIVE-IN GIRL – R.C. Gold. In Rader’s bizarre vision, our drive-in girl rises like a 50-foot woman lit from below like a movie monster, or maybe Allison Hayes.

92. THE WEEKEND – (not shown) This unsigned cover was once attributed to Rader, but I ran a bunch of these covers past Rudy Nappi. He says it’s a Nappi

94. THIS YIELDING FLESH – Russo. >


<F95. GAY INTERLUDE – Carol Clanton. 7 years later Rader recycled this cover painting for THE SEXECUTIVES by David L. Westermier (Private Edition 457). This book became hot when it was learned that the author was a pen name for Ed Wood. . >

F97. DESIRE UNDER THE SUN – McGee. Not shown. (Too unattractive) Nobody bats .1000.

<98. KITTEN – Dallas Mayo. The 2nd Midwood pen name of Gil Fox. Rader’s signature is tiny, in the folds of the sheets.

F101. MORALS CHARGE – Hunter. >


F103. 69 BARROW STREET – Lord. Not shown. 2nd pr. of #24.

<106. CHILD BRIDE – Al James. Compare cover art to RESTLESS VIRGIN, #78, above. Although the cover model is nude, her breast has been obscured here with hair. The original painting, reproduced in black & white, appears uncensored on the back cover of #F192. >


<F110. THE UNLOVED – Swenson. Our auction copy has a name in ink on the cover.

118. THIS GIRL – Jason Hytes. Pseudonym of John Plunkett. As pretty as a pin-up. >

 


<F119. THAT OTHER HUNGER – Britain. Lesbiana. Darker than many of Rader’s paintings. His signature is almost impossible to find down in the dark right corner.

F121. OF SHAME AND JOY – Lord. 2nd printing of Midwood 29. The two models appear to be the same as on Midwood 24. >


F125. THE LOWEST SINS – Castro. Rader’s signature appears at the very bottom of the cover and is almost cut off on this stained copy.

Some, but not all, Rader collectors believe the unsigned POUND OF FLESH by Hytes, #126, may be Rader. Not shown.


Y128. At this time there are a bunch of unsigned books (like FOR VALUE RECEIVED #117) that no one agrees on. It’s either Rader, or Maguire, or a 3rd artist. I thought this 3rd artist also did INTIMATE, but when Rader later recycled some covers for All-Star, the INTIMATE art shows up on THE FIRES OF AUTUMN, suggesting this might be Rader.

 


131. CARLA – Lord. Not shown. Reuses cover from Midwood 8. 2nd printing.

<Y135. THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK – Avallone. A beauty. Each paperback house had a logo. Midwood’s was the Ace of Clubs.

137. HENRY’S WIFE – Mitchell. Not shown. This is the 2nd printing of Midwood 11 (IMMORAL WIFE) and uses the same cover painting. Our auction copy is signed by the author.


F141 LOVE LIKE A SHADOW – Kimberly Kemp. 1962.

Kemp is the third of Gil Fox’s Midwood pseudonyms. For the next 7 years, Rader would do some amazing covers for Kimberly Kemp lesbian novels, including this one.


F142 WOMAN DOCTOR – Britain. . This cover may not actually make sense (how many psychiatric patients remove their dresses for therapy?), but it is an eyeful nonetheless. The poor dear has twisted herself around so much that both her breasts and bottom are heaving out of her slip, and even the good doctor is flashing a bit of stocking top and thigh.

F145. STRANGE DELIGHTS – Beauchamp. Silverberg shows he can write a lesbian novel, too.

Some Rader fans list #151, JILL HARVEY, as Rader. I’m just not convinced enough to include it here, and it’s not signed.

152. OFFICE TRAMP – Porcelain. A pin-up style view of stocking top and silks. >


Y153. SKIN DEEP – Dyer. Miss Alabama appears to be chilly. >

Y159. 21 GAY STREET – Lord. Not shown. 2nd printing of Midwood 55 reuses same cover art.

Y160. THE BLONDE – Swenson. Not shown. 2nd printing of Midwood 56 reuses same cover.


F163. THE DRIFTER – Hastings. “No way this sordid thing could be Rader!”, a member of the “Rader panel” cried. I held out, though, and proof came from the back cover. Midwood back covers often recreate the front art in black and white, and sometimes they show the original painting before it was retouched or cropped. The back cover of THE DRIFTER very clearly shows some details that didn’t make the front – some cigarette butts, an ashtray, an overturned glass…and Rader’s capital “R” signature.

<F164. RIPE – Richards. Not signed, but we’re going with Rader.

F169 GAY SCENE – Ellis. Not signed. Both poses remind us of other Rader covers. >


F172. TENDER TORMENT – Salem. In the book the lovers’ fight becomes bloody, but there is no blood on the cover – except symbolically, with blood-red roses and a shadow that seeps out from under a woman like a pool of blood. Vivid work.

F177. LADDER OF FLESH – Britain. This unsigned cover has not been verified as a Rader, although I suspect it is his work. The model in the rear stands in a pose we shall see again.

F179 CHICO’S WOMEN – Hastings. The letter “R”. >


<F180. PRISONER OF MY PAST – Edie Fisher. “R”.

F181. OPERATION: SEX – Kemp. Amazing Rader: the dark strip at the top of the painting blocking our view has a drawstring. It’s another window-shade, just like the one the peeping Tom is looking through. In the act of looking at this cover, we become voyeurs too. >


<182. CAMPUS JUNGLE – Ellis. What a kiss! (We will also be auctioning a cover proof for this book, signed by the author). Rader reused this for All Star 138, AWAKE TO LOVE, and if you look closely you can barely notice the difference between the two. >

 


F183. A TWILIGHT AFFAIR – Harvey. Not shown. 2nd printing of Midwood 59 reuses same cover painting.

F184. ALL THE WAY – 2nd pr of #60 uses same cover.

<F185. PASSIONATELY YOURS, EVE – Gregory.

A secretary takes a letter wearing just her panties.
Another in Rader’s series on folks working in unusual outfits.


At Midwood
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