Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sexy Detective Fun

For a brief time in the late 1940's and early 1950's, American detective magazines featured some of the most deliciously painted covers in illustration art history. Employing a line-up of artists that included the great George Gross, Howell Dodd, and Rudy Nappi, the detective magazine covers oozed film noir. The cover artists took all the best elements of the genre including gangsters, gun molls, femme fatales, cigarettes, and ultra-feminine 40's fashion. Then they soaked them in hot, bright colors and added just enough sex appeal to make housewives blush. It made for one sultry mix that was likely more exciting than any story that appeared on the inside.

Ah, what a wonderful era it was in American illustration. It's only sad that it was gone in the blink of an eye.

1 comment:

  1. Yes tasty cover ahht. I think you are correct that the noir/pulp graphix often surpasses the hack crime melodrama--except for a few maestros, like Hammett, Chandler, Spillane Jim Thompson (Thompson noir sort of underrated, but even a flick like the Getaway quite pulp worthy....or Annette Bening in the Grifters...yum). James Ellroy still doing interesting noirish writing---his take on the Black dahlia got me

    Can't go wrong with mollies with guns.