Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bennett’s Beauties: Chester Himes

Part of a month-long celebration of Harry Bennett’s artistic skills.

Harry Bennett painted covers for Dell Books editions of five of Chester Himes’ novels featuring Harlem cops “Coffin” Ed Johnson and “Grave Digger” Jones. All were published in the mid-1960s. “In contrast to [Bennett’s] lushly rendered romance covers, or more conventional crime novel art,” observes the blog Pulp International, “these have an almost spontaneous quality. Publisher input usually has quite a bit to do with it, but we suspect Bennett was also influenced by Himes’ writing and the Harlem setting, and as a result produced this jazzy art for a jazzy novelist. Excellent stuff.”

1 comment:

Art Taylor said...

Last time I taught Cotton Comes to Harlem, one of my students had this edition of the book--and I admired it so much from afar that I asked to look at it more closely. At the end of the semester, he offered it to me, but I was hesitant to take his book--regretting it now. These editions are great!