Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Cheat Dr Jones, You Cheat!

A funny scene from the Temple of Doom movie is where Short Round (Ke Huy Kwan) accuses Indy of cheating in their card game, "You cheat Dr. Jones, you cheat!"

I realized I've been cheating too. In the last post I made the bold claim that Warwick Goble is in the top five of my favorite classic illustrators. Geez, I have so many favorite artists, how can I figure that?

I cheat, because I have so many categories that I can land just about anybody in a top 5 favorite somewhere. Favorite Renaissance artists. Favorite 19th century allegorical artists. Favorite jazz age photographers. Favorite comic book artists working in 1948. Favorite artists who work in pastel. Favorite sculptors born on a Wednesday.

I'll find some way of making them fit in the top five of something, cuz otherwise why would I collect their work in the first place. So ignore me when I talk about favorites (I'm sure you do anyway). We ALL got favorites.

Here's a really bold claim: My favorite #1 movie poster artist (and probably yours too): Drew Struzan.

I love looking deep into Struzan's rendering details & textures.

Indian Myth & Legend

I bring you once again illustrations that transcend space and time by Warwick Goble,—these for a 1913 edition of Indian Myth and Legend by Donald MacKenzie.

Goble remains firmly within my top 5 favorite classic illustrators. Once again I have to say that the sum is greater than the parts of his work, defying logical analysis of his magical art.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Master Allegorical Artist

And this is NOT a Ziegfeld girl, though I thought it was when I first saw this print when I was 18—something about the hairband and face. It is from a hundred years before Ziegfeld, an academic study by the French master allegorical artist, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon—another favorite of mine.

Two anonymous artists sitting next to Prud'hon, during the same session, also drew the model, giving us further appreciation of Prud'hon's abilities:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daughter of a Ziegfeld Girl

Alfred Cheney Johnston was THE photographer of Ziegfeld's beautiful women. Here he photographed Julie Newmar, the daughter of a Ziegfeld girl, around 1950—stunning portraits of a stunning woman. Catwoman that is.

La belle dame sans merci

Sir Wm Russell Flint — La belle dame sans merci _ 1908

Midsummer Madness

I just realized that I missed posting something for Midsummer Eve, on the solstice as reckoned by tradition. But really Midsummer's exact dates vary between different cultures. As it so happens in Great Britain from the 13th century, Midsummer was celebrated on Midsummer Eve (St John's Eve, June 23) AND St. Peter's Eve (June 28)---that's toDAY.

So what better than this sparkling scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Meeting of Oberon and Titania, by Arthur Rackham.

I posted this scan from a print early last year, but the cyber-sprites seemed to have dropped it from the blog archives. Cheeky little hobgoblins . . .

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I think this illustration by Dan Dos Santos is fascinating. For Tor Books, entitled Green, by Jay Lake, it tickles my curiosity—enticing me to want to read the book, which, of course, is what the illustration's job is.

Check out the Dos Santos website.


Who woulda thought a catalogue could be so interesting? Air Trails may have come first, but the catalogue cover comes funner.

Cover art above by Robert Stein

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pretty Good Run

Russ Manning had a pretty good run with the Tarzan epic, his renderings of women always interesting. But I particularly liked his specialty drawings. These are from an ERB portfolio.

Below—this piece was also used, slightly altered and in color, on the cover of ERBdom #83.

The two pieces below are from the same base art, but can you spot the subtle difference?

The piece above was also used on a record album cover.

The Jabberwock, with Eyes of Flame

Walt Kelly has Albert really hamming it up with Lewis Carroll. Come over and check it out on Whirled of Kelly.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wah Wah TeeOoo

I always liked the graphic quality of the Alley Oop strips, but always felt disappointed that the Sundays dropped the time machine storylines long before I started clipping. Never-the-less, I clipped and kept some just for the fun that Oop had in ancient Moo. A whole lot of nothing went on back then, a bit along the lines of Seinfeld. Picture it: a strip about . . . nothing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Escape to Disaster

The Golden Age of Comics ran alongside World War II, and it acted out stories even as the actual action took place. I can't quite imagine that happening with today's comics and war(s).

Jack Kirby and Joe Simon had a way of personalizing the big picture and bringing the war to a level that kid or adult could empathize with.

The Boy Commandos, from Detective Comics #67, September 1942:

Below, the Jerry Robinson cover to this issue:

Graphic Style

Some more Sienkiewicz. Back in the days when Bill evolved from channeling Neal Adams to developing his own very graphic style of storytelling, many people seemed to divvy up to either hate his work or love it. I chose to love it and especially so after hearing him talk about his methods at a comic con. He gave a panel talk and then I chatted with him afterwards and what he had to say has affected me and my work all these many years later. I will blog about that somewhere down the road.

I bought these comics just for the covers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


And here we have a distinctive view of Conan with the distinctive style of Bill Sienkiewicz.


Frank Frazetta did his share of lampooning in his career. Here, in 1981, Wallace Tripp lampoons Conan, as portrayed by Fazootie.


Another item from the image morgue, filed under 'trees' for heaven sake, which is where I'm guessing the previous Booth drawing must have been as well.

A mysterious drawing by Luis Royo with the incongruous appellation 'Avalanche'.

Luis Royo — Avalanche

Valley of Silence

I found this 1911 Franklin Booth drawing floating around loose in the image morgue. Ya never know what'll turn up in dat ol' morgue.

Franklin Booth — Valley of Silence — 1911

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Susan Seddon Boulet — Venus —1987

In the Company of Wolves

Susan Seddon Boulet — In the Company of Wolves — 1993

Fox Maiden

Susan Seddon Boulet — Fox Maiden — 1986

Monday, June 21, 2010

In Search of the Magnificent

Susan Seddon Boulet (1941—1997) is a favorite artist in my pantheon of elysian pictorialists.

She has been described as having lived life in search of the magnificent. Her work was deeply personal, much of it feministic in nature, yet resonating with those of both genders seeking spiritual enlightenment — her mythologic work "becoming renowned for fantastical creatures that rise from the misty land of dreams . . . exploring the mysterious inner world of spiritual symbols and archetypes."

Sphinx Noir — 1981