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

'Loving' ... John McDermott!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last week's series by guest author Ken Steacy on Brooks Wilson Ltd. and the 1970 feature film Loving certainly garnered a lot of interest from readers... and really piqued my curiosity. Just who was responsible for all that prop artwork Ken showed us in his screen caps from the film?

I managed to ID this one piece, below, as being by John McDermott...

McDermott01.jpg

... and reader David Apatoff surmised that since McDermott was the author of the book, it makes sense that he would have provided most or all of the artwork used in the film.

So just who was this John McDermott?

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Francis Fay Jr., the author of a 1996 newspaper article on McDermott, described him as "a tall, handsome man with heavy dark eyebrows, piercing eyes..."

McDermott10.detail01

"... and a sardonic wit."

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McDermott's long-time friend, artist/art director Howard Munce, said McDermott was "an ongoing fireworks display."

McDermott02.jpg

Munce continued, "There wasn't a moment when he wasn't dealing in imagery of some kind, and he could verbalize whatever image came into his head."

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John McDermott carried with him the burden of a terrible childhood trauma: when he was just five years old, growing up in Pueblo, Colorado, his father committed suicide.

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Francis Fay Jr. suggested that one can see a manifestation of that "haunting trauma" in some of McDermott's work.

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Further, he describes McDermott's book, Brooks Wilson Ltd., as being "autobiographical in its treatment of a struggling illustrator."

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There's more - quite a bit more - of interest about the complex, restless John McDermott.

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This week we'll take a closer look at his work and his life.

2 comments

  1. I haven't met an artist who wasn't more than what meets the eye. Most are pretty accomplished musicians, or writers, or actors too, although they may not be recognized professionally for it.

    This is great and I can't wait for more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Leif,i e-mailed you a pic of a Mcdermott original i own...

    ReplyDelete

 

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