Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Casting A Shadow: Keith Chatto on Terror Pocket Library and Spy Stories Picture Library

I’ve waxed lyrical over the cover to Terror Pocket Library #1 before, and I’m about to do so again in light of some new information which has come to hand.

I imagine the intrepid comics reader and collector recoiling in horror for all the wrong reasons when he or she (let's face it - it was probably a he in most cases) picked up Terror Pocket Library #2 (above) on the newsstands for $0.60 in the late 1970’s to find they had paid twice the cover price to re-read “Cast A Crooked Shadow” as they had previously in issue #1.

Not only that, but the new cover was a crudely modified colour version of a full-page image of Nick Bailey treading stiffly – not “stumbling in a frenzy of panic”, as the caption text would have one believe. If only the buyer had treaded so carefully!

To my eyes the Keith Chatto cover on Terror Pocket Library #1 is not only superior to that of #2 but is far more appealing than the painted cover on Secret Service Picture Library #17 from which “Cast A Crooked Shadow” was sourced.

Chatto’s cover for Spy Stories Picture Library #1 (above) is also a winner. It’s based on the cover for Secret Service Picture Library #23, which I also like, but I reckon Chatto’s ‘pops’ more than the original. 

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