Category Archives: Noir Art

Noir Art | Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko Chandler Red Tide

Jim Steranko (Born November 5th 1938)

Jim Steranko is a legend in the comic book industry, and as a noir artist he is unparalleled. Born James F. Steranko in Reading, Pennsylvania on November 5th, 1938, his parents were Ukrainian immigrants that worked coal mines and tin. Jim began to draw while very young, opening and flattening envelopes for sketch paper. His ambition to become an architect garnered family support, who eventually began to provide the boy with comics and other media to work from.

In the Silver Age of Comics, he made several innovations in sequential art that have left a deep and lingering impression upon the comic genre. His most famous and memorable work being with Nick Fury, Agent of Shield, he nevertheless showed his noir prowess with the “Visual Novel” (precursor of the graphic novel) Chandler: Red Tide. Although it enjoyed a very limited printing, it still serves as one of the most wonderful collections of noir inspired images in the genre. A bulk of the captures you see here are from that single book.

 “Fans seem to think that the more lines that go into a drawing the better it is. Actually, the opposite is generally true. The fewer lines you can put into a drawing the quicker it reads, and the simpler it is.”

Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko Chandler Red Tide

Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko

Noir Art Jim Steranko Chandler Red Tide

The influence Jim Steranko has upon modern noir comic artists is obvious. When you look at the panels above, it’s so easy to see the ripples that spawned Sean Phillips, Frank Miller, and many others. Bless you for your contribution Jim, bless you.

(Thanks to the following sources:)

http://memoriastoica.tumblr.com/

http://mepresta.tumblr.com/

http://yeswecancan.tumblr.com/

http://melvillain.tumblr.com/

http://arrastao.tumblr.com/

http://lostpanels.tumblr.com/

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Noir Art | Sean Phillips

Noir Art Sean Phillips Dan Marlowe

(via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Sean Phillips is a superb noir artist. I admit that I don’t know much about him, only what I’ve gleaned from his blogs and the back material of the many comics I’ve read. I know that he lives in England, and that he regularly attends a life-painting class (he always posts his work the following day). At Emerald City Comic-Con last year, I asked Ed Brubaker when he was going to get Sean to come out for an event. He said it was difficult because of the distance.

My lack of knowledge concerning this marvelous artist aside, he has created some truly magnificent noir art. He is adding to the noir genre on a frequent basis, and for that I am extremely grateful. I hope to meet him one day, to thank him. Head over and support his blog (its drowning in fine work): surebeatsworking.blogspot.com

Noir Art Sean Phillips

(via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Fatale Cover

Fatale Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips The Last of The Innocent Cover

Criminal: The Last of The Innocent Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Criminal Bad Night Cover

Criminal: Bad Night Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Femme Fatale

(via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Black and White Panel

(via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Criminal The Last of the Innocent Cover

Criminal: The Last of The Innocent Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Criminal Sinners Cover Issue 3

Inked Cover Criminal: The Sinners Issue 3 (via emptykingdom.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Snake Eyes

(via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Sean Phillips Teeg Lawless

Teeg Lawless, my favorite Sean Phillips painting (via emptykingdom.com)

I’m sure that Sean has many years of seductive noir art left for us.

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Noir Art | Ernest Chiriaka

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka Jealous Paul Daniels

Pulp Cover from Ernest Chiriaka (via pulpart.tumblr.com)

Anastassios Kyriakakos was born to Greek immigrant parents in New York City May 11th, 1913. Adopting the more American name of Ernest Chiriaka, he was raised in the ghetto of the Lower East Side. One cannot conceivably imagine the hardships young Ernest must have faced as his father struggled to find work and his mother sacrificed to raise he and his five siblings. Out of humble beginnings and intense suffering came one of the most talented American noir artists of our time.

Liberty Magazine was the first to purchase cover art from Ernest (known as a “slick”) in July of 1950. Sadly, the magazine suddenly closed their doors before Ernest’s August cover hit newsstands. Said Ernest,

“I thought, ‘Hey, Holy Cow! I’m on the cover of Liberty! That’s great news.’ And they folded, right then and there, with my cover. It never came out! Gr-r-r! That was a dirty deal! My first slick, and it folds up!”

Chiriaka’s first real success didn’t arrive until 1952, when he was commissioned to paint two pin-ups for the Esquire calender. He apparently made waves with his work, because the following year he was asked to paint all twelve lovely ladies. He continued working for magazines and pulp publishers (doing book covers) for many years afterward.

Ernest Chiriaka died on April 27th, 2010 at the age of 96. His noir art stands as a pillar in the genre.

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via valentinovamp.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via the-art-of-romance.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via noonesnemesis.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via mudwerks.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via pinupmania.blogspot.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via littlebunnysunshine.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

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Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via micdel.tumblr.com)

Noir Art Ernest Chiriaka

(via micdel.tumblr.com)

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Noir Art | Robert McGinnis

Noir Art Breakfast at Tiffany's Film Poster Robert McGinnis

His First Film Noir Poster

Robert McGinnis was born in 1926 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s left an indelible mark upon the noir crime fiction and film noir industries with his illustration skills; clocking in over 1200 paperback cover illustrations and over 40 movie poster illustrations. One of his most famous is his Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie poster which was (oddly enough) his first film poster assignment. I was so excited to learn that he is still alive, and since 2004 he has been doing paperback covers for the noir crime fiction group “Hard Case Crime.” Robert McGinnis is truly a noir art living legend.

Noir Art Robert McGinnis

(a femme fatale thrashing) via comicsalliance.com

Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

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Noir Art Robert McGinnis

via vitazur.tumblr.com

More noir art to come…

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Noir Art | Rene Gruau

Noir Art Rene Gruau

via bottledbohemia.tumblr.com

Over the course of my rummaging through the various back alleyways of the internet, I stumbled upon this wonderful artist: Rene Gruau (1909-2004) . He was an Italian Fashion Illustrator whose given name was Renato Zavagli Ricciardelli. Of course he may not have had the noir genre in mind while creating his works, but as a contemporary of the golden age of noir its influence is undoubtedly present in the brush strokes. Here are some cool details from wikipedia:

“He demonstrated talent for drawing throughout much of his early life and worked as an illustrator for fashion magazines such as FeminaMarie Claire and Vogue in Paris in his teens and early 20s. Gruau found it difficult to find work during World War II and ultimately found little work for small or unestablished designers such as Christian Dior before he became popular during this time. He worked as he could and contributed to the concealment of Jewish refugees.”

“In his lifetime, Gruau worked for numerous magazines including Marie-Claire, Femina, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Flair, L’Officiel, and Madame Figaro, and L’Officiel de la Couture. Gruau was hired by major designers like Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Rochas, Lanvin, Elizabeth Arden, and Hubert de Givenchy. Gruau gave life to their haute couture clothing and expanded their popularity with his captivating illustrations. Gruau’s illustrations reinvented many of the designs and gave them lambency and radiance that the fashion industry previously lacked. Gruau, whose posters often echoed both classical Japanese drawings and Toulouse-Lautrec’s sketches of fin de siècle Paris night life, was perhaps best known for creating the marketing images for Miss Dior perfume and for Rouge Baiser lipstick.”

Noir Art Rene Gruau

via dreigroschenoper.tumblr.com

Noir Art Rene Gruau

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Noir Art Rene Gruau

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Noir Art Rene Gruau

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Noir Art Rene Gruau

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Noir Art Rene Gruau

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Noir Art Rene Gruau

via mrtoothdecay.tumblr.com

Noir Art Rene Gruau

via mysargasso.tumblr.com

Noir Art Rene Gruau

via mydelicatedream.tumblr.com

Rene Gruau has contributed some of the most stunning noir art I’ve ever seen. What a champion.

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Noir Art | Niagara Detroit

Noir Art Lips Niagara Detroit

Lips by Niagara Detroit

Each week I spend a few hours cruising tumblr blogs and the various gritty reaches of the internet in search of images for the noirWHALE.tumblr.com site. This exercise has taught me quite a bit about film noir and the other noir genres, but ultimately it has taught me that I need to expand noirWHALE by adding a new category: “Noir Art“. For example: A week ago, I published a post about Noir T-Shirt Designs, and I put it in the Noir Comics category because I didn’t really have any idea where it should go; That post was the spiritual predecessor to this category, and now I expand upon it by adding the second “Noir Art” post titled: Niagara Detroit

Niagara was born August 23rd, 1956. I have no idea if that’s her real name (and neither does wikipedia). She was a lead singer of the punk rock bands Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival. Her bio says that she attended the University of Michigan in the 70’s, and that she has some art school experience which led her to design album covers for the various rock groups she was singing with. Eventually she started to do small galleries and displays in coffee shops in Detroit, and overnight she became a pop art sensation. Her local fame garnered her the title, “Queen of Detroit” and thus it has become her surname. Her noir art style seems to revolve entirely around the femme fatale archetype, with an especially brutal take on gender issues. Sharply contrasting colors and sarcastic/elegiac captions array these dames with venom aimed at misogyny. They simultaneously seduce and kill, with each image hanging on a potent moment in time. I’m no art critic, but it seems that the unseen narratives behind these paintings grant them life. Ultimately, I feel that Niagara Detroit’s work is some of the very best noir art I’ve ever seen. You be the judge:

Noir Art Baby Doll (Double Trouble) Niagara Detroit

Baby Doll (Double Trouble)

Noir Art Double In A Black Dress Niagara Detroit

Double In A Black Dress

Noir Art Got Guts Niagara Detroit

Got Guts?

Noir Art I'm Pretty When I'm Angry Niagara Detroit

I'm Pretty When I'm Angry

Noir Art I'm Waiting For My Man Niagara Detroit

I'm Waiting For My Man (Rita Hayworth Reference)

Noir Art I Lied Niagara Detroit

I Lied

Noir Art Kill Him Niagara Detroit

Kill Him

Noir Art Lipstick Traces Niagara Detroit

Lipstick Traces

Noir Art Or Are You Just Happy To See Me Niagara Detroit

Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Noir Art Run (Blonde) Niagara Detroit

Run (Blonde)

Noir Art Silencer (A Long Shot) Niagara Detroit

Silencer (A Long Shot)

There are literally DOZENS of prints that I didn’t list here, visit niagaradetroit.com for the full gallery.

Niagara has a clothing line for sale at pinkpump.com and prints for sale at niagaradetroit.com

Here is a picture of Niagara: (looks a bit like Lady Gaga no?)

Niagara Detroit Pop Art

Niagara Detroit

by Chad de Lisle

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Noir Comics | Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Noir comics have recently found even wider audiences on the clothing of its connoisseurs. The reason that these images make great t-shirt designs is because of their dramatic and artistic nature (which the noir genre and the pulps have in spades).  I’m in love with the noir t-shirts available at Threadless.com and am using this post as an excuse to share them. Being the owner of several of these shirts, (I’m actually wearing “The Time Has Come” as I write this) I couldn’t be happier with their quality and comfort.

PLEASE NOTE: I only display the close-up, high-quality, detailed images of these noir t-shirt designs. If you would like to see these shirts on a model, or if you would like to see how much scratch ($) they’ll set you back, click on the images below. Enjoy:

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 by Eduardo Risso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 (back) by Eduardo Risso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 by Lee Bermejo

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 (back) by Lee Bermejo

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 (back) by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 by Dave Johnson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 (back) by Dave Johnson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

The Time Has Come by Francis Minoza and Laurence Minoza

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Suspense by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

A Study in Scarlet by Alice X. Zhang

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Rose Marry by Adrindra Prakoso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Doin My Best by Thomas Chosson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Judith + Holofernes by Frank Barbara

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Raven Haired by Matheus Lopes Castro

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sin City by Andy Farrell

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