Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sites for Sore Eyes

• When Michael Callahan remarks, in Vanity Fair, that “Much of the public doesn’t know Robert McGinnis,” he is certainly not talking about yours truly. In Killer Covers I’ve frequently highlighted the work of that now 91-year-old Connecticut book and magazine artist, including in a series of posts last year timed to McGinnis’ 90th birthday. In addition, I wrote about his more than half-century-long career for the Kirkus Reviews Web site, and followed that piece up with a longer one in The Rap Sheet. It’s actually Callahan who seems a bit late in showcasing McGinnis and his talents. Nonetheless, his new Vanity Fair feature is welcome, recapping the painter’s years spent building his reputation, noting the artist’s “pathological modesty,” and winning some rare face time with the man who gave us “the McGinnis Woman.” Give the piece a read.

• Although I’ve never watched the 1978 grindhouse flick Mardi Gras Massacre—which Every ’70s Movie blogger Peter Hanson describes as “a sexed-up horror picture with so much nasty gore that it received an X-rating during its original release”—I have periodically come across the promotional poster displayed on the right. Inspired by Hanson’s brutal recent takedown of the movie (“Mardi Gras Massacre offers crappy filmmaking, exploitive nude scenes, and rotten acting”), I scouted the Web in search of an artist’s credit for this stunning work, only to come across it here on Southern California bookseller and books historian Lynn Monroe’s site. It seems responsibility for that poster image belongs to Charles Copeland (1924-1979), a prolific magazine and book-cover illustrator during the 20th century about whom I have written, well, not nearly enough on this page.

• During the mid-20th century, it seems that Australia-based Horowitz Publications was in the “habit of using celebrities on its Carter Brown paperback covers.” Pulp International has slowly but quite surely been racking up a collection of those, including this appearance by U.S. actress Mamie Van Doren on Strictly for Felony (1956) and this showing by Lili St. Cyr on Homicide Harem (1965), along with sightings of Elke Sommer, Joan Collins, and Senta Berger.

• “A lusty novel about Florida crackers”?

• Illustration Press is readying the release, in July, of The Life and Art of Bernie Fuchs, by David Apatoff, a 240-page, full-color book containing more than 300 illustrations, all devoted to the life and artistic skills of Bernie Fuchs (1932-2009). Selections of his advertising and magazine work are featured, along with his portraiture. (He did a variety of TV Guide covers.) You can page through a low-resolution version of the book here.

• Back in 2008, Penguin UK released fresh editions of Ian Fleming’s James Bond spy novels, all with beautiful covers by Michael Gillette. Since then, Gillette has also created new fronts for German publisher Cross Cult of John Gardner’s 14 original Bond continuation tales. A number of those can be enjoyed here, with the latest—for Gardner’s 1991 novel, The Man from Barbarossashown here.

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