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Jan 06

With so many choices, I understand its hard to decide who to fire that arrow at!Click for full image

Don Comments: If you were surrounded by a tribble with fangs, Dennis the Menace, the girl from Season 1 of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, a corpse, a skeletal alien, a streaker, a horse and an off-panel Robin Hood, you’d be all “WTF?!” too.
Published 1971

Many thanks to Don!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.92 out of 10)
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34 Responses to “Recoil”

  1. Adam Roberts Says:

    Oh my word.

    Does the font in which the title is set have a name? ‘Slab Psychedelic Serif’ perhaps?

  2. SI Says:

    You see.. I always said tribbles would turn on you given the chance!

  3. Phil Says:

    Gah… her eyes! They are bulging!

    Good to see Joanna Lumley on a cover (bottom left), but she has amazingly large hands. And surely that’s a light blue relative of Animal from the Muppet Show.

    I assume there is a quiver full of arrows on the BACK cover. Good Show Sir rules specify that all loaded bows must be backed up by a full quiver.

    Is this really a Freas cover? I though he had more taste, and more humour.

  4. THX 1138 Says:

    I guess that’s the appropriate expression to wear if you’ve been tampered with by an alien. Not that inexplicable, really.

  5. David Cowie Says:

    This edition is an Ace Double, with LALLIA by EC Tubb on the other side.
    Here is the cover.

  6. Phil Says:

    “This edition is an Ace Double, with LALLIA by EC Tubb on the other side.”

    Altogether less shocking. Now I see where the got the idea for the Lloyds Building Gherkin.

  7. Evad Says:

    Whoa – Recoil in horror at the cover.
    Could the model for the boy have been a young John C. Reilly?

  8. NGpm Says:

    Perhaps her peculiar expression is, as a reaction, not so inexplicable given the implied nature of said tampering … or is that just my tortured imaginings and not any real implication?

  9. Kristin Says:

    Yet, it’s the patchwork colored squares that really bother me the most about this cover. So wrong.

  10. ashton Says:

    Is it just me or is her body tiiiiny?

  11. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Beat poetry version of the cover blurb, in the style of William Shatner:

    The more
    the aliens
    tampered the more
    inexplicable the
    human reaction.

  12. Dalton H. Says:

    That horse is aching to be a unicorn to make this cover crazier.

  13. Justin Leego Says:

    Excellent find, Don.

    That horse should be aching from its adopted hyena-like pose!

  14. Traveler Says:

    The aliens gave somebody Grave’s disease!

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Maybe there’s a proper context for this cover — blurb and all — in which it seems perfectly lucid. Such as…dropping acid during a Renaissance Festival.

  16. Tom Noir Says:

    Dude, that was a REALLY weird episode of “Sesame Street.”

  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Right. *deep breath*

    abstraction
    big-handitis
    busy hands
    geometric oddities
    Haircut 100
    longbow
    perspective problems
    skulls-a-poppin’
    sky eyes
    strange animals

    …I think that about covers it then. Still I can’t figure out what that thing is at bottom center, between the hands. It looks something like a sea squirt with a pair of green rugose arms. And I can almost make out something emerging from the top up the cover toward the Killer Koosh…ah, I’m done.

  18. Anna T. Says:

    There is a carnivorous mouth with electric blue eighties hair coming to eat that boy.

    That is a sentence that has never before been typed or thought in the entire history of the English language.

  19. anon Says:

    Needs a “behind you” and “intoxicated”, if there is such a tag.
    Those boxes remind me a bit of the non-cleaned-up version of Star Wars..

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Clearly the aliens tampered with that horse. It’s half-giraffe. And it is indeed inexplicable that, in reaction, humans bought the book.

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    That horse is a wolf wearing a hat with built-in mask covering the muzzle inside the ‘neck’.

  22. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Anna T.: perhaps you weren’t yet alive when Biscuit Boy made the fatal mistake of hosting Sesame Street…

  23. L.B. Says:

    Marty Feldman would never stoop to being drawn on a book cover!

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Yep. The title describes what everyone looking at the cover will do.

    Providing they can actually see the whole thing and aren’t rendered blind at the start by the title font.

    Original submitter Don didn’t mention the arms that extend under the bug-eyed person’s chin.

  25. fred Says:

    Original art internet auctioned on April 14. Not going to join the site to get the results, but it appears there were 14 bids.

    https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/covers/kelly-freas-recoil-paperback-novel-cover-painting-original-art-ace-double-books-1971-/a/121915-13051.s

  26. THX 1139 Says:

    This is what happens if you sneeze with your eyes open.

  27. Francis Boyle Says:

    The only human reactions on display here are sullen resentment and WTF, neither of which are inexplicable under the circumstances.

  28. Tor Mented Says:

    Just to the right of the horse’s hooves — I can’t decide if that’s the face of a bearded man, or just a bush.

  29. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tor M—It’s probably both. Your post made me check out that horse more closely, and I notice his left rear leg seems to both in front of and behind his right front leg at the same time. If you look at it just right, it appears his hind parts are facing away from the rest of him. This is definitely a Flashback Friday-worthy cover!

  30. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @B. Chiclitz: do we have an Escher Horse tag?

    The mouth-thing looks to me like a Langolier in severe need of a haircut.

    Kelly Freas either phoned this one in or threw up his hands in despair after being given overly specific instructions.

  31. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    My theory is the woman in the middle was the last part to be painted, Kelly Freas faithfully reproducing his model’s expression as she looked at the rest of the picture.

  32. Tor Mented Says:

    @B. Chiclitz: You are right about the horse. If Freas had done that on purpose, it would have been clever. But I think it’s just as much of an accident as the bush looking like a face.

  33. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tor M—Freas was a great artist, IMHO. His work for MAD magazine is permanently etched into my childhood memory circuits, like the legendary Son of Mad. With this one, as all artists must do from time to time, he seems to be making a quick buck

  34. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Thinking of Kelly’s work for MAD, I suppose the expression here is “Yes, me worry! And can you blame me?”

    Kelly certainly had a sense of humor and perhaps we’re missing something here. Maybe the book’s contents really are that daft and he illustrated it too faithfully.

    @Bruce: Long-haired Langolier, or blue-dyed Fizzgig?

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