Combat Gallery Sunday: The martial art of Robert McGinnis
Cincinnati, Ohio-born Robert E. McGinnis was more teenager than adult when he shipped out with the Merchant Marine in World War II. Surviving this tough service in steel ships under constant threat of torpedo and aircraft attack, he switched gears in his twenties to becoming an apprentice at Disney studios once peace broke out and the bulk of the U.S.-flagged cargo ships and tankers were laid up or sold to overseas carriers.
By the late 1950s, after swinging through Ohio State to see what they know, McGinnis fell into his groove of making book covers for Dell (the publisher, not the computer maker) during what is known as the “golden age of paperbacks.”
These 1200 books were a staple of airport newsstands, drugstore book racks, post/exchange library shelves and the like for generations, proving to be the bibles of sort of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines while deployed throughout Vietnam and later years.
He also spent lots of time providing illustrations for Time, Argosy, and a number of other periodicals of the time.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, he was perhaps best known for his 40 or so movie posters and other artwork for the film industry that encompassed much of the Sean Connery/Roger Moore-era films covering the adventures of Commander James Bond, RNR (loaned to Her Majesty’s Secret Service).
He also painted a number of excellent gallery pieces covering everything from shipwrecks to the American West
McInnis, now age 88 and respected a member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame (class of 93), continues to be active, producing very pulpy throwback-style covers for the Hard Case Crime series paperbacks today.
Thank you for your service, and your continuing body of work, Mr. McGinnis.
For more and to buy prints, see his official gallery