Friday, November 07, 2014

I've now read the 1930s novel

It's interesting that the Modern Classics version used this cover- completely uncredited. 
It was great to read since it is taken straight from the script.
With a lot of the tough Ruth Rose dialogue being lifted straight from the script.
The spider pit scene is in the book. Sailors survive, land in mud, stuck up to their hips, and the spiders, looking like kegs with legs, swarm them.
The New York City ending is 10 pages. Of an 158 page book.
If you have never read an Elmore Leonard story, now you can start at the beginning. This is his first fiction sale. I scanned it from my own 1951 copy of Argosy magazine.

Extra note- Society of Illustrators Tumblr


Surly Bird said...

That Thomas Blackshear painting blew my mind in college. I was lucky enough to be at a school that had those huge Society of Illustrators hardback collections. Pre-Google image days, for sure.

MrGoodson2 said...

One thing I appreciated about the book is noting that Kong has 4 hands. Like all apes his feet are as good at gripping as his hands. So instead of the impossible one armed climb of the Empire State bldg, it's a 3 armed climb.

The Blackshear painting was shown to me in the candy factory loft. I was, I think, appropriately surprised that he was Black. There were not a lot of high profile Black illustrators at the time. Late 80s early 90s. Jeff and someone else that clued me in, maybe Brent Anderson, thought it hicksville of me to be surprised.

Top illustrators are still slightly rarified, even with digital making it easy. Thug culture is not going to be fertile ground for developing those talents.

Blackshear with his obvious spiritual emphasis would be the kind of guy giving the future talents the guidance they might need.

Surly Bird said...

Yeah, I really got a lot of inspiration from his web page. Beautiful, delicate stuff. Made me more than a little nostalgic for those old Society of Illustrator tomes. Those things were hard to come by, extremely expensive and just beautifully produced. Something about scarcity makes you savor the experience more, I guess.

The true illustrator of old is almost an extinct breed. More out of changing markets and media than anything else.

Obviously a lot of tremendously awesome art being made today that would fall into the illustrator category, but there's not nearly as much being done with traditional media for print and marketing.

MrGoodson2 said...

That Elmore Leonard story is as assured as anything he wrote later. At no point did I read something where I thought "I'm glad he stopped doing that" Maybe less dialogue driven

MrGoodson2 said...

I carried around Illustrators 13 for ages. It made a dozen moves with me. No telling what it would have been worth on ebay. I never checked. The height of everyone copying Bob Peak's style.

Tom Moon said...

Sorry to read that Leo Dillon passed away a couple of years ago. I didn't know that. He and his wife Dianne were among my very favorite illustrators.

MrGoodson2 said...

Tom, I also saw that browsing the first entries on the tumblr. Big favorite of Harlan Ellison for his book illustration work.