Illustrator L.B. Cole had a doctorate degree in anatomy and used it to good advantage by rendering bad women, cheating men...and for his numerous comic books, the occasional throbbing rocket ship.
Eliot Brewster was one of many hack writers who had his hardcovers turned into paper digests which served the emerging market for cheap reads...much of it caused by thousand upon thousands of men and women going to war. At home, on a train to camp or hiding in a foxhole, a colorful, spicy read was one of the few pleasures available. There are very few copies of the books above, as they were cheap, by intention, and during difficult times passed off to neighbors and buddies until they were gone. Later the high acid content evaporated all but those pressed tight...which only delays the inevitable crumbling a few more decades.
In Love Above All, Les Carver returns from war to the "simple, little plump girl" he promised to marry. Her weight is discussed frequently in the book. His eyes wander and soon Les is "irresistibly drawn into a whirlpool of drink, debauchery, wild sex orgies…" and more.
Author Eliot Brewster is due a revival.
In Faithfully Yours, Brewster puts a maid in the house, a man in the service and gives them both a book title which is a lie.
Like Bilbrew ten years later, Cole's men frequently have greasy, troubled hair falling perfectly down their troubled foreheads.
In Love Above All, smoke initially rises towards the wedding, but swirls over to the dame. The same dame nearly impaled on a bottle of whiskey. What man returning from the war wouldn't drift like smoke to the dark side? After the unspeakable horror of war, many men had a choice. Do what is "right" or pound it away, literally, against a loose bed board. Is there a cheap motel shown on this cover? Does there need to be? Look into his eyes.
Cole is responsible for some of the most striking comic book covers you will ever seen. A good sample is HERE on the Monster Brains website.
But Cole was at his best when things in a guy's head were at their worst.
Brewster today appeals only to the few collectors who seek the same thrills sought during the war. Among his other titles are Sisters in Sin, Skin Deep, Lusty, Private Companion, Ready for Love and Wicked Women.
Faithfully Yours by Eliot Brewster cover by L. B Cole 1943 Phoenix Press. Love Above All by Eliot Brewster cover by L. B. Cole 1945 Palace Press (Phoenix) Both Collection Jim Linderman
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