Sunday 24 May 2015

The Art of Snorkelling

No scuba gear in today's images (well, just a couple of divers in one of them), just that good old breathing tube, the snorkel. (Some images have larger scans if you click on them).

This 1970 Beano cover is by David Sutherland, successfully ghosting the style of Dudley D. Watkins who had passed away a few months earlier. I love Biffo's crazy nose snorkel - it makes me laugh every time I see it!

Earl Norem painted this cover for the January 1968 Action for Men magazine. That poor couple are going to struggle retrieving all that gold just using snorkels. Not to worry though, it looks like a couple of scuba divers are coming to give them a hand! We know the chap is called Ryan but sadly his lovely companion doesn't warrant a name-check. I'm going to call her Sally. Nice bikini Sally!

This 1976 Agent X9 cover features private detective Rip Kirby who featured in a long-running newspaper strip from 1946 - 1999. The strip was originally drawn by Alex (Flash Gordon) Raymond who also drew Secret Agent X-9 from which the magazine took its name.

This painting by Enzo Sciotti is from the 1980 Italian sex comedy La Nena Cañón y Don Máximo el Ligon (aka La Liceale al Mare con L'amica di Papa). Prints are available to buy from the artist's website.

In 1978, Marvel published this adaptation of Jaws 2. I may feature some of the interior art in a future blog but for now you can enjoy Bob Larkin's cover painting. Larkin painted numerous covers for Marvel's magazine range as well as work for Warren Publishing and Bantam Books' Doc Savage paperbacks.

Finally, we have this wonderful picture of Calvin and Hobbes by the great Bill Watterson. It comes from one of the few items of official Calvin and Hobbes merchandise, a 16-month calendar from 1989-90.

Saturday 16 May 2015

The Art of Diving with Modesty - Extras

This post features some Modesty Blaise odds and ends.

First up, thanks to Kenneth Lee Webber from the Modesty Blaise Facebook group, comes one of Neville Colvin's pages from the abandoned Sunday page version of The Scarlet Maiden (for more on this story and Neville Colvin see my earlier post.)

Also from The Scarlet Maiden is this 1982 cover from the long-running Swedish publication Agent X9 (originally X9) which is also published in a Norwegian edition. The magazine, which has a long history of reprinting Modesty Blaise strips, takes its name from the American newspaper strip Secret Agent X-9 (later renamed Secret Agent Corrigan).

This 2001 cover by Enric Romero is from the final Modesty Blaise strip story, The Zombie. Although it makes a striking cover it's a little misleading as Modesty is only seen diving in a couple of panels.

The next cover is from 1968 and the story Bad Suki.

Finally, leaving the strips behind, we have this German cover from the fourth Modesty Blaise novel, A Taste for Death.


Sunday 10 May 2015

The Saucy Art of Diving

They say sex sells and today I'm featuring three covers that were obviously designed with that in mind. The two artists that I've identified, Darrel Millsap and Robert Bonifils, were both well known for their titillating covers for lines such as Candid Reader, Midnight Reader and Nightstand Books.

The Case of the Naked Diver (1961) was written by prolific author W.E.D. Ross using one of his many pseudonyms, Olin Ross. His other novel using the same name was Lust Planet. Cover by Darrel Millsap (1931 - 2012). Thanks to Chris for the scan. (Click for larger image).

I've obviously been diving with the wrong people al these years! 1964, artist unknown. (Click for larger image).

The Sex Ray was published in 1966 and features a cover by Robert Bonifils with a hand-lettered title by Harry Bremner. You can see more of Bonifils' work on his website.

Author William Henley Knoles has been described as "the greatest unknown author of our times." He chose the name Clyde Allison when writing sleazy novels for the Nightsand line and later used it for a series of 20 spy spoofs featuring Trevor Anderson aka Agent 0008. Some of the titles, such as Gamefinger and For Your Sighs Only were obviously taken from James Bond while one book had him meeting a character called Modesta Blaze! You can read all about Knoles/Allison here.