Tag Archive | pulp art

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Mel Crair

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sunday, I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Mel Crair

Melvin “Mel” Crair was born in Brooklyn on August 17, 1923 to Russian emigrants. Graduating from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art as a budding artist, instead he was drafted into the Army as there was a war on. Serving overseas and seeing hot action, he continued his art education via the GI Bill after the war and joined the ranks of Bruce Minney, Norm Eastman, Gil Cohen, Norman Saunders, Basil Gogos, and Vic Prezio in creating covers and story illustrations for men’s adventure magazines such as Big Western, Man’s, Blue Book and others.

Mel Crair

Man's 1968 March

Man’s 1968 March

Mel Crair woudned

MEL CRAIR (American, 20th Century). Men's adventure magazine illustration

MEL CRAIR (American, 20th Century). Men’s adventure magazine illustration

Bluebook

Bluebook

Man's Magazine - 1964 10 Oct

Man’s Magazine – 1964 10 Oct

Man's 1966 March

Man’s 1966 March

The Submarine that sank twice!

The Submarine that sank twice!

Man's cover

Man’s cover

He also did paperback cover art for Pyramid, Berkeley, Pocketbooks, Signet, Bantam, and Dell Paperbacks as well as a series of portraits for the same.

Rommel portrait for cover of Fighting Generals by Phil Hirsch 1960

Rommel portrait for cover of Fighting Generals by Phil Hirsch 1960

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Original Mel Crair portrait, front cover of the Newsweek May 2, 1960, for which it was painted

Original Mel Crair portrait, front cover of the Newsweek May 2, 1960, for which it was painted

Colditz

Colditz

1878 — A novel of the Bannock Indian Wars

1878 — A novel of the Bannock Indian Wars

He continued working right up until his death at age 83 in 2007.

Archives of his work are available at the American Art Archives, Pulp Covers and Pulp Artists.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Bruce Minney

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sunday, I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Bruce Minney

West Coast artist Bruce Minney was born October 2, 1928 and in 1946 was accepted to the prestigious California School of Arts and Crafts. However, after graduation work as a firefighter left him unfulfilled artistically so in 1955 he packed up the family and moved to the mecca of advertising, paperback and pulp publishing production– New York City.

Soon he began producing cover and illustration art for a number of men’s magazines ranging from Stag, For Men Only, Male, True Action, Man’s World, New Man and later National Lampoon while also churning out a staggering 400 paperback covers over the next 30 years.

His populist hyperrealist style, while similar to that of Mort Knustler and others, is unique although sadly some of Minney’s work has actually become kinda synonymous with 1960s kitschy kink— but in the end has been embraced and preserved, so put that in your politically correct pipe and smoke it!

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Voyage to the Forgotten World, Mens magazine cover

Voyage to the Forgotten World, Mens magazine cover

Stag cover, June 1959

Stag cover, June 1959

Cover for "Voyage to Somewhere" 1970 paperback

Cover for “Voyage to Somewhere” 1970 paperback

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Last Man on Luzon

Last Man on Luzon

The Boston Medic Who Wrecked Germany's Slave Colony - For Men Only, May 1961

The Boston Medic Who Wrecked Germany’s Slave Colony – For Men Only, May 1961

BRUCE MINNEY (American b. 1928) Untitled, c. 1975 BRUCE MINNEY (American b.1928) Untitled, c. 1969 BRUCE MINNEY 3 bruce minney Illustration for Men's World magazine, c. 1967-1972 bruce minney

homestead steel strike STAG-Dec-1965

Homestead steel strike STAG-Dec-1965

MALE - 1960

MALE – 1960

The Wild Raid Of Gibbon’s Lace Panty Commandos

The Wild Raid Of Gibbon’s Lace Panty Commandos, Mans Book cover

Tonight We Hit The Nazis’ Torture Train 3695

Tonight We Hit The Nazis’ Torture Train 3695, New Man cover

Vile Secrets Of Hitler’s Hideous Torture Rites

Vile Secrets Of Hitler’s Hideous Torture Rites

The winner of numerous awards and the shaper of men and boys for a generation or better, he died on August 5, 2013.

Extensive collections of his work are online at Mens Pulp Mags and Pulp Covers while (Bruce’s son-in-law) Thomas Ziegler’s Bruce Minney: The Man Who Painted Everything book is about the best source of information there is on the man and his works.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Combat Gallery Sunday: Give us the Mort, Part IV

As you are probably aware, I am a huge pulp art and military art fan. One of the best there ever was in the business is the famous Mort Kunstler. In the past I’ve posted several of the Master’s works in the pulp art category from the 1950-60s and have found enough (new to me) ones to make a fourth extensive post. As always with this blog, “click to big up” and feel free to save for posterity.

Without further “adoo”…bring on the Mort!

The Trap

The Trap

The Decoy Mort Künstler  Source Heritage Auctions Stag magazine illustration, September 1958 http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-the-nude-decoy-stag-magazine-illustration-september-1958-gouache/p/699-116003.s#1200412004148 Note this is Mort's wife Deborah.

The Decoy by Mort Künstler. Source Heritage Auctions Stag magazine illustration, September 1958  Note this is Mort’s wife Deborah.

The Amazon’s Forbidden Stone Age World Mort Künstler  Source Heritage Auctions http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-the-amazon-s-forbidden-stone-age-world-male-or-stag-magazine-cover-/p/699-116019.s#1200412004168

The Amazon’s Forbidden Stone Age World by Mort Künstler Source Heritage Auctions

One Man Army They Call ‘The Cong Buster’ Mort Künstler  Source Heritage Auctions http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-one-man-army-they-call-the-cong-buster-male-magazine-cover-circa/p/699-116013.s#1200412004174

One Man Army They Call ‘The Cong Buster’ Mort Künstler Source Heritage Auctions

Night of the Hyenas Male magazine cover, March 1969 Mort Künstler  Source Heritage Auctions  http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-night-of-the-hyenas-male-magazine-cover-march-1969-gouache-on-bo/p/699-116007.s#1200412004152

Night of the Hyenas Male magazine cover, March 1969 Mort Künstler Source Heritage Auctions

FOR MEN ONLY, March 1963, art by Mort Kunstler Rich Oberg Collection

FOR MEN ONLY, March 1963, art by Mort Kunstler Rich Oberg Collection

Harm's Way, Mort Künstler Stag magazine cover, November 1964 showing Sinking of the Yamato Source Heritage Auctions http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-harm-s-way-stag-magazine-cover-november-1964-gouache-on-board/p/699-116017.s#1200412004302

Harm’s Way, Mort Künstler Stag magazine cover, November 1964 showing Sinking of the Yamato Source Heritage Auctions

Jumping Wildman of the 82nd Airborne, Mort Künstler For Men Only magazine cover, February 1964 Source Heritage Auctions  http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-jumping-wildman-of-the-82nd-airborne-for-men-only-magazine-cover-fe/p/699-116011.s#1200412004154

Jumping Wildman of the 82nd Airborne, Mort Künstler For Men Only magazine cover, February 1964, Source Heritage Auctions

mort headhunters

Headhunters

mort

Captured by the Chief, Stag cover, February 1967 Mort Künstler. Source: Lewis Wayne Gallery who currently has this piece for auction http://www.ebay.com/itm/MORT-KUNSTLER-STAG-MAGAZINE-COVER-CAPTURED-BY-THE-CHIEF-ORIGINAL-ART-1967-/390508753317 . Just where was the chief keeping that 1911 anyway?

Captured by the Chief, Stag cover, February 1967 Mort Künstler. Source: Lewis Wayne Gallery who currently has this piece for auction. Just where was the chief keeping that 1911 anyway?

Arctic Ordeal on the Heartless Rock, True magazine illustration, 1964 Mort Künstler Source Heritage Auctions   http://fineart.ha.com/itm/illustration-art/mort-kunstler-american-b-1931-arctic-ordeal-on-the-heartless-rock-true-magazine-illustration-andlt-/p/699-116010.s

Arctic Ordeal on the Heartless Rock, True magazine illustration, 1964 Mort Künstler Source Heritage Auctions.

Combat Gallery Sunday: The martial art of Norem

Born in April 1924, a young man by the name of Earl Norem found himself as part of the first unit in the U.S. military trained to fight modern warfare in the mountains. This group, the famed 10th Mountain Division, became Earl’s home once he joined the U.S. Army in World War Two.

snosoldr

The 10th Mountain saw hard combat up and down the Italian boot at places like the North Apennine Mountains, where their training came in handy. In those craggy peaks men fought hand-to-hand, waist deep in snow at times. The 10th participated in some of the last bayonet charges of that war, clearing the mountains one inch at a time. Norem was a 20-year old squad leader. His war ended with a wound picked up in the madness that was the Po Valley.

Coming home after the conflict, he became an illustrator. Using acrylics, he crafted work for Marvel on the early Silver Surfer (Kirby’s, you know, the only real Silver Surfer) and on books in the He-Man, Tales of the Zombie and Planet of the Apes.

If it wasnt for Norem, the Damned Dirty Apes may not have ever made it to the big screen

If it wasnt for Norem, the Damned Dirty Apes may not have ever made it to the big screen

white tiger earl norem

Nice British Lanchester SMG

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Well old Norem also gave pulps a try and did a great job,

Perhaps the widest submarine ever, but hey, Norem is a mountain troop, not a bubblehead.

Perhaps the widest submarine ever, but hey, Norem is a mountain trooper, not a bubblehead. More importantly, what is going on in that forward torpedo room?

earl norem

Why yes those are zombies…in a hurricane…in a life raft…what else could it be?

Pesky Nazis hiding out in South America was a reoccurring theme in 1960s pulp

Pesky Nazis hiding out in South America was a reoccurring theme in 1960s pulp. You also have to love the fact that the SS oberts still has his boots on but no pants.

Seems possible

Seems possible

Norem had first hand knowledge of all the small arms seen on this cover from Action For Men

Norem had first hand knowledge of all the small arms seen on this cover from Action For Men

Courtsey Comicfans

Courtesy Comicfans

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Vietnam era Norem

Vietnam era Norem. Get some M60 love

Union Bank Robbery. Great depiction of the Tommy guns.

Union Bank Robbery. Great depiction of the Tommy guns.

You can really tell that the artist knew his way around some firearms by the way they are depicted in his work.

Then of course there are the Mars Attacks series that he illustrated for Topps back in the 1960s

Ack Ack! And yes, these were sold to kids in the 1960s. Back when the gum actually tasted good.

Ack Ack! And yes, these were sold to kids in the 1960s. Back when the gum actually tasted good.

Mars-Attacks-Invasion-Gangster-Squad-Topps-Earl-Norem

Norem is retired now but is still around at 90 years young. A living legend.

2012 norem

Note the 10th Mountain distinctive unit insignia on Mr. Norem’s ski cap in 2012. A true hero.

Combat Gallery Sunday: Some of the Best Pulp Fiction Covers..from Mort

Mort Künstler is one of the most respected military art masters in modern US history. Odds are if you have ever stopped and admired a Civil War painting, it may have come from Mort.

You may recognize his art from this painting of the CSS Hunley just before its last mission

You can almost feel the tension in the air for those brave submariners on this human powered submersible

You can almost feel the tension in the air for those brave submariners on this human powered submersible

Or in his more modern works such as this one of the Alaska Air National Guard

Guarding for polar bears while your C130 on skies unloads supplies. I'm cold just looking at this...

Guarding for polar bears while your C130 on skies unloads supplies. I’m cold just looking at this…

But what you may not know is that he cut his teeth on a whole ‘nother category of military art.
Born in 1931, he started off doing covers for men’s adventure magazines (aka pulp fiction type books) in the 1950s and 60s. Although he often used pen names, some of his better works he signed his own to and they are just really great stuff.

Nothing like a M1 Garand, a M1918 BAR, pineapple grenades, and belts of 30.06 LMG food to put some swagger on your cigar

Nothing like a M1 Garand, a M1918 BAR, pineapple grenades, and belts of 30.06 LMG food to put some swagger on your cigar

With that in mind, what follows is a few of his works from back in the pulp days. You see a lot of Tommy Guns, and a good bit of guest appearances from BARs, M1s, M3 Grease guns, Short Magazine Lee Enfields, and of course, Luger P08s.

Enjoy!

the luger has been a staple of pulp fiction for decades as seen in this 1950s illustration by Mort Kuntsler mort 11 mort 10 mort pulp 9 mort 8 mort 6 mort pulp 5 mort cover mort pulp 4 mort pulp cover mort pulp cover 2 mort pulp cover 3

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