Friday, May 29, 2020

Peter Arno's Parade: The American and British Covers

Peter Arno's first cartoon collection was Parade published in New York by Horace Liveright in 1929. The dust jacket illustration does show a parade of sorts: recognizable Arno types dressed to the nines—or not dressed at all—in a not entirely coherent procession moving approximately left to right. Arno was already wildly popular in the States through his groundbreaking work in the New Yorker and the cover only needed to remind potential book buyers of his distinctive style and of the sort of familiar characters they could expect to find within.
Peter Arno's Parade. New York:  Horace Liveright, 1929.

Two years later, when it was time to introduce Arno's work to the British public, a different approach was considered. This time the dust jacket was divided into four quadrants and an Arno cartoon complete with minuscule caption was placed in each corner. These four gags may have been the first Arno cartoons many English readers saw:
Peter Arno's Parade. London:  John Lane, 1931.

The four captions, clockwise from top left, are "See, darling, I told you we couldn't have a Platonic friendship," "Not a very homey boat, is it?," "I was discussing the Mexican situation with Bottomley today. It seems fraught with interest," and "He fought a beautiful war, sir." Half of these are saucy bedroom gags and all four of them feature luxurious, upscale settings. That may not be a bad way to sell books...

Those familiar with Arno's American editions may notice that the Platonic friendship cartoon is out of place in Parade. Instead it is the leadoff cartoon to Peter Arno's Hullabaloo (New York: Horace Liveright, 1930). So the British edition of Parade collects at least some material that is not in the American edition.

The particular copy of the American edition of Parade shown here is from the library of writer Carl Van Vechten:
Peter Arno's Parade
Locus Solus Rare Books Listing Accessed May 28, 2020

The British edition of Parade listed on AbeBooks has a dust jacket that even the book dealer acknowledges is in poor condition. The price of $8.26 corresponds to 6.50 GBP. American fans of Arno might find the $37 transatlantic shipping cost prohibitive.

Peter Arno's Parade
AbeBooks Listing Accessed May 28, 2020

Note:  Both copies of Parade are available for sale at the time of posting.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Peter Arno

Attempted Bloggery's Anglo-American Index


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