March 24, 2012 · 5:44 pm
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.”
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:)
March 8, 2012 · 8:20 pm
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
Fatale Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)
Criminal: The Last of The Innocent Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)
Criminal: Bad Night Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)
Criminal: The Last of The Innocent Cover (via surebeatsworking.blogspot.com)
Inked Cover Criminal: The Sinners Issue 3 (via emptykingdom.com)
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.
February 18, 2012 · 4:47 pm
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.
Click here for more noir art!
January 31, 2012 · 8:02 pm
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.
(a femme fatale thrashing) via comicsalliance.com
More noir art to come…
December 22, 2011 · 7:40 pm
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 Femina, Marie 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.”
Rene Gruau has contributed some of the most stunning noir art I’ve ever seen. What a champion.
October 6, 2011 · 5:35 pm
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:
Baby Doll (Double Trouble)
Double In A Black Dress
I'm Pretty When I'm Angry
I'm Waiting For My Man (Rita Hayworth Reference)
Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
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?)
by Chad de Lisle
September 10, 2011 · 4:26 pm
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:
Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 by Eduardo Risso
Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 (back) by Eduardo Risso
Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 by Lee Bermejo
Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 (back) by Lee Bermejo
Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 by Matheus Lopes
Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 (back) by Matheus Lopes
Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 by Dave Johnson
Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 (back) by Dave Johnson
The Time Has Come by Francis Minoza and Laurence Minoza
Suspense by Matheus Lopes
A Study in Scarlet by Alice X. Zhang
Rose Marry by Adrindra Prakoso
Doin My Best by Thomas Chosson
Judith + Holofernes by Frank Barbara
Raven Haired by Matheus Lopes Castro
Sin City by Andy Farrell
Filed under Noir Art
Tagged as Noir Comics, Pulps
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