Re: RARA-AVIS: Tie-ins

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 05 Nov 2007

My thanks to Richard and Jim for an in-depth look at the early tie-ins. I'll keep an eye out for the titles -- they sound interesting. My only experience is seeing MAN FROM UNCLE tie-ins
(I believe that was the TV show) in a used bookstore. I didn't browse any because I didn't remember the show all that well.


--- Richard Moore <> wrote:

> Jim is quite correct in all his history. The movie tie-ins go
> all
> the way back to the silent era with "Photoplay editions"
> illustrated
> with stills from the movie. Sometimes these were reprints and
> sometimes originals produced after the screenplay. I have one
> somewhere by the pioneer woman screenwriter Frances Marion
> that she
> wrote based on her screenplay for the 1931 gangster movie
> starring
> Wallace Beery and Clark Gable.
> Jim is also right about the role of Whitman Publishing Co.,
> based
> out of Racine, Wisconsin. They began publishing Big Little
> Books in
> the early 1930s featuring popular radio and comics heros as
> well as
> shortened versions of popular literature. Dick Tracy, Tarzan,
> Little Orphan Annie, Red Ryder, and etc. all had their Big
> Little
> Books. Later they dropped that name and commissioned full
> print
> adventures of movie, radio and television characters.
> To go back to Dragnet, the first paperback tie-in for Dragnet
> was
> CASE NO. 561 by David Knight published by Pocketbooks in 1956.
> Knight was a penname of Richard S. Prather. Somewhere I heard
> that
> Jack Webb was not pleased with Prather's version of Joe
> Friday. I
> have a couple of books on Jack Webb but naturally not where I
> can
> put my hands on them.
> Webb was quite particular about how dialog was handled as
> Robert
> Bloch reported in his autobiography. Bloch did one script for
> Webb
> and he rewrote all of the dialog into Dragnet-speak, even
> though the
> script was not for Dragnet. Bloch got a little revenge when
> Webb
> proudly ushered him to the case containing all of Webb's
> awards from
> police departments from around the country. Bloch surveyed
> the many
> trophies for a bit and turned to Webb and said something on
> the
> order of "You must be a very good bowler."
> In 1957, a year after the David Knight/Prather Dragnet book,
> Whitman
> Publishing published a book of Dragnet short stories written
> by
> Richard Deming. The six stories were written from the
> original
> television scripts (which were often based on earlier radio
> scripts).
> Deming then got the assignment to do two adult Dragnet books:
> and
> DRAGNET: THE CASE OF THE CRIME KING (Pocketbook 1959). I have
> read
> both and they are very well done.
> Richard Moore
> <jimdohertyjr@...>
> wrote:
> >
> > Ed,
> >
> > Re your question below:
> >
> > "The TV tie-in books then go back to 1959-60. Was this
> > concept used when TV became popular, earlier in the
> > 1950s? Just curious."
> >
> > Itr predates television, in fact. Whitman, a midwest
> > publisher that printed quite a few TV-tie-in books for
> > the juvenile market in the '50's and '60's, published
> > radio show tie-in books in the '30's and '40's.
> >
> > Grossett & Dunlap, a hardcover publishr specializing
> > in reprints, would often do "movie editions" of books
> > that had been filmed, with stills from the film on the
> > cover and, if the film used a different title, the
> > title of the book changed. Hence, there are editions
> > of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY that were published under the
> > title MURDER, MY SWEET, with Dick Powell on the cover,
> > and editions of THE HIGH WINDOW, published under the
> > title THE BRASHER DOUBLOON (ironically the title
> > Chandler wanted to use) with George Montgomery on the
> > cover.
> >
> > There's even a book about crime-solving
> > photojournalist Jack Casey, by an author OTHER than
> > George Harmon Coxe, that specifically ties in, not to
> > Coxe's books and stories, but to the radio show CASEY
> > - CRIME PHOTOGRAPHER that was loosely based on those
> > books ans stories.

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