Evolution of Matt Helm novel covers

We just came a Web page that every fan of the literary Matt Helm ought to see. It’s a diagram showing the various version of Matt Helm paperback covers of the stories spun by Donald Hamilton (1916-2006). Some of the books kept to one design during their print runs, but others changed. Among them:

Death of a Citizen: The original had a woman in a slip looking leeringly at the reader. It got revamped a few years later once the series had been established this time with a woman in bra and panties on a bed. Helm didn’t make the cover until a revamped version some time later.

The Wrecking Crew: The second novel debuted with Helm wearing a trenchcoat and carrying a machine gun. Two other versions the cover would later be published.

Also, as the series goes on, he’s drawn to look younger and more of a stud. That’s interesting given he was listed as being 36 years old at the start of the series, which ran from 1960 through 1993. (The Hamilton family is sitting on a last unpublished novel, hoping that a new movie deal will develop that would make this final novel a more marketable property.)

In any case, this is an interesting page. Just click RIGHT HERE to view. To look at a larger image of each cover, just click on it.

One Response

  1. After the early Matt Helm novels were published in the UK with the same Gold Medal covers, Hodder Fawcett began reprinting Donald Hamilton’s novels under their Coronet imprint and a different eye for cover design. The Coronet covers are at http://homepage.mac.com/mmtz/dh/matthelmcoronet.html

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