Walter Stackpool’s Larry Kents

its hell my lovely larry kent 1960

England had Reginald Heade, Australia had Walter Stackpool.

Australian artist and illustrator Walter Stackpool (1916 – 1999) grew up in Queensland and, armed with a scholarship, set off to study art at the Queensland Art School in 1939. But he never finished the course, signing up for the army instead once WWII broke out. After the war, he quickly found work as a sought-after illustrator for book covers, well known for his many, many westerns done for Cleveland Publishing Company, as well as the Invincible Mysteries series in the early 1950’s, and especially the popular Larry Kent series from the mid-1950’s clear through the 70’s. More about that hard-boiled P.I series soon, which ran about 400 titles!

homicide sweet homicide larry kent 1959

A diverse talent, Stackpool was also a popular children’s book illustrator, and later in his career, a respected wildlife artist. Here are three paintings which I believe are all from the Larry Kent “I Hate Crime” paperback originals series, including “It’s Hell, My Lovely” from 1960 (at the top), “Homicide, Sweet Homicide” from 1959 above, and “The Pushover” from 1963 below.

the pushover larry kent 1963

 

Krysdecker’s Lethal Ladies

Ada Wong Krystopher Decker

Look for Krystopher Decker’s work at Art Station and DeviantArt, where the artist also goes by ‘Krysdecker’. He’s facile as can be with superheroes, fantasy pinup style art and even a vampire or two. Now I tend to scroll right past the winged amazons and capes-n-tights crowd, no surprise, but can appreciate his darker spin on Resident Evil’s Ada Wong above, and Natasha Romanova/Black Widow below.

Natasha Romanova by Krystopher Decker

Adriano Rocchi

adriano rocchi 2

I’ve looked, and unless I’m misspelling the artist’s name, I can’t find a thing about Adriano Rocchi. Not just online, mind you. I have several long bookshelves crammed with books on vintage paperbacks, pulp magazines, U.S. and European illustrators and sundry sleaze artists. But…nothing. Now lets guess from the examples I stumbled across that Rocchi is one of the many post-WWII era Italian pulp artists working in Giallo paperbacks, crime/horror/sleaze digests and film posters. If you know more, I’m all ears!

adriano rocchi

ArtGerm’s Villainesses

Bat And The Cat

Comics are as good a place as any to look for crime fiction’s bad girlz, DC Comics and the Girlz of Gotham City in particular. Stanley Lau (who uses the brand name Artgerm) renders some of the best versions of them. Go to his site at artgerm.com to view more of the artist’s work and collectibles, but enjoy Selina Kyle, Harleen Frances Qunizel and Pamela Lillian Isley, better known as Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy right here for a start.

Selina KyleDetective COmics 1000

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire 1

I’m not a gamer, never have been. But I can appreciate the artwork done for many games, particularly those few that aren’t robots and rocket ships, barbarians and goblins or commando  teams. Surely one of the best must be Team Bondi/Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire, launched in 2011. Notable for being the first game to utilize Depth Analysis’ 32 camera MotionScan technology, L.A. Noire was also the first game to be at the Tribeca Film Festival.

L.A. Noire 2

As I understand it, the story follows LAPD detectives ad uniform cops in post-WWII Los Angeles and shares not only visual cues taken from classic postwar film noir cinema, but storylines, character interactions and some sense of noir’s moral ambiguity, some of the cases actually adapted form life period crimes. All sounds good (though not enough to lure me into gaming), but it’s the art that intrigues me most.

L.A. Noire 3L.A. Noire 4L.A. Noire 5L.A. Noire 6L.A. Noire 7

I Still Miss Hayley Atwell

Print

Lesson learned: Never get hooked on a TV show. The damn networks will just cancel it once you’re fully invested.

Some handsome artwork above by Arne Ratermanis of Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter, complete with that wonderful red hat of hers.

Retro Done Right

mikael bourgouin

A lovely period femme fatale, looking like she pranced right out of an early 1930’s film or pre-war pulp tale. By Lyon, France illustrator and painter Mikael Bourgouin. Look for more of his work at Behance.net.

Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Moan

Dont You Weep Dont You Moan

Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Moan by Richard Coleman, a 1955 paperback edition shown here. I don’t know if it’s really “A novel of raw desire”. Originally published in 1935 and garnering good reviews at that time, even at the New York Times Book Review (still out there online), it might be called a torrid soap opera with literary leanings and set in Charleston, South Carolina’s African-American community.

Dont You Weep Dont You Mpan Cover 1935 - 1955

I assume the title’s a nod to the old spiritual, which was also turned into a folk song by Pete Seeger (“…Oh Mary, don’t you weep, tell Martha not to moan”). I don’t know the artist on this one, and couldn’t even trace it on a reliable go-to site like pulpcovers.com, but the illustration is handsome.

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