Paperback cover model Steve Holland: mercenary, cop, crook, and hot nerd

Eric Bradley of Heritage Auctions sent me an item about a paperback cover model from the 1960s and 1970s named Steve Holland.

In the 1970s, if you were an artist who wanted to portray masculinity on a paperback cover, there was only one man to choose as your model: actor Steve Holland. And we almost mean that literally. You can't get away from the guy. Do you like pulp reprints? Holland modeled for both Doc Savage and The Avenger. Do you prefer "Executioner"-style men's adventure vigilantes? Holland was both the Sharpshooter and the Penetrator (among others!). Why would you want to use anyone else than the firm-jawed, deep-set-eyed Steve Holland? The guy just radiated machismo! We can't fault artists for using him again and again, the man is just so darn manly!

As luck would have it, this week's Heritage auction has a 28-book lot of which every single one depicts Holland on the cover. Put on your steeliest glare and click here.

Notable Replies

  1. bryan says:

    Seems to be some sort of mistake; the second book shown, Scratch a Thief, clearly shows Don Draper.

  2. I own a PB of that old Doc Savage novel with the illo that used that photo, right down to the artfully ripped shirt (and model).

  3. Oh, come on! Where's Doc Savage? There's mention of him, via the author, Kenneth Robeson, of The Avenger--but no Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze! A cover picture of one of those pulp novels would have done immeasurable service towards making the point of the article. I mean, sure, the picture of Steve Holland was THE pose for Doc Savage, but we really could have used a book cover to ram the point home. Oh well...

  4. Remo Williams is not amused.

  5. This topic makes me miss Antinous.

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