On its way from Telos Publishing in October (and available to pre-order now) is The Art of Reginald Heade, written by Stephen James Walker.
Reginald Heade is renowned amongst vintage paperback fans and collectors as the pre-eminent British pulp fiction cover artist of the 1940s and 1950s – considered by some as the greatest British artist to work in this field. This meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated book is a glorious celebration of his work, and an absolutely essential addition to the bookshelves of anyone with a taste for classic pin-up and book cover artwork.
The book will be welcomed by the many fans of his work as for many, beyond his published work, his life is quite a mystery.
Heade’s lurid covers adored pulp paperbacks of authors such as Hank Janson, Roland Vane, Michael Storme, Paul Renin, Gene Ross and Spike Morelli. He also produced some superb Western paperback covers for Archer Books in the late 1940s, four sensitively painted colour plates for The Adventures of Robin Hood published by Collins, powerful illustrations in bold colour for a series of children’s classics for Partridge Publications Ltd., dust jackets for W.E. Johns’ Worrals books, some covers for A.P.’s Sexton Blake Library and later, under the name “Cy Webb”, extraordinarily-detailed work for Pan and Panther.
Born Reginald Cyril Webb in Plaistow, Essex, in 1901, he died in West Ham on 14th October 1957 leaving no children, no will and no evidence of his existence other than his signatures on the gorgeous covers he produced. In 1954, this website notes he even stopped signing his work, when the publisher of the books he illustrated went to jail on obscenity charges. (Heade’s artwork often pushed to the absolute limits of what was legally allowed for the time).
Heade also worked in comics, drawing covers for Thriller Comics Library and the strips known to include “The Saga of the Red”, “The Captain from Castille”, “Sexton Blake versus the Astounding John Plague” and “Robin Hood” in the original Knock-Out (1949), “The Sky Explorers” in Comet (1952-53) and a comic strip biography of the famous cross-dressing pirate Mary Read for the weekly paper Answers, in 1952.
The Art of Reginald Heade
168pp. Large format 22cm x 28cm hardback. Fully illustrated in full colour throughout.
Published 31 October 2016