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

 

Art Of Levi

Avalon Graphic Novel

From Montreal, Quebec concept and matte painting artist Levente Peterffy (formerly from the UK, I think), whose artoflevi.com site is full of stunning work. I’ll share the most ‘noir-ish’ piece from the galleries, a panel from an Avalon graphic novel.

Noisette’s Diner Meeting

Diner Meeting Edouard Noisette

“Diner Meeting” by French artist Edouard Noisette. My question: Is he about to whip a gun out from under his suitjacket? Or more likely, does she have a nice compact .22 tucked inside her purse? Who nows, but lets assume sparks are gonna fly one way or another in this greasy spoon before anyone gets a chance to order.

Guillem’s Femme Fatale

femme fatale by guillem h pongiluppi

It’s titled, simply enough, “Femme Fatale”, and clearly it was fatal.

A darkly beautiful bit of art from Barcelona, Spain artist/illustrator Guillem H. Pongiluppi. To learn more about the artist and his work (mostly concept illustration and excellent fantasy style work), go to the artist’s website at guilluemhp.com.

guillemhp dot com

 

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