Monday, March 15, 2021

Cover Artist William Teason Born on This Date, 1922

For years I have wondered about the identity of the artist who painted these gorgeous paperback covers for classic Shirley Jackson reprints in the mid-Seventies, from Popular Library. Some time ago a reader commented on a long-ago TMHF post on Jackson that they had lived next door to the artist William Teason (b. Kansas City, MO, 1922-2003) and had modeled for some of these covers! This was the clue I needed. Then I emailed the family members who run Teason's official website, included the above photo, and simply asked if they could confirm this for me. I thought it was a long shot, but Teason's son replied within a few hours, said he recognized most as his father's work but was unsure about one and that he'd check and get back to me. Which he did. And told me yes—those are all by Teason. Mystery solved!

Quite often Teason signed much of his work, including skillfully working his signature into the wooden boards on the original 1963 paperback cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a personal top favorite (yes, someone "borrowed" this image for Bava's Shock poster). Most of his output was for mysteries and crime classics, titles by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, but in the Eighties he began producing terrific covers for Zebra. With his long, award-winning career, Teason is without a doubt one of the masters of vintage paperback cover art!