Rediscovered: “You Dirty, Slimy Freaks!”

We all remember last Autograph Hound weekend when Brian Leno laid out a hand with a trump card or two (signed, of course) in the mix, to keep him in the game with the John Hancocks spread out the week before by noted pulp and book collector Kevin Cook. 

Five signatures in all — Anthony Rud, George Allan England, Virgil Finlay, Erle Stanley Gardner and Ray Cummings.

For today’s Autograph Hound Super-Sunday, Kevin deals back five names, but with some slick “hole card” angles to the hand.

First up is an inscription in a 1929 copy of In the Shadow, from the British firm of Elkin Matthews & Marrot Ltd. The holograph is that of Tod Robbins, perhaps best known today because his story “Spurs” was the basis for director Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks. One of my favorite movies.

“One of us! One of us!”

Kevin notes that “Robbins spent most of his life in Europe and so his signature is uncommon.” He was interred for much of World War II in a Nazi concentration camp, and died in 1949.

And the sneaky double-whammy angle is that the inscription is to the Irish writer Frank Harris —– I know without doubt that the association value will impress Leno. No one likes that sort of thing better than he does.

Kevin speculates that “Harris, best known as the author of My Life and Loves and for being an associate and friends with Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, probably met Robbins when both were living in France sometime prior to his death there in 1931.”

This entry was posted in Film, Lit and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.