Category Archives: Noir Art

Noir Art | Robert Maguire

Robert Maguire Noir Art

(via littlebunnysunshine.tumblr.com)

Robert Maguire is an easy addition to noirwhale.com’s noir artist gallery– the guy created over 600 amazing covers for pulps since 1950.

He was born in 1921, and only died recently in 2005. He studied at Duke University until he joined the war effort in WWII, and when he returned he quickly joined the Art Students League. During that time, He was the pupil of the relatively famous Frank Reilly. His career was immensely successful, and he produced art for dozens of publishing firms.

He’s known for his mastery of the female form, particularly his emphasis on the femme fatale archetype (the beautiful yet deadly siren of the noir genre). A softness exists in his work which renders it alluring and atmospheric, a window into the colorful pages of the novel beyond. I find his art to be extremely seductive, an ode to the manipulative women who spur the plotlines and control our anti-heroes. Looking at his covers, it’s easy to see why he has become a prized piece of any collectors’ library.

Cover for "Dame in Danger" by Robert Maguire

Cover for “Dame in Danger” by Robert Maguire (via bookpalace.com)

Here are a couple of great anecdotes from Robert that I found in the American Art Archives:

“My first wife was a model, but for the most part, I didn’t go near models. They were too fast living. I used one model quite a bit and she invited my wife and I down to see her dancing around ’53, ’54, and she was dancing in a mafia club. The Copacabana, in fact.

“The models were very ‘active.’ They weren’t real. A lot of them were on drugs. I had one girl posing against a backdrop. She put her arms over her head and slowly slumped to the floor. I had to go over and shake her awake in order to finish the shoot. We had deadlines.”

Unfortunately, the first marriage didn’t last, though his second did, thanks to an introduction to a lovely woman by his friend, Leone. “I was divorced and John introduced me to an available lady whose husband died. That was over 20 years ago when I met Janice.” They’ve been happily married ever since.

“My friends and I were mostly in paperback books. The magazines were dying, mostly due to the advent of television. But we couldn’t wait to get the magazine copies and see what guys like Coby Whitmore were doing. All these great artists, Whitcomb, Al Parker, Bob Peak, Joe DeMers. We weren’t allowed to be that sophisticated. They could do this intricate design work. We tried to do use some sophisticated design and the paperback guys would say, ‘Why don’t you just show the girls with the big boobs.’ I used to work with a very crude individual — he shall be nameless — he was an art director — but one painting he wanted the gown lowered on the woman, ‘show more cleavage.’ So I’d lower it and he’d want it lowered some more. Well, another quarter of an inch and I’d be showing the nipples. That’s anatomy! But still, ‘Well, make it a little lower.’ Any lower and her breasts were down around her stomach. And then he wondered why the girl didn’t look quite right. But you couldn’t argue with some of these people (though of course, I did).”

Slice of Hell by Mike Roscoe Cover by Robert Maguire

Slice of Hell by Mike Roscoe, Cover by Robert Maguire(via pulpcovers.com)

The Last Kill by Charlie Wells Cover by Robert Maguire

The Last Kill by Charlie Wells, Cover by Robert Maguire (via pulpcovers.com)

Hell's Angels by Hank Janson Cover by Robert Maguire

Hell’s Angels by Hank Janson, Cover by Robert Maguire(via pulpcovers.com)

Morals Squad by Samuel A. Krasney Cover by Robert Maguire

Morals Squad by Samuel A. Krasney, Cover by Robert Maguire(via pulpcovers.com)

The Brass Halo by Jack Webb Cover by Robert Maguire

The Brass Halo by Jack Webb, Cover by Robert Maguire(via thatgirlupstairs.tumblr .com)

Dead Man Dead by David Alexander Cover by Robert Maguire

Dead, Man, Dead by David Alexander, Cover by Robert Maguire(via thatgirlupstairs.tumblr.com)

The Night is for Screaming by Robert Turner Cover by Robert Maguire

The Night is for Screaming by Robert Turner, Cover by Robert Maguire (via pulpcovers.com)

Wild to Possess by Gil Brewer Cover by Robert Maguire

Wild to Possess by Gil Brewer, Cover by Robert Maguire(via brudesworld.tumblr.com)

Stone Cold Blonde by Adam Knight Cover by Robert Maguire

Stone Cold Blonde by Adam Knight, Cover by Robert Maguire(via illustrationgallery.com)

Kiss Me Quick by Karl Kramer Cover by Robert Maguire

Kiss Me Quick by Karl Kramer, Cover by Robert Maguire(via killercoversoftheweek.blogspot.com)

Pulp Art Robert Maguire

Cover art by Robert Maguire (via littlebunnysunshine.tumblr.com)

Prelude to Murder by Sterling Noel Cover by Robert Maguire

Prelude to Murder by Sterling Noel, Cover by Robert Maguire (via mudwerks.tumblr.com)

(His most famous book cover is ‘Black Opium’-- I’ve only provided a link to it because it does feature mild nudity)

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Noir Art | Joe Webb

Noir Art Joe Webb Antares and Love VI

Antares & Love VI

British collage artist Joe Webb (1976-Present) has been making waves with his bizarre visual juxtapositions and eye for mixed media harmony. I first discovered his work on Tumblr (where he’s quite fashionable), and was struck by his stunning use of vintage photography. The inclusion of femme fatales and glamorous dames of yesteryear I found particularly charming, making him the first mixed media noir artist to be included on noirWhale.com–

I tracked down Joe on Facebook, and asked him if he would be gracious enough to answer a few questions about his art, and his affable and easy manner was refreshing. Thus, for the first time ever, we have a noirWhale.com artist interview: (Thanks Joe!)

1) Why so many vintage/noir images?

“I just love the look and style of that era. And as it was so long ago now, the ideas I explore in my work; of ghosts and missing people, mirror the fact that these people are mostly gone now. I like the fading fuzzy quality of vintage prints too.”

2) Is there underlying significance to the series of famous film noir femmes with leading men cut out?

“I like the idea of the leading man missing, becoming mysterious and revealing alternative realities in the layers underneath. It gives the work an enigmatic feel which draws you in.”

3) Which artists/directors/photographers are you biggest influences?

“Rene Magritte every time!”

Joe’s art is wonderfully eclectic, and boasts a variety and complexity not captured here. For our purposes, I’m focusing specifically on his most ‘noir’ themed efforts, and will refer you to his various online galleries for a full perusal of his work. (Also, you can purchase dazzling prints here.) Pertaining to his artistic process, he obtains his unique medium in second-hand book and thrift stores. He’s said of this routine,  “I like to accidentally stumble across things that can then become a piece of art. There’s an element of serendipity to it.”

Noir Art Joe Webb Mono

Mono

Artist Joe Webb Mono II

Mono II

Art by Joe Webb Kissing Magritte

Kissing Magritte

Joe Webb Art Reunion II

Reunion II

Collage Art Joe Webb Daydream IV

Daydream IV

Joe Webb Collage Absent Minded

Absent Minded

Collage Joe Webb Absent Minded II

Absent Minded II

Noir Art Joe Webb Absent Minded IV

Absent Minded IV

Art Noir Joe Webb Absent Minded V

Absent Minded V

Joe Webb Antares and Love I

Antares & Love I

Artist Joe Webb Antares and Love II

Antares & Love II

Joe Webb Collage Artist Antares and Love III

Antares & Love III

Noir Joe Webb Antares and Love VII

Antares & Love VII

Noir Art Joe Webb Antares and Love VIII

Antares & Love VIII

 Please support Joe! Like his Facebook Page! Buy his Prints!

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Noir Art | Jean-Gabriel Domergue

The “Noir Art” segment on NoirWhale.com is intended to showcase the artistic abilities and contributions of significant individuals in the noir genre. These men and women create the vibrant backdrops our beloved anti-heroes and dames inhabit, and lend character to the settings that have come to define noir.

Noir Art Jean-Gabriel Domergue

(via linse-rose.tumblr.com)

Jean-Gabriel Domerge was born in the city Bordeaux, which may be found in Southwestern France, on March 4th, 1889. As a young man, he studied art at the world renown École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts) in Paris, which was founded in 1648. The school’s central instruction program was based upon a series of anonymous tests and competitions which culminate in the Prix de Rome. The winner of which would receive a bursary (a grant) and be sent to the French Academy in Rome for a season to practice their art. Jean-Gabriel, in 1911, won for the painting category. Thus he was given a rare opportunity to practice and enhance his art at an earlier stage of his career.

“Domergue invented a new type of woman : thin, airy, elegant, with a swanlike neck and wide seductive eyes which gaze upon the world with longing.”

From 1920 onward, his work revolved almost exclusive around the female portrait. He even famously claimed to be the inventor of the ‘pin-up’– an art-form very closely tied to much of the noir genre, as the covers of ‘pulps’ perpetuated it into the main stream. Late in his life he was the curator of the public museum, Musée Jacquemart-André, and he organized several high profile exhibitions (Van Gogh, Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec, among others). He died on November 16th, 1962 on a sidewalk in Paris.

Domergue’s strokes are as delicate as the women he paints, their skin warm, flawless, and inviting. Their men serve as props only, each an incomplete cardboard cutout or piece of dark/bland scenery behind an intoxicating palette of soft color. As convicting as their lips may appear, it’s their eyes that draw the viewer into the canvas; squinting softly, Domergue paints them as windows into the empowered female– she lives in a world of certainties, and the viewer is barely worthy of her gaze. These women are femme fatales, dames of luxury, worshiped for their beauty and fragility– when in reality their perceived weakness is as fake as their crimson pout.

Jean-Gabriel Domergue

(via diabolique-mon-ange.tumblr.com)

Jean-Gabriel Domergue Portraits

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Jean-Gabriel Domergue Woman

(via worldpaintings.tumblr.com)

Jean-Gabriel Domergue Women

(via worldpaintings.tumblr.com)

Painter Jean-Gabriel Domergue

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French Painting Jean-Gabriel Domergue

(via noonesnemesis.tumblr.com)

French Painter Jean-Gabriel Domergue

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Walk to the Folies Bergeres Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Walk to the Folies Bergeres (date unknown) (via artaddictsanonymous.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Jean-Gabriel Domergue

(via worldpaintings.tumblr.com)

Portrait of Madame O-Deril 1930 Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Portrait of Madame O’Deril, 1930 (via tender-isthe-night.tumblr.com)

Noir Artist Jean-Gabriel Domergue

(via pollysonne.tumblr.com)

Woman with Greyhounds 1930 Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Woman with Greyhounds, 1930 (via agence-kilt.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Jean-Gabriel Domergue

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Noir Art | Victor Kalin

Noir Art Victor Kalin

Victor Kalin (this reminds me so much of Parker) (via mudwerks.tumblr.com)

Victor Kalin is a remarkably obscure noir artist. Although he has garnered an impressive amount of acclaim in recent years, there is relatively little data about his life available. He was born in Belleville in 1919 and died in 1991. He attended the University of Kansas during the ’40s. Throughout his professional career, he was an illustrator, a painter, and a teacher. Walt Reed (Illustrator in America) said of Victor:

“[Kalin’s] first illustrations were done for The American Weekly but for many years the majority of his pictures were painted for paperback book covers.Unlike many artists who develop a strong, easily identifiable technique, he was so interested in experimentation that his work looked continually new.”

Victor was extremely skilled at composing a cover, each element dramatically sized and spaced to create continually fascinating results. His strength appears to be his fluidity– easily transitioning from realism to abstract stylings when a fresh approach serves the piece. Kalin doesn’t seem to have a definable style, as his strokes, textures, and contrasts vary continually; affording his work a freshness that sets him apart from his contemporaries. In the competitive world that was pulp cover illustration, Victor’s flexibility granted him innumerable victories and contracts. I love his work– it has always struck me as brilliantly wrought, a narrative style of illustration that begs the viewer to look deeper.

Victor Kalin Pulp

Deadly Beloved by Willaim Ard, Cover by Victor Kalin (via flickr.com)

Pulp Covers Victor Kalin

The Great Mistake by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Noir Artist Victor Kalin

The Lineup by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Illustration Victor Kalin

Assignment: Murder by Donald Hamilton, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Victor Kalin Illustrator

Suddenly A Corpse by Hal Masur, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Victor Kalin Paintings

Hang by Your Neck by Henry Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Victor Kalin Noir Art

The Five Pennies by Grady Johnson, Cover by Victor Kalin

Victor Kalin Noir Artist

Murder on Broadway by Hal Masur, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Noir Fiction Victor Kalin

Green Light for Death by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Noir Crime Fiction Victor Kalin

Grave Danger by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Noir Artist Victor Kalin

The Murder Room by Paul E. Walsh, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Victor Kalin Pinup

Have Nude, Will Travel by Clyde Allison, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Pin-up Victor Kalin

Blackmail, Inc. by Robert Kyle, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Femme Fatale Victor Kalin

Trigger Mortis by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Victor Kalin Femme Fatales

Slay Ride by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

Noir Art Victor Kalin

A Real Gone Guy by Frank Kane, Cover by Victor Kalin (via pulpcovers.com)

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Noir Art | Edwin Georgi

Noir Art Edwin Georgi

Redbook, “Old Miguel’s Girl” (1956)

I’m shocked by how little information I was able to obtain about this incredible noir artist (honestly, I forgot what life was like before wikipedia). The info I did find was fascinating.

Edwin Georgi was born in 1896 and died in 1964 at the age of 68. He was a pilot in WWI– though I was unable to gather details about his specific tour of duty. Upon returning from the war, he attended Princeton. Eventually he abandoned his education to pursue writing as a full time profession. He was very ambitious, but a turn of fate pushed him another way. He was hired on to write copy for an ad agency, but was persuaded by his employer that he would make a better painter than a writer. Thus his career in illustration began.

Remarkably, he was largely self-taught. He worked his way up the artistic food chain with experience at various ad groups and agencies. His work is known in several national publications; Cosmo, Esquire, Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Edwin’s style is striking. Very few artists exude the dynamic movement of color as he does. His paintings have a texture that is entirely unique– his staccato strokes seem akin to pointillism, and weave a mesh of breathtaking pallets. Most noir art is obsessed with light and shadow, but Edwin Georgi’s art oscillates betwixt hue and contrast. He’s one of my absolute favorite pulp/pin-up style artists, and I’m grateful to add him to NoirWhale.

Pulp Art Edwin Georgi

Saturday Evening Post, “The Flashy Type” (1958)

Edwin Georgi Noir Art

Saturday Evening Post, Story Art (1957)

Edwin Georgi

“Elizabeth Dayton was entranced with this beautiful place–but she was sure that she was being watched.”

Edwin Georgi Illustration

“Please,” she said. “Don’t start it all over. Please go away now.”

Pulp Art Edwin Georgi

Love the colors in this one

Edwin Georgi

“She stepped quickly out of her dress. She was pitifully young–and frightened to death.”

Femme Fatale Edwin Georgi

“At first her steps were hesitant and uncertain, but her confidence increased as she grew absorbed.”

Illustrator Edwin Georgi

I stared across the room. Who had chosen “Murder Will Out” for Stella?

Edwin Georgi

“Boat Fire” (19??)

Noir Artist Edwin Georgi

Redbook, “Fiesta of Love” (1957)

Edwin Georgi

Story Art (1955)

Edwin Georgi

Saturday Evening Post, “Double Jeopardy” (1958)

*Facts and Images borrowed from :

http://www.americanartarchives.com/georgi.htm

http://www.fulltable.com/vts/aoi/g/georgi/eg.htm

 

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Noir Art | Mike Ludlow

Noir Art Mike Ludlow

Mike Ludlow (via babypinkeyeshadow.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow is an American illustrator of no small talent. Although his artistic skills are varied (he spent much of his career crafting wonderfully clean and detailed advertisements) his deft hand with the ‘pin-up girl’ is where his great gift becomes apparent. For many years he painted the widely popular Esquire pin-up girls– completing the entire 12 month calender in 1957 by himself. Biographical details on this American Icon are very difficult to find, though I located tributes to Mr. Ludlow on various specialty blogs like my own (see bottom of post).

Here is what I borrowed: (Thanks KillerCoversofTheWeek!)

According to a brief biography from The Great American Pin-Up (1996), by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel:

Ludlow was a glamour illustrator who did much pin-up work in the late 1950s for Esquire. He painted the entire twelve-page calendar for 1957–the last published by the magazine. His pin-ups also appeared in the series of three-page centerfolds known as Esquire’s Lady Fair. For these works, Ludlow often called on actresses like Virginia Mayo and popular personalities like Betsy Von Furstenberg in addition to professional models.

Besides painting his Esquire pin-ups, Ludlow had another entire career as an illustrator of romance articles, providing pictures of beautiful women to mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Collier’s, and Family Circle. From 1950 to 1960, he also painted many front covers for paperback novels, including among his clients Pocket Books, Dell Books, and Bantam Books. All his paperback covers had a strong air of sensuality and featured sexy pin-up girls as the main figures.

Ludlow was born in 1921 and grew up in Buffalo, New York. He attended the Art Students League, where he studied with William McNulty. His first commercial art assignment, for the Sunday supplement of the [New York] Journal American, came in 1948. From the beginning, Ludlow has specialized in glamorous subjects and made beautiful women his trademark.

The title image for this article was the very first that I’d seen of Ludlow’s work, and I was instantly captured. Whenever I look at it, I always want to know what she’s saying, but I simultaneously feel that somehow it won’t matter–it’s too late anyway. He’s one of my favorite noir artists, and it’s a shame that he isn’t more widely known.

Mike Ludlow Artist

(via earntotal.blogspot.com)

Mike Ludlow illustrator

(via mudwerks.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Art

(via matthewedwards.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Femme Fatale

(via hollyhocksandtulips.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Women

(via withnailrules.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Magazines

(via littlebunnysunshine.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Pinup

(via pestaitrappen.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Book Covers

Border Town by Carroll Graham, Cover Art by Mike Ludlow (via pulpcovers.com)

Mike Ludlow Pulp Cover

See You at the Morgue by Lawrence G. Blochman, Cover Art by Mike Ludlow (via micdel.tumblr.com)

Mike Ludlow Pulps

Brother Death by John Lodwick, Cover Art by Mike Ludlow (via pulpcovers.com)

http://killercoversoftheweek.blogspot.com/2011/01/he-had-way-with-women.html

http://www.mutoworld.com/Ludlow.htm

http://todaysinspiration.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

http://earntotal.blogspot.com/2008/11/esquire-classic-lady-fair.html

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Noir Art | Frank Miller

Noir Art Frank Miller Batman

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (via ramonton.tumblr.com)

“The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He’s dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he’s a hero the whole time.”

Frank Miller has a very polarized fan-base. Some worship him as the incredible artist, writer, and contributor that gave us some of the most recognizable comics of the last 30 years, while others feel that he’s devolved into a sloppy, jaded old man who’s well has run dry. I don’t know where I stand personally. Instead of doing the norm by providing an in depth biographical overview of his life and accomplishments, I’d rather explain my own experience with Mr. Miller’s work. As for biography, let this suffice: He was born January 27th, 1957, raised in Montpelier, Vermont, the fifth of seven children. He’s bounced coast-to-coast, living first in Hell’s Kitchen then Los Angeles, then back again.

I remember when I first saw Frank Miller’s work, I was a seventeen year old wasting an afternoon at Border’s with a friend. Invariably, I found myself thumbing the crisp pages of the latest science fiction, then fantasy novels– but, as was my habit, I stopped at the comics aisle, their glossy pages and appealing art too pretty to resist. I recall hefting a thick book from the bottom shelf,  a black and white bound hardcover called “The Art of Sin City.”

I was perplexed. As I turned the pages, I was surprised to not find anything remotely  Las Vegas–the only reference I had for ‘Sin City’ at the time– save the seductively inked woman in the cowboy chaps and tangled in a lasso. The art was beautiful, and the style intoxicating, but the content quickly overwhelmed me. My cheeks reddened, and as my friend approached I quickly returned the book to the shelf. I didn’t mention it to him, but it was the most interesting book that I saw that day– and the only one I can remember presently. Ten years have passed between then and now, and I can still remember the feeling I had when I held that book, like it was going to suck me in. That’s impact. That’s Frank Miller.

Fast forward to Emerald City Comic Con, 2010. I had begun to dabble in comics for the first time, collecting various floppies and trades– mostly in search of lasting appeal. Super heroes bored me for the most part, and I had latched on to Conan The Cimmerian as a possible obsession, but it wasn’t full blown yet. I expressed interest in “Criminal” by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, but I was yet to read any of it, my interest more in following the buzz of the crowd than in staking out any real corner of the con for myself. Enter Matt P., whom I had met only hours before, asking me, “What books do you read?”– In a moment of pure embarrassment, I honestly didn’t have an answer for him. But as the con wore on, and I my tasting more widespread, I found a genre I had seldom looked at before; “noir.”

I couldn’t get enough ‘noir,’ even if I couldn’t exactly define it, much less describe it to anyone. Matt asked me again about the books I liked, and after throwing him a few titles he immediately prescribed “Sin City.” Returning from the Con, I hopped online and bought “The Hard Goodbye” on faith and recommendation. The rest is history.

When I received the title in the mail, I didn’t even realize it was the same stuff that had held me captive ten years gone until I cracked the cover. As I fanned the pages, the result was the same– the feeling of exuberance came rushing back.

Since then, I’ve read far more of his work– Dining on his Batman contributions, Daredevil, Ronin, and 300; but his masterpiece will forever be Sin City (at least to me). As his style has evolved, I’ve found that I like him less– his later work feels more rushed and less concerned with the clean and stark contrasts of his earlier days. Perhaps he’s evolved this way to escape the crisp lines and defined boundaries of his youth. Maybe he’s testing us, seeing how loyal we’ll remain to him– I don’t truly know. But I do know that there was pure blissful magic flowing from his pen at various periods of his life, and for that the noir genre and myself are forever indebted.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (via comicbookpanels.tumblr.com)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (via mrhypnotic.tumblr.com)

Batman Frank Miller

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (via nonsensemisa.tumblr.com)

Sin City: The Babe Wore Red

Sin City: The Babe Wore Red (via mk-goldenmoon.com)

Sin City: That Yellow Bastard

Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (via mk-goldenmoon.com)

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (via mk-goldenmoon.com)

Noir Art Frank Miller

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (via beam2k.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Frank Miller

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (via mk-goldenmoon.com)

Sin City Frank Miller

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (via gamesmusicandyoutube.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Frank Miller

Sin City: Silent Night (via mk-goldenmoon.com)

Frank Miller Sin City

Sin City: The Babe Wore Red (via mk-goldemoon.com)

 

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Noir Art | Francesco Francavilla

Noir Art Nightmare Town Dashiell Hammett Francesco Francavilla

“Nightmare Town” by Dashiell Hammett and Francesco Francavilla

Franceso Francavilla is an acclaimed noir artist known for his resurrected pulp style. Italian by birth, he’s most recognized for his own series “The Black Coat” as well as his work on “Zorro.” Most recently, he’s been doing beautiful work for “Detective Comics” with Scott Snyder. I first came into contact with his noir -ish style as I was reading the “Scalped” series by Jason Aaron, although he only did one issue his great skill was obvious. As I began to more fully research him, the first thing that became apparent was how prolific he is. He owns, runs, and operates several blogs where he frequently posts new work. The most inspiring aspect of his work ethic is the fact that each of the pieces he posts seem so well developed. He’s not churning out anything sub-par, it’s all excellent.

Currently, you can find him working on Marvel’s “Black Panther: The Man Without Fear” and “Captain America and Bucky” (the latter written by Ed Brubaker, *nerdgasm). Other noteworthy projects include: “Fear Agent” with Rick Remender, Dark Horse Presents “The Black Beetle,” and “Swamp Thing” also with Scott Snyder. My favorite thing that Mr. Francavilla has done is illustrating the short story “Nightmare Town” by Dashiell Hammett.

Here are his blogs and several blogs he participates in:

http://whatnotisms.blogspot.com/?zx=48640a6ed6ddd8f3

http://pulpsunday.blogspot.com/

http://www.comictwart.com/

http://theblackbeetle.blogspot.com/

http://francesco-francavilla.blogspot.com/

http://www.francescofrancavilla.com/

Follow him on Twitter: @f_francavilla

*All images are property of Francesco Francavilla.

Noir Art Scalped Tribute Francesco Francavilla

Scalped Cover Tribute

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla Scream of Fear

Scream of Fear

Noir Art Dark Shadows 04 Cover Francesco Francavilla

Dark Shadows #4

Noir Art Dark Shadows 08 Cover Francesco Francavilla

Dark Shadows #8

Noir Art Sarge Steel Francesco Francavilla

Sarge Steel

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla Thats All Folks

That’s All Folks

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla The Batman in Crimson Harvest

The Batman in Crimson Harvest

Noir Art The Batman 1935 Francesco Francavilla

The Batman 1935

Noir Art The Sandman Francesco Francavilla

The Sandman

Noir Art The Shadow 01 Cover Francesco Francavilla

The Shadow #1

Noir Art Silver Sable Francesco Francavilla

Silver Sable

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla Spencer Tracy in Riffraff with Jean Harlow

Spencer Tracy in Riffraff with Jean Harlow

Noir Art Francesco Francavila Kara Bocek Part 09

Kara Bocek Part 9

Noir Art Dizzy Francesco Francavilla

Dizzy

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer

Noir Art Francesco Francavilla Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

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Noir Art | Glen Orbik

The Colorado Kid Stephen King Glen Orbik

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, Cover by Glen Orbik

Glen Orbik is a noir artist whose original intention was to draw superheros. He’s an American Illustrator who studied at the California Art Institute under the great Fred Fixler, eventually taking over several of the retiring master’s classes.

“Fred was a highly skilled illustrator best known for painting movie posters ( Comedy of Terrors, Pit and the Pendulum, Man with the X-ray Eyes, Burn Witch Burn, House of Usher, Hercules- Unchained, Where the Boys Are, etc…). and elegant pretty girls.”

Glen has had a major presence in the pulp art world for nearly twenty years, doing several covers for Hard Case Crime (currently) and famous authors like Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. Glen says,

“I’ve been lucky enough to work on everything from book covers to movie posters, collectable lithographs and plates, to video games and comic books.”

Mr. Orbik’s work has been compared to Alex Ross and Robert McGinnis. He currently resides in Van Nuys, California and teaches figure drawing. He’s a very popular teacher among fine art, comic book, and video game artists.

I first took note of Glen’s work while perusing books on Amazon. I noticed that his soft-edged style was perfectly suited to the foggy morality of noir and pulp capers. Since then, I’ve taken great interest in his work and consider myself a dedicated fan. His femme fatales hover on the dangerous brink of passion, the beautiful bait concealing the deadly hook. The difference between a good noir artist and a great noir artist is narrative. Those artists that can weave a story with acrylic are the masters; Glen Orbik is a master.

Batman Poison Ivy Commissioner Gordon Glen Orbik

Commissioner Gordon, Poison Ivy, and Batman

Noir Art Glen Orbik Branded Woman

Branded Woman

Noir Art Glen Orbik Fifty-to-One

Fifty-to-One

Noir Art Glen Orbik American Century 11

American Century #11

Noir Art Glen Orbik Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris

Noir Art Glen Orbik Blackmailer

Blackmailer

Noir Art Glen Orbik Choke Hold

Choke Hold

Noir Art Glen Orbik American Century 15

American Century #15

*All biographical details were obtained from:

http://www.orbikart.com/gallery/biography_g.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Orbik

*All images were obtained from:

http://www.orbikart.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=3

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Noir Art | Coby Whitmore

Noir Art Coby Whitmore

Coby Whitmore June 11th 1913- October 12th 1988 (via fleetingfixations.tumblr.com)

The noir artist Coby Whitmore is a mainstay of American Illustration. Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1913, he spent the majority of his life and professional career in New York. He’s best known as a painter and magazine illustrator for such publications as Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Saturday Evening Post. 

Although his work typically showcased the post-war, white, American family living a life of moderate luxury, a very strong noir theme seems to permeate his portfolio. Adultery, misogyny, and the seductive femme fatale all appear in his illustrations frequently. It seems that even if he wasn’t painting for the pulp rags of the day, as an artist he couldn’t escape the influence of the golden age of noir.

Some of his contemporaries and colleagues include:  Norman Rockwell, Stevan Dohanos, and Albert Dorne, who were all fellow members of what became known as the Westport School of American illustration. Whitmore died in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1988 at age 75.

Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Noir Art Coby Whitmore

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Coby Whitmore is an excellent addition to the growing list of noir artists on noirWhale.com

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