The Carnival theme was an early favorite. The girls weren't quite prostitutes but were believed to be available and a bit on the sleazy side. It also gave cover artists an excuse for tight and skimpy costumes. Madball by Fredric Brown is one of his early Paperback Originals and has a classic midway cover. The bally is the tease - and, presumably, so is she. I love these slightly tawdry covers.
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|By the late 50s it was sometimes hard to tell the main stream book from those of the sleaze publishers. This book is from Popular Library but would have fit right in with the Beacons and Midwoods. Even the title is from a long string of Trailer, Swamp, Shanty, Marijuana and every other kind of 'Girl'. I put this first as it echoes the genre title (almost).|
|One of James Avati's better known covers. It was recently reused by the Library of America's brochures for their book on hard-boiled fiction. This very cover was also recently shown in a graphic novel reprint of this title. Avati ushered in the realistic covers of the mid-50s and did many, many Signets.|
|I don't know about the story, but the cover is classic. Small town girl attracted to the glamour (glamour???) of show business. As far as the story goes, Day Keene was one of the better Pulp writers.|
|Then there is the other kind of Carnival, like Mardi Gras. It doesn't quite fit in, but it is a nice Ray Johnson cover.|
Here are a few more: