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.

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I Still Miss Hayley Atwell

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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.

Does Everyone Have A Gun?

Warren Louw

I count five in this handsome piece of noir-art by Warren Louw, and I don’t doubt there are more hidden inside suit coats and under skirts. This is one nightclub it’d be best to steer clear of.

Jim Silke’s Century

Jim Silke

A smoking cigarette (Camels, no less), an automatic on the nightstand, a handsome fellow ignoring the wound on his shoulder and a naughty glimpse of stocking just below the lacy hem of the lovely lady’s chemise. What else could you ask for in a piece of noir-ish art, beautifully executed here by master artist Jim Silke for a DC Vertigo American Century cover? The one above is from issue No. 20, I believe. Below is another example of Silke’s cover art from American Century.

American Century 18

 

Enrique Badia Romero

Enrique Badia Romero 2Many know Italian artist Enrique Badia Romero for his sword-wielding Amazons and Red Sonja-style barbarians, Vampirella and various other alluring vampiresses, most of those rising from their coffins without their PJ’s.

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But to others, Romero is one of the main artists on the long running Modesty Blaise newspaper strips, running uncensored in Europe and in slightly less saucy versions in limited US distribution. A master draftsman and downright lethal with a brush and pen, here’s a few Romero illustrations and a daily strip to ogle.

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Going To Glendale?

2019 Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show

While I’m about to step out for some quick Saturday AM errands (which might include a bookstore stop…maybe) I’m not planning any two thousand mile treks this weekend. Anyway, there’s an annual vintage pulp, paperback and collectibles show ‘round these parts each Spring, if I was so inclined. I’ve gone to a couple of these shows to see the original cover art and illustration art exhibits, but kept my credit cards safely tucked away in my wallet. Fortunately, (being a fan of retro illustration and postwar crime fiction) I’m rarely gripped by the collector frenzy, which can be as dangerous as a gambling addiction for the weak-willed. But for those of you in the Los Angeles area, the Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale in Glendale this Sunday sure looks like the place to be. And I do like that Robert McGinnis illustration chosen for their poster!

Battelli’s Lonely (And Dangerous) Beds

Lucrezia Batteli - StudyThey say a bed with only one person in it at night can be the loneliest place in the world. Maybe so, if you’re still licking your wounds. Maybe not, if you never intend to let it happen again.

lucrezia battelli

Beautiful artwork from the talented artist-illustrator Lucrezia Battelli, who also goes by Lulu Battelli. Look for more at @doclew on Instagram and for art prints at inprnt.com.

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