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.

Mac Conner 1Mac Conner 3Mac Conner 4Mac Conner 5

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

A Cigarette Break.

bedtime standin 1965 robert bonfils

Time for a smoke while the boys conduct business?

Curt Aldrich was a pseudonymous house name used by Nightstand, Leisure and other paperback publishers for sleaze titles, and credited as the author of 1965’s Bedtime Standin, for which the unusually dark-hued Robert Bonfils cover art is shown here (Bonfils typically a fan of the brightest hues on his palette).

A Bullet For Cinderella.

On the Make, 1960 - illus Mitchell Hooks.2 copy

I prefer A Bullet For Cinderella, John D. MacDonald’s original title for his 1955 novel retitled On The Make, the 1960 Dell paperback edition that got this gorgeous Mitchell Hooks cover illustration, a particular Hooks’ fave of mine.

The “Deluxe” Lady Killer.

Lady Killer Deluxe

I may not be able to get inside any comics shops ‘round here yet, but I haven’t gone comics-free during the past few months. Though I already have Joelle Jones Lady Killer in trade pb editions, I couldn’t resist the new Dark Horse May 2020 Library “Deluxe Edition”, an absolutely gorgeous oversize hardcover that covers the entire series, including Book One: Seattle 1962 written by Jamie S. Rich (Joelle Jones’ collaborator on the wonderful You Have Killed Me), and Book Two: Florida 1963, with both the art and story by the Goddess of Comic Art, Joelle Jones herself. This nearly 300-page edition includes an introduction by Chelsea Cain and over 30 pages of extras.

And yes, I had to read it all over again before I slid it into a place of honor on my bookshelves. Big surprise there.

Lady Killer 3

Mildred, Updated.

1967 james bama Mildred Pierce

Not Joan Crawford, not even Kate Winslet, but it is supposed to be Mildred Pierce, on a 1967 Bantam paperback edition of James M. Cain’s 1941 classic Mildred Pierce, the cover art by illustration maestro James Bama, who I believe is still with us.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑