Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Detective Book, Winter 1943 / Dorothy B. Hughes & The Cross-Eyed Bear

 Drop it while it's hot, a fresh scan I just finished last night.


George Gross art adorns the 1943 Winter issue of Fiction House's Detective Book .

You can get a better look at the cover here.

Sometimes I restore a painting I think I love and become disillusioned after I work with it for hours on end.  This one was the opposite.   I picked this issue up to scan for the Dorothy Hughes novel, not really remarking what looked to be some sort of damsel in distress detective cover.  Then I start to work with it, once I really started looking - it's a really remarkable composition.  The interrogation room lit from above but still full of shadow.  Our Damsel is more of a Femme Fatale on closer examination.  A ladies' gun.  A moment of clarity, a moment of madness.  These barking coppers bother her not, but perhaps something buried away does.  Each of these coppers has their own personality - the uniform, the cigar chomper (notice the matches in his hat), the skinny cop with the striped collar and bad mustache, the chubby detective with grey hair.  The smoke filled room and bright burning cherry of the stogie, the red dress and lipstick, a hot one in a hot situation, and you can bet the cops are ratcheting up the pressure any way they can - you can feel it.  It may not be black and white, but this is classic Noir art, bravo, George.

I haven't gotten to read the The Cross-Eyed Bear yet, but I really like what I've read of her, especially her In a Lonely Place which Nicholas Ray adapted with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.  I have a pulp or two to read before this one but very well may come back and write a review when I do.

Get the full hi-res scan here: Detective Book v04n06 (1943-Winter.Fiction House) (Darwin).cbr

 or you can read online or download in alternate formats at the Internet Archive here.

An illustration for the road.  A blackjack to the skull.


1 comment:

Tommie Hicks said...

What superb rendering on page 99. Keep in mind that in the pre-electronic age, these pen and inks had to be done perfectly. There was no photoshop or white-out. Try making a strait line with a ruler and a steel pen nib. It takes extreme talent not to blob.