An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which it publishes certain work. A single publishing company may have multiple imprints, often using the different names as brands to market works, reaching various demographics. For example, Viking Press is an imprint of the Penguin Group used to publish a strictly limited list of distinguished, perpetually important fiction.
These modernistic pre-Stonewall paperbacks are from an imprint called French Line. I am drawn to these books because they are so deadly intent about reaching their targeted audience. The design of the covers is so persuasive, the designer wasn’t kidding around.
The titles and the tag lines express the inherently coded nature of gay life in that era: The Chocolate Speedway; The Reamers; “He became the ‘First Lady’ of Capitol Hill” (about Lindsey Graham?), “How long does it take to make a straight guy gay?”; “The root of all evil can be the seat of all pleasure!”. The covers were calculated to alarm, and arouse.
And what’s with the use of that circle-arrow male symbol? You don’t see those anymore. When did it and the accompanying female symbol disappear?
Who knew that Guy Fawkes wrote Chamber Of Homos?