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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Mid-60s Mitchell Hooks

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Here's a mid-1960s Reader's Digest Condensed Books story illustrated by Mitchell Hooks.

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You could see hints of this sketchy style in the mid-to-late '50s paperback covers we looked at yesterday, couldn't you?

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Frankly, I so love the technique Mitchell used for this series...

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... that I had to include several close-cropped excerpts today. I wanted you to be able to see the detail; the lively action in that gorgeous sketchiness.

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Also note the riotous use of strong, bright colour. Isn't it fantastic? A reflection of the times, I would guess (it was, after all, the '60s).

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So who inspired all this sketchiness and these candy-bright, unnatural colour schemes?

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No doubt there were many factors...

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But I'll bet one major influence (not just on Mitchell, but on the whole industry) was Bob Peak.

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* My Mitchell Hooks Flickr set.

6 comments

  1. These are breathtaking! Hook's work is so alive and exciting! Like that storm of scribbles above the sleeping boy's head. It's crazy, but wonderful!

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  2. I loved RD Condensed Books when I was a kid! I never read the stories, instead I took in all those fantastic illustrations!

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  3. I agree with Jori, WOW!

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  4. Mitchell Hooks was a great inspiration.. solid draftsmanship, progressive compositions, a modern flair, and as Leif pointed out, those gorgeous dramatic color combinations. Keep in mind illustrators were highly motivated to produce what a camera could not, and that included sketchy drawing and bright avant-garde color schemes. I also thought that Hooks was probably looking over Peak's shoulder, as Leif alluded to. Few illustrators, back then, worked in a bubble. ;-)

    Tom Watson

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. sherri11:14 PM

    that picture with the children and the balloon and cot was one of the first that inspired me to want to become an artist.
    thanks.

    I kept it but never knew who it was by.

    ReplyDelete

 

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