Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Between the Covers

I recently wrote about judging a book by its cover. But I've learned over the years, you can't always trust the cover to reveal the true contents of a book.  And I'm not talking about the story inside.

Over the years, I've found many things hidden among the pages of books I've bought, from cash to four-leaf clovers to store receipts to hidden school tardy slips.  On rarer occasions, you might even find a story within the story.

"Kickoff" by Thomas Baldwin, published in 1932, appears to be a standard youth story centered around a star football player.  Frankly, I've never been intrigued enough to read it. But what I found inside did intrigue me.

I have no idea when the drawings occurred in the book's life.

After a few unrelated drawings in the beginning of the book, our mystery artist begins a classic "cowboy & Indian" story.

I'm not sure in what order the panels should be read, or why in one panel the cowboy seems to be chummy with the Indians while in another he's shooting at them.

I've cropped out the panels. You decide how the story should flow.

 "Look!"  Is he shooting at some Native Americans in a canoe?  That's kind of low-down.

I'm not sure if they're making peace or surrendering.

And one final profile.


  1. I love this! And thank you for documenting these "extra" illustrations inside this old book. I mean, it's certainly a bit on the violent and anti-Indian side of the ledger, but the culture of the times would have wrongly indoctrinated that into the poor kid. Wonder if he (or she, but probably a he) grew up to do anything artistic or creative.


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