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James Bama pages
The "NOT Bama" List!

This list will be added to in the future. Do you have anything I could add?

The Avenger paperbacks.

There are two common errors regarding these pulp reprints.

First is the claim that they were written by the author of the Doc Savage novels. Despite the blatant blurb on the covers of these paperbacks, they were not written by Lester Dent (who wrote most of the incredible adventures of Doc Savage), but by Paul Ernst. (After #24, there were 12 new Avenger novels published; these were by Ron Goulart.)

Second is the claim that some of these covers were by Jim Bama. Despite the fact that Steve Holland was used as a model for these covers (as with the Bama Doc Savages), none of them were by Bama. The first few covers were by Peter Caras; his signature can be seen along the bottom of some copies of #1. Later covers were clearly signed by George Gross. (Both artists, in my opinion, did superb work on these Avenger covers.)

The non-Bama Doc cover.

At a comic convention around 1990, my wife told me a dealer had an original James Bama Doc Savage cover for sale, at fifteen hundred dollars. "Fifteen hundred?" I asked, staring at her incredulously. "Do you mean fifteen THOUSAND?" No, it was fifteen hundred and, yes, the dealer claimed it was by James Bama.

This painting was first used on the paperback shown, published in 1974; it was re-used on the 1976 Doc adventure, The Stone Man.

The facts: Bama's last Doc cover was #67, The Freckled Shark, which appeared in 1970 or 1971. That's when he stopped doing commercial illustration. For a person well familiar with Bama's work, this painting's style is unquestionably not his. The cover, which does not appear to be signed (though I've never looked at the original up close), is actually the work of Fred Pfeiffer, who did several Doc covers after Bama (starting with Quest of the Spider, and Mystery on the Snow).

Someone had purchased this, believing it was Bama's:

Sold at auction, in 2002; claimed to be Bama's:

I have not seen this piece in detail; I would like to; if anyone has a clearer image, or knows where this was published, please let me know. Mr. Bama has told me this is not his work, despite the signature.

Books are Everything!
#11, September 1989 issue. The "not Bama" here is undoubtedly a simple, innocent error; along with many other Bama paperback covers, a cover for Frank Gruber's Peace Marshal is shown. Bama did a cover for this title, but not this version.

(This issue is excellent, for the Bama collector. It contains my article, James Bama: "Just a Painter;" a checklist of Bama paperbacks; an article by Link Hullar, "James Bama's "Other" Covers.)

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Please note: This page was created by Rodney Schroeter. Mr. Bama is not involved with the content of this page (other than providing the signed documents seen here). If there are questions or comments please contact me.

Last updated: 2-26-09