Again this year we continued to discover “new” (to us) vintage paperback covers by artist George Ziel. In 2011 I set out to create the first ever George Ziel checklist. We had over 300 covers, but because we were starting from scratch I knew there were other covers out there waiting to be rediscovered. Thanks to the assistance of Ruben at, Chris Eckhoff and Bob Deis, I have more Ziel covers to share with you. After the New Year these images will be added to our existing Ziel website.


APPLE TREE LEAN DOWN by Mary Pearce, Ballantine 25655, 1977.


PRAISE THE HUMAN SEASON by Don Robertson, Ballantine 24526, 1975.


MAKE A WISH by Don Robertson, Ballantine 26051, 1979.


Although it gets a little harder each year, my friends Tom Lesser and Dave Kurtz and I still go out booking, just as we did years ago when used bookstores were more plentiful and we were younger. We were in a great little store called Books Redux in Yorba Linda CA when I recently found three rare Don Robertson Ballantines, all with cover art by George Ziel. Made my day all over again when I got home and tried to find them on the Internet.


MYSTICAL UNION by Don Robertson, Ballantine 28201, 1979.


Don Robertson was from Cleveland and he wrote a lot of books. I think these three Ballantines are all even more desirable due to their beautiful white covers by George Ziel.

ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute, Ballantine 27134, 1978.


This bestseller has been reprinted many times, but the 1978 Ballantine featured this cover by George Ziel. The broken doll is a haunting image that identifies the artist.


DRY GUILLOTINE: Fifteen Years on Devil's Island by Rene Belbenoit, Berkley Medallion 02950, 1975. 




THE SECRET OF CRANE'S CASTLE by Eleanor Hope Spaak, Curtis 09161, 1973.


We had a Popular Library called CASTLE FOR THE LEFT HAND on the Ziel checklist with this same cover art flipped. But the Curtis pre-dates the Popular Library by three years, this is the original appearance. Curtis and Popular Library were two divisions of the same publisher.


My friend Chris Eckhoff of Brooklyn NY noticed this was a Ziel as he catalogued his Curtis collection. Many thanks, Chris.


LOVE'S GENTLE AGONY by Aaron Fletcher, Dell / Lorelei 04972, 1978.


I was looking at Aaron Fletcher covers for my 2015 Peter McCurtin catalog this fall when I noticed this cover art for the first time. I think this is probably a Ziel cover.

THE VIOLENT YEARS by Melvin H. Purvis, Hillman 157, 1960.


Abridged from a hardcover called AMERICAN AGENT. Melvin Purvis became famous as the man who led the manhunt for John Dillinger. Ben Johnson and Christian Bale are among the actors who have portrayed him onscreen.


Ruben at, who never misses a trick, noticed this small illustration at the bottom of this cover was a Ziel. We know Ziel did many covers for Hillman.


ELENA by Marilyn Granbeck, Jove B4420, 1977.


This is from my friend Ruben at The woman does not immediately look like a Ziel model but everything else looks like Ziel to me: the man, the pose, the composition all fit. And we know Ziel was painting for Jove in 1977. So as they say in court, the preponderance of evidence leans toward this being a cover painting by George Ziel.

THE GANGSTER CHRONICLES by Michael Lasker & Richard Alan Simmons, Jove K5808, 1981. TV tie-in.



PURSUIT ON GANYMEDE by Michael D. Resnick, Paperback Library 52-760, 1968.


I consider this a brilliant find by my friend Ruben at There is another PB Library by Mike Resnick, THE GODDESS OF GANYMEDE, with a cover by Jeff Jones. So naturally, everyone just assumed that this similar unsigned cover on the second Ganymede book had to be Jeff Jones too. But Ruben knows the work of both of these artists well, and he was studying PURSUIT ON GANYMEDE one day when he realized this is not a Jones cover.  This is a George Ziel cover.


MACHENKA by Vladimir Nabokov, Editions Select, 1981.


This French paperback of Nabokov's first book, known here as MARY, features a Ziel cover borrowed from a Mary Roberts Rinehart Dell mystery called THE BREAKING POINT.

DIE ZARTE LADY WAR EIN HARTER BROCKEN by George W. Burton, Rastatt Erich Pabel, 1974.


German-language mystery uses the Ziel cover art from a Mary Roberts Rinehart Dell paperback called THE SWIMMING POOL.







“The Blonde Who Blitzed The West”

The ever-resourceful Bob Deis of the fabulous Men's Adventure Magazines Facebook page turned up these two scarce illustrations in the February 1964 issue of Impact magazine. We add these to our short list of Ziel magazine illustrations.

We previously found Ziel in the November 1963 issue of Climax magazine. In 1964, Climax and Impact merged into one magazine called Impact. So this find represents a second Ziel assignment for that publisher (Macfadden). There may be others.



Impact, February 1964



The Maybe File


We have always had a list of covers that could be Ziel, it's just hard to be certain. We know Ziel was working at Jove when these covers were painted. They could be the work of a different artist. You can help this project if you know who the artist is, or if you own the original art for these. For now we will say “maybe Ziel”.




THE ORPHAN by Samantha Mellors, Jove B5402, 1980. Movie tie-in.

Screenplay novelization.


OUTRUN THE DARK by Cecelia Bartholomew, Jove B4648, 1979.


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