Posted by: erikmona | March 8, 2009

Brak the Barbarian (1968)

Brak the Barbarian (1968)

On Friday I posted Frank Frazetta’s cover to John Jakes’s Brak the Barbarian Versus the Sorceress, the second of the four Brack paperback books. That volume and its follow-up, Brak the Barbarian Versus the Mark of Demons, were published by Popular Library, but this first volume came from Avon Books. The original came in 1968, the follow-up in 1969, from a different publisher. I wonder if there’s an interesting story behind the switch.

Either way, Jakes managed to snag Frazetta twice in a row. I think today’s cover is unusual for Frazetta in that there’s not much of anything going on in the background, and it’s more monochromatic and somber than his usual compositions. What strikes me most about this cover isn’t the art, but the text. It’s difficult not to want to read this immediately. I’m leaning toward making it my next book, in fact.

I suppose the change in publishers can account for the difference in composition between the first and second Brak covers. I’ll soon try to post some of Brak’s Canadian covers, which are among some of the most distinctive in my collection.



  1. Hm-m-m. Since Avon was a bigger publisher than Paperback Library, my first guess is the first Brak didn’t sell very well. My second guess is the SF editor at Avon left. I think that was about the time Roberta Grossman showed up at Paperback Library. I wonder if she came over from Avon and brought Brak with her.

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