Here's another neat find from my favourite used book store: The Book of Jazz, illustrated by Cliff Roberts. Of course I had to find the German language version - go figure! - but what the heck, Roberts' pictures are a delight, no matter what language they're in.
If you've been reading this blog for a couple of years now, you might recall that Cliff Roberts was a good friend of our own Harry Borgman. The two illustrators started their careers together in Detroit at the Allied Artists studio back in the late 1940's.
With Harry's generous assistance, I wrote a post about Cliff Roberts that included many examples from his early days. You can read that post here.
Roberts said his early influences were Jan Balet, Jerome Snyder and Joe Kaufman, but the drawing he did in 1955 for The Book of Jazz are pure Jim Flora (and even some of his earliest work has a distinct Flora-esque look about it). I have to wonder if the publisher of The Book of Jazz tried and failed to get Flora in the first place and asked Roberts to imitate the other illustrator's style.
No matter - whether imitation or homage, Roberts' illustrations for The Book of Jazz are wonderful - so I'm going to shut up now and just let you soak 'em in. Enjoy!
Below, a picture of Cliff Roberts from the early 70's which appeared in Cartoonist PROfiles magazine. Thanks to Amid Amidi for sharing this with me.
Cliff Roberts later went into the animation business and worked on Saturday Morning Cartoons like The Smurfs, Scooby Doo and The Pink Panther. He passed away in 1999.
* My Cliff Roberts Flickr set