Monday, September 7, 2020

Color Me Surprised

Six years ago, I posted on this page a selection of Robert McGinnis’ “One Shoe Off” covers. That is, McGinnis paperback illustrations showing an attractive woman sporting only a single article of footwear. According to Art Scott, co-author of The Art of Robert E. McGinnis, this is a surprisingly frequent motif for the artist. “There are at least 24 One Shoe paperback covers,” he says, “and it turns up in his magazine pieces, posters, and gallery nudes as well.”

At the time, I figured all of McGinnis’ half-shod lovelies had already been found. But, recently, while searching through Chris Ogle’s John D. MacDonald Covers blog, I stumbled across yet one more use of that gimmick on a 1974-1975 Fawcett Gold Medal edition of The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper, MacDonald’s 10th Travis McGee novel. Because I couldn’t find McGinnis’ signature anywhere on the painting, I double-checked the credit with Scott. “Yes indeed, it’s McGinnis,” he wrote in answer to my query. “Never tumbled to it as a one-shoe cover, though. Sharp eye.”

What’s distinguishes this One Shoe front from others in McGinnis’ line, of course, is that the woman we see in a lone high heel appears unconscious or dead, and is mostly hidden beneath a cloth of some sort. Aside from her tootsies, only her red hair is showing.

McGinnis contributed a very different painting to a 1981 edition of The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper, which you will find here.

1 comment:

Buzz Dixon said...

In the words of The Wizard Of Oz, she's not just merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead. When you reach the part of the novel where the full implications of the girl in the plain brown wrapper are laid out, it's one of the most chilling mental images any writer has created.