Intermission.

Giro 2018

The piano man’s taking five, so the club’s chanteuse can finally relax with a well-earned smoke, and maybe even a sigh once she’d finally set those lethal heels aside. It’s a nifty bit of noir-ish illustration by Giro. Look for more at Giroillustrator.tumblr.com

Live And Love (With Guns & Bullets)

Live And Love Plank 69

“PlanK-69”? You got me, but that is the name for the concept, gaming and all-around digital artist master, whose work is mostly in the SF/Fantasy/Gaming arena. If you like that sort of thing, check out his/her DeviantArt page, which is huge and overflowing with samples. But tucked right in the middle of countless gaming/superhero characters and SF/Fantasy scenes are a series of intriguing magazine covers, two of which, Live And Love and Guns & Bullets, are shown here. They’re quite different from the rest of PlanK-69’s body of work, and I wish there were more.

Guns And Bullets

The Brighter Side of Noir?

Victor Ostrovsky 1

You get the feeling that Canadian-born author (four thrillers), former Israeli Mossad agent and artist Victor Ostrovsky just doesn’t like to paint eyes. The wide-brimmed hats this Renaissance man’s subjects favor mysteriously shield their gaze in nearly every piece.

Victor Ostrovsky 5

These paintings are an intriguing take on noir-ish tropes, replete with suitably attired gamblers, gangsters and femmes fatales populating his work, but each work done in surprisingly bright hues, night scenes notwithstanding. Look for more of the artist’s work at victorostovsky.com.

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Gal Friday

gal friday by chris samnee 2008

No, it’s not vintage Gail Ford – Girl Friday, but a different look at a “Gal Friday’, this piece called just that and by Chris Samnee from 2008.

Duillo’s Crooks & Molls

Duillo 3

Like many of the academically trained artists from the post-WWII era of paperback and pulp magazine illustration, John Duillo’s real interest wasn’t gangsters, gumshoes or femmes fatales, much less the damsels in distress (more accurately, women in peril) that he’s best known for. His real passion was western art and the Civil War. Still, a fellow has to eat, and following a stint in the U.S. Navy, Duillo studied art with Adja Junkers and photography with Berenice Abbott, then worked in commercial illustration, as an art director, set designer and a photographer. From 1960 onward, Duillo is credited with over 500 book covers, constantly in demand for expertly rendered westerns in particular. Search online, though, and you’ll likely be scrolling through a gallery of his color cover illustrations for the late 1950’s through early 1970’s men’s “adventure” magazines, apparently called upon when women in peril images were needed…which seemed to be all the time for those particularly weird publications, and lets just say the images became increasingly ‘perilous’. Quite sinister, in fact. If the 1930’s shudder pulps’ covers seem a little pervy to modern eyes, the so-called ‘men’s sweats’ are diabolically so. WWII Nazis and Japanese soldiers, Cuban revolutionaries, Soviet KGB officers, motorcycle gang leaders and sundry robed and hooded cultists abound, and all of them are gleefully tying up women and threatening them with bizarre tortures – whips, racks, snake pits, alligator ponds, blowtorches, iron maidens — you name it — or in the ‘tamer’ pieces, more conventional forms of sexual assault. Yikes. We’ll skip those here.

John Duillo 1

Cowboys roping steers and rebels waving stars-n-bars flags aren’t my thing any more than than leering sadists. It’s too bad John Duillo didn’t get more illustration assignments for routine mystery/crime fiction book covers or the remaining crime fiction magazines that were still left during his peak years. He was a talented artist, and I’d love to see what he could’ve done with more gangsters, gunsels, gun molls and gumshoes, given the chance.

JohN Duillo 2

One Bullet Left.

Aly Fell 2010

UK artist Aly Fell may be better known for witches, warriors and fantasy art, but definitely needs to try some more retro crime flavored scenes. Don’t know if woman’s a ‘stiletto gumshoe’ herself, a gumshoe’s client or a D.A.’s Gal Friday, but it seems she’s concluded that the jig is up and it’s time to make a quick exit. Like, a permanent one. From 2010.

Karla Ortiz

Karla Ortiz

Concept artist, illustrator and fine artist Karla Ortiz says she “paints her days away, and that’s how she likes it”, and she’s downright chatty at her blog (karlaortizart.blogpsot.com) about technique, the development of works from sketch through completion and more. Check out more of the artist’s work at karlaortizart.com

Karla Ortiz 3Karla Ortiz 2Karla Ortiz 4

Tu Bei’s Noir Series

Tu Bei 1

Tu Bei is a US concept artist and illustrator, with an array of gorgeous and diverse work to be viewed at Art Of Tu — artoftu.com. Here are just a few examples, above a character design concept, and below, three pieces from Tu Bei’s “Noir Series”.

Tu Bei 3Tu Bei 2Tu Bei 4

 

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