Target Practice With Mister Prat.

Clearly, a figure painting master can do still lifes too. Above is a 1984 piece by Spain’s Enrique Torres Prat, AKA ‘Enric’ (and also ‘Enrich’). Below is another from the artist and illustrator perhaps best known for his lush figurative cover illustrations for Warren Publishing’s 1970’s horror magazines, and Vampirella in particular: An understandably controversial cover illustration for a 1988 German edition of Mickey Spillane’s Die Madchenjager.

Cover Me.

Well, it won’t be out till November 10th (and who knows if it’ll really be available immediately). But I’ll definitely be pre-ordering Colin Larkin’s Cover Me: The Art Of Pan Books 1950 – 1965. Sure, $45 is steep, but well worth it for a 256 page book with over 300 cover illustrations (bet there’ll be a lot of Sam Peffer examples). I’ll always admit to favoring U.S. postwar pb cover illustration work over the UK, continental Europe and other markets. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them all! Looking forward to this one.

Denis McLoughlin.

Several consecutive posts in early August talked about Henry Kane’s late 1950’s ‘stiletto gumshoe’, Marla Trent, the “Private Eyeful” (link below). The paperbacks were graced by cover art from postwar illustration greats like Robert Maguire and Mort Engle, but I did once have a hardcover with much simpler (and a little less leering) art by Denis McLoughlin, which in its way was all the more striking.

British artist Denis McLoughlin (1918 – 2002) was as much a graphic designer as an illustrator, doing spot illustrations for a mail order catalog firm when WWII broke out and he became a gunner at a suburban London Royal Artillery Depot. There he was also ‘drafted’ to do officers’ portraits and produce murals around the base. After the war, McLoughlin began a long association with UK publisher T.V. Boardman, Ltd., his book cover work what he’s best known for, though he also did many magazine illustrations and even worked in comics. Fascinated by the swiftly evolving photo-mechanical color separations processes, McLoughlin was known for eking out striking results with limited colors, something pretty foreign to contemporary designers and illustrators working in a CMYK digital environment. 

Like many of the unsung heroes of the postwar commercial art world, Denis McLoughlin was all too often underpaid for his efforts. In his case it meant being forced to work way past retirement age. Tragically, his eyesight faded in his 80’s, Soon, he began to lose dexterity in his right arm. Fearing he’d be unable to draw and paint, Denis McLoughlin committed suicide using a studio prop pistol that only had one bullet in it. 

https://thestilettogumshoe.com/2020/08/01/no-really-where-did-marla-go/

A Blonde For Benny.

From Australia’s loooong running Larry Kent: I Hate Crime pulp series, this one’s for Blonde For Benny, the cover art presumably by series illustrators Stan Pitt or Walter Stackpool, though I see no signature or credits anywhere.

I bought several Larry Kent reprints not long ago, with two novelettes to each trade paperback. Can’t say I plan to swap them for a long list of more favored U.S. pulps and postwar PBO’s, but it’s always interesting to read UK and Australian takes on American slang, settings and hard-boiled storytelling.

Gams And Golden Arms.

The Man With The Golden Arm

This Italian poster for Otto Preminger’s 1955 The Man With The Golden Arm (L’Uomo Dal Braccio D’Oro on this art) with Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker and Kim Novak bears little resemblance to the Saul Bass posters used for domestic release. But then, the film strays pretty far from Nelson Algren’s 1949 novel, doesn’t it? It’s said that Preminger threatened to have the film pulled from any U.S. theaters that altered or rejected Bass’ poster (Bass also responsible for the film’s opening title sequence), and he’d probably have made good on his threats, already being willing to put the film into release without the MPAA or PCA’s seal of approval…pretty rebellious at that time. While the movie was controversial enough on its own, let’s assume the Italian distributor wanted to tease something other than a peek into the grim and gritty life of a Chicago junkie. Novak’s incredible as strip club hostess Molly Novotny, but the illustrator took a bit of liberty with his depiction of her here.

Chinatown.

Barrios Chinos by Raoul Artz 1972

I know absolutely nothing about writer Raoul Artz, and am only guessing that he penned seventies sleaze books, at least based on titles like Las Obsesiones Sexuales, El Amor En Sueca and (as translated online) Sexual Women and Sexual Dating: The Call Girls, all from 1976. (That last one’s still knocking around inside my head. “Dating” equals “Call Girls”?)

Vintage sleaze or not, I adore the cover art for Artz’ Barrios Chinos from 1972, though I’m frustrated as hell that the artist is uncredited. The book’s back cover text reads (as run through an online translator): “The legend of Chinatown laid bare. Truths and tragedies in neighborhoods that come to light in a stark, realistic and sobering way. All the big cities have a quiet neighborhood. A forbidden neighborhood, a Chinatown. This work offers a panoramic view of what the Chinese quarters of the world’s main cities really are.”  Based on the cover art, I’m supposing the ‘panoramic view’ focuses on more of that ‘dating’ and those ‘call girls’.

One hell of an illustration, though…

For You…

The Letter

Let’s guess she’s not being handed a birthday card. That envelope can’t possibly contain anything good.

By artist and illustrator Jon Proctor, whose work you’ve likely seen in Caliber, Image, DC and Marvel comics since the late 1990’s, though he’s since retired from comics work.

Jenny’s Got A Gun.

41 derringer John Pacer Fantasy Flight Games

Not talking about the 1989 Aerosmith song (and anyway, that Janie, not Jenny). This is handsome gaming art by Pennsylvania fine artist, concept artist and illustrator John Pacer: “.41 Derringer” above, and “Jenny’s Twin .45’s” below, these two for Fantasy Flight Games. Look for more of the artist’s work at his site, www.johnpacer.com.

Jenny's Twin 45s John Pacer

More From “Mac” Conner…

Mac Conner 2

While working at his family’s New Jersey general store, McCauley “Mac” Conner (1913 – 2018) started his art training during the Depression through the International Correspondence School, later attending the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art and New York’s Grand Central School of Art. While still there he was drafted into the Navy during WWII, stationed in New York and assigned to produce training materials. Once discharged, he began his illustration career in earnest, opening The Neeley Studio with two partners, quickly in demand as a go-to artist for the Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and other glossies along with multiple advertising accounts.

Mac Conner 8

Editors and art directors relied on Conner’s work to be up-to-date right down to the details of the season’s fashions from hemlines to accessories, and though many regard Conner as an expert with female subjects (and thus, numerous romance story assignments) he actually enjoyed mystery and crime story projects. His 1950’s era work (the examples shown here) are mostly gouache, ink and graphite on board, and are dramatically different from his later work, Conner intentionally reinventing himself during the 1960’s when he witnessed the rapid decline of magazine and advertising illustration work, which was being supplanted by photography. He turned to carefully rendered and less stylized painting and quickly became popular with romance paperback publishers like Harlequin and Warner. In his well-deserved retirement, Conner continued painting, turning to portraiture. Mac Conner passed away at 105 in 2018.

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Mario De Berardinis.

Mario De Berardinis 1

Espionage, horror and Euro-sleaze film poster illustrations (and layouts) by Italian illustrator Mario De Berardinis (1931 – 1977).

The De Berardinis surname just seems to go along with artists for some reason, with the 1950’s – 1970’s era Italian poster, digest and paperback cover illustrator on one hand, but also Rosetta De Berardinis, a Washington D.C. abstract painter, and of course Olivia De Berardinis, the popular glamour and erotic art illustrator, though none are related in any way to my knowledge.

Mario De Berardinis 2Mario De Berardinis 3Mario De Berardinis 4Mario De Berardinis 6Mario De Berardinis 7

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