Telos Publishing teases new art book highlighting the work of James E McConnell

Telos Publishing has teased the cover and contents of its upcoming art book, a visual celebration of the work of James E McConnell.

Miniature Marvels - The Book-Cover Art of James E McConnell (Telos Publishing, 2023)

Written by Steve Chibnall, Miniature Marvels: The Book-Cover Art of James E McConnell is another large format book from the company that’s previously published fantastic titles such as The Art of Phil Bevan and Cover Me – The Vintage Art of Pan Books, and the also soon to come The Fanzine Book by Alistair McGown, exploring the fascinating history of Doctor Who fanzines.

In a career spanning from the 1930s to the 1960s, James Edwin McConnell (15th July 1903 – 4th May 1995) was described by David Ashford as “Britain’s most prolific pulp and western artist” in a profile for illustrators magazine Issue 11.

The announcement of a major focus on his career from Telos Publishing is welcome news, the illustrators feature one of very few accounts of his career.

In the 1950s, McConnell painted covers for Super Detective Library, Western Library, Thriller Comics and Cowboy Comics, sometimes signing his work as “Jas E McConnell”.

The Wild West Book - cover art by James E McConnell

He’s perhaps best known for his work, including many covers, for the long-running children’s title Look and Learn, much of his work available for licensed use from the Look and Learn picture agency, and his covers for Pan Books. He also worked for Philmar, the jigsaw puzzle makers.

He also worked on Ranger, The Bible Story and Hurricane annuals, and contributed to the adventure comic, Lion.

A number of his artworks are offered for sale through The Book Palace.

Miniature Marvels: The Book-Cover Art of James E McConnell is due for release from Telos this summer, and available to preorder now.

Here’s how they have trailed the book…

“James E McConnell was one of the 20th Century’s finest and most prolific commercial artists working in publishing.

“His paintings appeared on many hardback dustjackets and paperback book covers and also graced magazines, advertising posters, even jigsaw puzzles. Although he is perhaps best remembered for his Western-themed pieces, his work spanned a wide range of genres, including crime, science fiction, romance and children’s books.

“In this lavish, coffee-table-style hardback book – the first ever to be published on McConnell’s art – author Steve Chibnall, a leading authority on mass-market publishing in 20th Century Britain, presents a fascinating biography of the artist, compiled with the full cooperation of his estate and illustrated with hundreds of superb full-colour reproductions of his work.

“In a career spanning from the 1930s to the 1960s, McConnell produced hundreds of superb paintings, working for noted British publishers large and small, including Collins, Cassell, Robert Hale, Corgi, Pan, Amalgamated/Fleetway, Hutchinson and many others.

“Amongst his most celebrated works were covers for Cassell’s editions of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu books; highly collectable John D MacDonald and James M Cain thrillers and Lozania Prole romances for Robert Hale; Berkeley Gray and Vernon Warren crime novels for Collins and John Gifford respectively; Thames’ editions of Captain WE Johns‘ children’s adventure novels featuring Biggles; Arrow paperbacks of Edgar Wallace mysteries; and over a dozen Pinnacle paperbacks of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ famous Tarzan and sci-fi novels.

The book is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of superb full-colour reproductions of McConnell’s work and contains a full, detailed listing of all of his covers.”

Author Steve Chibnall is believed to be the only Professor of British Cinema in the world, and is one of the UK’s senior film historians. He is director of DMU’s Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre and curator of the Hammer Script Archive, the Jimmy Sangster Collection, the Francis Searle Archive and the Roy Ward Baker Bequest (all lodged with the CATH Centre).

He is also owner of the Steve Chibnall Archive, a private collection of tens of thousands of pieces of British film and popular culture memorabilia which postgraduate students in the CATH Centre may draw upon in their research.

He has written or edited several books, including The British ‘B’ Film (2009, BFI) and the recently published profile of director J. Lee Thompson (2021, Manchester University Press); published dozens of articles and book chapters, featured on television and radio over a long career and currently contributes sleeve notes and commentary moderations to DVD releases by Odeon Entertainment and the BFI.

Telos Publishing is a small award-winning independent, UK-based press established by David J Howe and Stephen James Walker in October 2000. They publish a wide range of factual and fiction books, including a number of unofficial Doctor Who tie-ins, and more.

You can pre-order Miniature Marvels: The Book-Cover Art of James E McConnell direct from Telos here | 352pp | Large format 11×8.5-format full colour hardback | ISBN: 978-1845832100

Also available to preorder from The Book Palace

James E. McConnell art on The Book Palace

Pan Books: James E. McConnell covers

With thanks to David Roach for the heads up

Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

Tags: , , , , , ,

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading