Happy Birthday To The Master: McGinnis.

mcginnis exit dying art 1960

Exit Dying, 1960

A very happy birthday to Robert McGinnis, born today in Cincinnati back in 1926 and still with us at 94. Apprenticed at Walt Disney Studios and studying art at Ohio State, McGinnis served in the Merchant Marine, then worked in advertising after WWII, where a chance 1958 meeting with illustrator Mitchell Hooks led to work at Dell Publishing. The result? In addition to editorial work for glossy magazines and over 40 movie posters, he’s credited with over 1,200 book covers, his well-known series work for Mike Shayne and other detective novels a key part of those books’ branded marketing. McGinnis is a member of the Society Of Illustrators Hall Of Fame, and after ‘retirement’ (if we want to call it that) has focused on non-commercial western themed art fine art painting.

There are too many ‘favorite’ Robert McGinnis cover illustrations to count, much less post here, and so many are already familiar to any visitor to this site. Still, I’ll post a few particular ‘faves’ I’ve always cherished, even before I knew they were McGinnis works, in some cases.

Too Hot To Hold

Too Hot To Hold, 1959

mcginnis never kill a client shayne 1963

Never Kill A Client, 1963

kill now pay later 1960

Kill Now, Pay Later 1960

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday To The Master: McGinnis.

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  1. Nice tribute. But fyi, the second image titled “Not I, Said The Vixen, 1965” is absolutely NOT drawn by McGinnis.


    1. Not only was it not done by McGinnis (it’s a Bill Johnson illustration, right?) but I had posted about that book/cover art a long time ago myself! The art was lurking in a R. McGinnis folder in my ‘post-ables’ archive, and I stupidly grabbed it. Thanks so much for pointing that out…the post is corrected now. This is what I get for cobbling together a post on the run before work in the morning.


      1. Hah! No worries, mistakes are going to be made, the important thing is that you made the correction. To be perfectly frank, I can’t definitely say the piece in question is by Bill Johnson, which is why I didn’t offer up an alternate name, as I don’t like to assign art credits unless I feel 100% sure about it.


  2. If Robert McGinnis was born in 1926, then today would be his 94th birthday, not his 93rd. Right? (You don’t have to post this comment, but you might want to change your first sentence.)


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