Regular readers of this blog know that two of my (numerous) collecting obsessions are 1) the works of Richard Matheson and 2) paperback book series released in matching cover designs by a single artist.
Berkley Books acquired the rights to eight of Richard Matheson's books to be published throughout 1979, and hired artist Murray Tinkelman to design their covers. Tinkelman's work was recognizable to readers of science fiction and horror thanks to several HP Lovecraft book covers he designed for Ballantine in the mid-70s. On Tinkelman's website, fellow artist Vincent DiFate describes his work on the Lovecraft covers:
"Since the artist used an open crosshatch technique, his illustrations appeared light in tone, reminiscent of an old photograph that had faded with time. Contrasted with the fully rendered paintings of other paperback artists, Tinkelman's drawings looked so unlike traditional book cover art that they had an immediate and significant impact."The same can be said of Tinkelman's Matheson covers.
The overall cover design would change slightly for the last two books, where the art was no longer presented full bleed and the M and N in Matheson's name do not extend below the other letters. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that Shock III was originally designed to match the earlier books as can be seen on the back of Shock Waves (and reproduced at the top of this article).
Here is a gallery of the Tinkelman covers for the Richard Matheson books Berkley released in 1979 (along with the text copy from the front and back covers of each book):
ISBN 0-425-04021-6 $1.95
One of the most incredible Science Fiction classics of all time!
Scott Carey was a normal-sized human when he passed through the chemical fog...
He was the size of a doll when the basement door slammed—and locked—behind him...
He was the size of a moth when the Black Widow awakened to feed...
THE SHRINKING MAN
The incredible SF classic of a man stranded in a nightmare world of horror—his own cellar!
ISBN 0-425-04024-0 $1.75
"Ambidextrous, unpredicatble... always first-rank" —Harlan Ellison
Here are thinking jellies that feed on man, cold dimensions of otherness that lurk in the summer air, eerie encounters with a killer doll... and a visit with Mom on the last day of the world.
Here are provocative and unforgettable stories from a celebrated master of science fiction and fantasy!
THE LAST DAY
THE DOLL THAT DOES EVERYTHING
...and other incredible journeys to
THE SHORES OF SPACE
ISBN 0-425-04053-4 $1.75
One man against a planet of vampires. Neville is the man. The planet is... Earth!
The Nightmare Classic
Daytimes are okay. It's at night that the horror begins...
At night, when the empty streets begin to fill with the lurching, bone-white shapes of the walking dead, creeping toward the fortress-house of the last man alive on Earth, howling for the precious substance they crave...
I AM LEGEND
Considered one of the great masterpieces of modern science fiction, I AM LEGEND is the source of the WARNER BROTHERS motion picture THE OMEGA MAN starring CHARLTON HESTON.
ISBN 0-425-04095-X $1.95
First in a series from the far side of Strange
Classic Fantasy from the celebrated Discoverer of the far side of Strange
A long night in a too-strange town, a star-voyage on a doomed ship, a visit to the Edge, Berserkers, Fungi, bus rides to Nowhere, phone calls from the Dead and other events uncanny, uncommon... and unforgettable.
THE CHILDREN OF NOAH
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
THE SPLENDID SOURCE
LONG DISTANCE CALL
DANCE OF THE DEAD
THE CREEPING TERROR
LEGION OF PLOTTERS
DEATH SHIP and THE HOLIDAY MAN
ISBN 0-425-04107-7 $1.95
The masterpiece of terror about the man who had an Open Mind
"You will awaken now, with the full power of your mind..."
The party game was over, and the descent into Hell began: a terrifying parade of shapes, seizing Tom Wallace's brain, plunging him into a world of incalculable horror...
All because of an amateur hypnotist's casual mistake. For which of us could live sanely with the full power of the mind?
A STIR OF ECHOES
ISBN 0-425-04158-1 $1.95
Second in a series from the darkside of the Imagination
"Matheson is masterful..." —Harlan Ellison
A visit to the long afternoon of Earth, a one-year-old man, a mind-singing ceremony, a maelstrom, cricket armies, Venus babies for sale... and other apparitions incredible, intriguing and intensely Strange.
THE MAN WHO MADE THE WORLD
NO SUCH THING AS A VAMPIRE
BROTHER TO THE MACHINE
THE LIKENESS OF JULIE
FROM SHADOWED PLACES
A FLOURISH OF STRUMPETS
Classic Fantasy from a Master of Imaginative Fiction
ISBN 0-425-04209-X $1.95
Third in a series from the outer edge of unReality.
Matheson is "always first rank!" —Harlan Ellison
A one way trip through Time, the day dreams were money, a killer house and a rain of snakes, the real Mr. Universe, a nuptial corpse, the human from Mars and other unRealities weird, wise and wildly probable.
GIRL OF MY DREAMS
'TIS THE SEASON TO BE JELLY
THE JAZZ MACHINE
WHEN THE WAKER SLEEPS
NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET
Classic Fantasy from a Master of Imaginative Fiction
ISBN 0-425-04218-9 $1.95
Fourth in a series from a world where Weirdness walks
A look at the ugliest doll ever seen, a selfmurderess, the man who bled oil, a machine that promises never to stop, the lights around the moon and other horrors bizarre, believable and bone-chilling!
Don't miss these other volumes in the classic SHOCK series by a Master of Imaginative Fiction