Gruesome Cargoes

Horror fiction 1925-1937: ‘Not At Nights’ & ‘Creeps’

The cover artwork: “Eliza Pyke”

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

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For years it’s bugged me that I don’t know who to credit for the striking artwork which adorns these incredible books. Of course, the identity of one of the artists was sitting right there under my nose the whole time.

“The jacket for this first volume (and for many of the later ones), was designed by that clever advertising-agent, Betty Prentis, who was then working as a freelance artist under her trade name of Eliza Pyke. It was “Eliza”, with her sense of dramatic colour, who contributed not a little towards a “brighter bookstalls” movement!”

– Christine Campbell Thomson, introduction to the Not At Night Omnibus (Feb. 1936).

A quick Google reveals no details whatsoever about either Betty or her alter-ego, but at least we now have a name to work with.

My guess is that she was definitely responsible for the covers of #1 through to #5, probably contributed those of #6 – #8, possibly designed #9 but not #10 and #11!

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