Sunday Sundries and Weekend Whatnots


Publishers Weekly reports the death of Blanche Cirker.

Blanche Cirker, co-founder of Dover Publications, died last week at the age of 104.

Cirker and her husband, Hayward, who died in March 2000, founded Dover in 1941.

Dover Publications was famous to comic strip fans as the publisher of “treasury-size” editions of Little Nemo and The Katzenjammers Kids. They also gave many (myself included) their first look at the incredible Barnaby comic strip.



Staying with Publishers Weekly, which is celebrating its 150th year, they recently took us back to the beginning of the mass market paperback:

Eighty-three years ago, we reported on Robert de Graff’s plan to meet the “pent-up demand” for “good books” at “low prices,” which involved borrowing a revolutionary idea from England: publishing paperback editions of bestselling titles for 25¢ each. To implement his plan, de Graff formed Pocket Books.


Ernie Barnes’ cover art for Marvin Gaye Album Sells for $15 Million.

The iconic dance-hall painting seen in the credits of the 1970s sitcom Good Times sold at a Christie’s auction in New York City Thursday for a record-breaking $15.2 million.

As noted by The Los Angeles Times, Ernie Barnes’ adored 1976 acrylic-on-canvas piece known as The Sugar Shack appeared in the fifth and sixth seasons of the classic 1970s sitcom. Marvin Gaye also used the painting as the cover art for his classic hit album, “I Want You.”