Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What a Difference a Year Makes

Now this is more like it!
My collection of Collier's magazines is far from complete, but from what I do have, I get the impression that Joe Bowler began painting crime story illustrations for Collier's in 1954 and continued to produce them through 1955. What a difference a year makes!

Compare yesterday's piece from 1954, The Desperate Hours to Monday's and today's pieces from 1955's Invasion of Privacy. While all the pieces are, of course, expertly designed and executed, the Invasion characters are clearly trapped in a genuinely threatening situation - punctuated here by a window-cracking bullet hole.

Somewhere between '54 and '55 Bowler seems to have found his "crime legs".


  1. Sorry... I still don't read peril in this one. Wouldn't YOUR eyes would be a WHOLE lot wider and plenty more worried than this lady, who's just wondering why she's being shoved?

  2. No need to apologize, L. I would never quibble with you over a detail like how wide one's eyes should be at the moment after a shot is fired near your head. To each his own on that nuance, I say. Still, I think Bowler was heading in the right direction with these pieces from '55.

    Thanks for commenting! ;-)

  3. Leif,

    Thanks for posting the Bowler art this week! He's not someone I was familiar with previously, and I'm now a big fan!

  4. I'm so glad you've found a new illustrator to be inspired by here, Joe - thanks for commenting! L;-)