Friday, June 22, 2018

The Lesser Look: Kane’s Way

Part of a month-long celebration of Ron Lesser’s artistic legacy.

During the early to mid-1960s, publisher Dell assigned two American painters to create compelling cover artwork for Frank Kane’s then best-selling mystery series starring New York City private investigator Johnny Liddell. You can see Harry Bennett’s paperback fronts in this Killer Covers piece published a few months ago. Today we look—above and below—at Ron Lesser’s illustrations for 10 mostly different Liddell yarns.

Lesser’s wife of four decades, Claudia, posed for the covers of both Bare Trap (1965) and Hearse Class Male (1963). The artist adds that “the models for Fatal Undertaking were Lisa Karen”—previously seen on Blue Mascara Tears—“and Steve Holland. Lisa Karen also posed for Johnny Come Lately.”

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