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To be honest, I’m not a big horror fiction reader, in part because I’m not sure where to start. (Yeah, I like Lovecraft and other Mythos writers well enough, but that’s where it starts and ends.) Though I do get a kick out of horror novel covers.

Like these very ambient covers Hector Garrido did for Avon; very evocative for horror, nice colors, and an interesting theme (same slant, same color pattern). So very ’60s. I’m not sure why he picked the angle or colors, but it’s pretty uniform across the board from ’68 to ’70, so something was going on there. Garrido also did covers for No Blade of Grass, Stranger in a Strange Land, and two trashy action series, The Baroness and The Destroyer, but he’s hardly well-known.

The second last three are by Edward Soyka, an even less-documented artist. (As far as I can tell; at the least the second to last two are by him.) Interesting to see that Avon kept the style/theme going between illustrators.

Now, Avon is best known for its many harlequin romances, but back in the day it was a powerhouse of genre fiction. Lots of horror/gothics, fantasy, science fiction, and a slew of trashy men’s action-adventure series.

The only novel out of all of these that has any resonance is A Stir of Echoes, another Richard Matheson gem. Matheson was a solid mid-century novelist of horror, SF, and fantasy, best known for I Am Legend, which has been filmed no less than three times; Stir of Echoes became a feature film in 1999.

Sorry for the low quality of some of the scans; there’s not a lot of images or info about these. And I’m pretty sure I’m missing the one that would make this a perfect set of nine. Judging from their eBay/Amazon Marketplace prices, some of these are worth a pretty penny.

Stir of Echoes – Richard Matheson – 1969 – Avon S392
The Girl from Yesterday – Sarah Hughart – 1970 – Avon V2326
A Walk with the Beast – Charles M. Collins (Ed.) – 1969 – S397
Infernal Idol – Henry Seymour – 1969 – Avon S400
Night of the Vampire – Raymond Giles – 1969 – Avon S361
The Pedestal – George Lanning – 1968 – Avon S376
Witch Bane – Robert Neill – 1968  – Avon S377
The Unquiet Spirit – Marguerite Steen – 1969 – Avon S383
A Name for Evil – Andrew Lytle – 1969 –  Avon S382
Mister Splitfoot – Helen McCloy – 1969 – Avon S401
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