Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guess Who Dunnit? Part 1

The other day I received an email from David Roach, who has been a frequent guest author here on TI. David wrote:

"If you’re looking for a few days entries I have a sort of cheeky suggestion for you - which will put me out of my misery. Each day you feature all sorts of great artists, but how about some entries where we don’t know who the artist is? I have some stunning book covers which I know the TI readers would enjoy, but I’ve no idea who they’re by."


"Do you think it might make an interesting entry of anonymous images which the readers could maybe identify?"


"I don’t know how riveting it would be but I know I’d sure be intrigued to hear who the readers think they might be by."


"Hey, I know it’s not the greatest offer you’ve ever had but I thought I’d throw it out there in case you’re stuck for an entry one time."


Actually, I thought it was a GREAT idea - and I told David so. Before I knew it he was flooding my inbox with scans - wonderful scans! So here is the first batch for your perusal, dear readers.


Can you guess who dunnit?


* For the time being, while these artists remain unknown, I've included them in my British Illustrators Flickr set


  1. Looks like Robert McGinnis style.

  2. Ditto Walter- I was thinking the same thing (Hill Billy Girl)

  3. I was thinking Bernie Fuchs?

  4. No idea... But how I wish I had all my old copies! We used to buy them, read them and chuck them away!

  5. Phil Noto2:03 PM


  6. Hey, nice illos and a good test Leif. A lot of illustrators during the latter 50s' and through the 60s' were so influence by the latest technique.. and each other, that it became harder and harder to tell them apart. McGinnis is a good guess, but I think he would have painted those women in a more sensuous way. Another guess would be Andy Virgil, or Howard Terpning for the "You're all I need" and "Hill-billy girl" covers. Robert Abbott is another possibility for any one of them. I'm not very familiar with George Porter's illos., nut what I've seen, he's another possibility. I don't think these illos have the razor sharp design qualities that Fuchs had in most of his work. A wild guess would be Mike Ludlow or Mitchel Hooks. It may be illustrators that I am not familiar with at all. There was a lot of quality illustrators that were, and still are virtually unheard of. Unfortunately, seeing old reproductions of their work is simply another unsolved mystery, today.

    Tom Watson

  7. Great idea for a post, but it would be much better if the answer to the whodunnit was actually known. :)

    There were probably several hundred illustrators, with more or less the same training, who could have done these covers. Maybe more, because Frank Reilly alone probably taught hundreds of students who could have done these.

    It is very interesting to note how generic this John Whitcomb-with a touch of Fuchs & Peak style became, and how quickly. It seemed that literally hundreds of illustrators began knocking off the style overnight, albeit with less artistry.

  8. Could it be a pulp artist, someone like Walter Baumhofer?

  9. If they're british magazines,isn't it safe to assume they're british illustrators,imitating american illustrators' styles?All the names suggested sound plausable as influences.They look pretty good,and they're not slavish copies.If they're inexpensive magazines,they probably couldn't afford the yanks.How much do the "6,8 10,14p" prices translate into american money?

  10. Artist for the first book, I'm sure, is Arnaldo Putzu.Looks like he used some scrap of Sean Connery for the guy's face.The technique and use of color is very similar to those LookIn covers he did in the 7os.Not sure about the rest,there were many very competent Spanish and Italian artists doing this stuff at the time.

  11. I agree with Tom, the works were most likely influenced by the artists mentioned but while the techniques are similar, I'm not sure the drawing is the equal of a Fuchs or McGinnis. Steve makes a good point, probably British.

  12. I have no idea but I think they are amazingly beautiful! Wonderful idea for a post!


  13. Ivan T.5:43 AM

    Looks like Walter Wyles.

  14. Remo; Here's a reply from David Roach about your Putzu suggestion. David wrote:

    Putzu- I’m not convinced he did any of the Star covers if only because of where he usually worked- most of his work was actually movie posters along with the covers to Look In magazine which he did most weeks and the odd book cover. Star wouldn’t have paid enough for him and I’m not aware of him ever doing any Ladies magazine illo’s ( which the Star covers mostly were reprinted from, I’m guessing). It’s not far off stylistically but it just doesn’t fit his career.