Victor Gadino’s covers were the ideal complement to Gordon Merrick’s groundbreaking gay romance novels, capturing the passion of the stories and contributing to their success as classics.
An Unforgettable Artist and Author Combination
When it comes to gay romances, Gordon Merrick’s Peter and Charlie trilogy stands out as a beloved classic. Artist Victor Gadino brought to life the much-lauded iconic imagery of their lives in his distinct cover designs.
The artist went on to design covers for all of Merrick’s novels, establishing a permanent link between the artist and the author.
The First Gadino and Merrick Collaboration: The Quirk
In 1981 Gordon Merrick released another tawdry sex romp about the life of main character Gerry Kennicutt. Like most of Merrick’s books, this novel ended unhappily for the protagonist.
Gerry Kennicutt wants one perfect love rather than the string of casual affairs that defined his youth. Ernst von Hallers, inveterate playboy, can’t get enough of all the wrong things. When the two meet in Bangkok, they will have to face the meaning of their desires — and the difference between pleasure and love.The Quirk by Gordon Merrick
Now Let’s Talk About Music, 1981
Although Merrick had had issues with Victor Gadino’s artwork for An Idol For Others (he thought the characters looked too old), he and Avon knew no other artist could match Gadino’s talent for stunning homoerotic imagery. Gadino was invited back to create the cover art for the tragic romantic tale, Now Let’s Talk About Music in 1981.
Another Gay Romance: Perfect Freedom
Merrick and Gadino would unite for one more combination. This was 1982’s Perfect Freedom. Again this was a departure from Merrick’s 1970s soap operas that ended in disaster for the hero.
They were the fabulous Coslings of St. Tropez — dapper American expatriate Stuart Cosling, his ravishing French wife Helene, and their stunningly handsome son Robbie.
To his parents, Robbie was still a boy, but in the spring of 1938, on a cruise of the Greek islands, Robbie discovered the pleasures of manhood. It wasn’t until a certain season in St. Tropez that Robbie discovered the endless passion that comes only once with first love.PERFECT FREEDOM, GORDON MERRICK
Final Thoughts on Gadino and Merrick’s Legacy
Victor Gadino‘s art was the perfect accompaniment to Gordon Merrick’s groundbreaking gay romance books. His artwork captured the romance and passion of the stories and contributed to their success as they became widely revered classics.
As a result, Gadino’s artwork eventually became intertwined with Gordon Merrick’s legacy, leaving an indelible mark in gay literary history.