The Evil Schemes of Dr. Death


Who was Dr. Death?  His original name was Rance Mandarin and he used to be a professor at Yale University until he was driven mad by his hatred of technology.  Through the occult, Mandarin hoped to turn back time and reduce civilization back to a simpler, more primitive state.  Standing in his way were the members of the Secret Twelve, one of whom was apparently the President of the United States.

In 1935, Dr. Death appeared in three issues of his own pulp magazine, with cover art from Rudolph Zirm.  The magazine didn’t last long but it did find an audience years later when, in the 60s, Corinth Books reprinted the Dr. Death stories in paperback form.  These paperbacks all had covers by Robert Bonfils, who brought a different visual spin to the character than Zirm had.

Below are the 6 covers of Dr. Death!

by Rudolph Zirm

by Rudolph Zirm

by Rudolph Zirm

by Robert Bonfils

by Robert Bonfils

by Robert Bonfils

Finally, Dr. Death was driven mad by technology in the 1930s.  Can you imagine what would have happened to his brain if he had lived during our time?

The Phantom Detective Covers of Robert Bonfils


by Robert Bonfils

In the 1960s and 70s, it was common for paperback publishers to reprint old pulp stories in novel form.  Though the stories would remain the same, the covers would often be updated to reflect the times and to hopefully bring in new readers.

Corinth Books, which previously specialized in softcore paperbacks, reprinted over twenty of the Phantom Detective’s adventures.  The Phantom Detective had originally been published from 1932 to 1952 so. when Corinth started reprinting his tales, they knew that they needed a cover artist who could make the stories appeal to a contemporary audience.  They selected the legendary Robert Bonfils, who was one of the first artists to be profiled on this site.

Below are the adventures of the Phantom Detective, reimagined by Robert Bonfils:

The Many Adventures Of Agent 0008


James Bond wasn’t the only secret agent saving the world in the 60s!  There was also Trevor Anderson, a.k.a. Agent 0008.  Anderson worked for SADISTO and, from 1965 to 1968, his adventures were recorded by Clyde Anderson.  There were 20 paperbacks about Agent 0008 and, as you can tell from the covers below, his missions were often on the racy side.  Agent 0008 didn’t just save the world.  He also had a good time doing it.  Though the Agent 0008 novels were only published for three years, they are now eagerly sought by collectors.  On Amazon, some of them are being sold for as much as $500.

Unless otherwise noted, the covers below are credited to Robert Bonfils:

by Darrel Millsap

Artist Unknown