Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Frank Frazetta · Illustration Art · Look Here · Movies

Look Here: MRS. POLLIFAX — SPY, with cover art by Frank Frazetta

I bought the following battered paperback for a buck at a church sale on the weekend:


The image on the cover is an aggressively cropped section of Frank Frazetta’s unusually expansive poster art for the movie Mrs. Pollifax — Spy (1971), which was based on the novel by Dorothy Gilman.

Here, for ease of comparison, are what the poster and the original art look like, more or less:

Notice how, in the poster image, someone or other — the art director? — not only has intensified the colour and contrast but also has moved the hand with the gun, camouflaged in the canopy of the tree in the original, down and slightly to the left, and trimmed back the foliage a bit, in order to make the “threat from above” ridiculously blatant, and I would argue that both changes work rather nicely; that is, the brighter colours seem to me to be more sympathetic to the comedic intent/content of the image — not to mention, more eye-catching — and the change in the position of the arm, etc., integrates the hidden, would-be assassin in a more satisfying way into the overall comedic situation.

(Oddly enough, on the paperback cover, the hand with the gun appears to be positioned more or less where Frazetta has it in his painting, though its effect in that instance — if one notices it at all — seems to me to be more unsettling than it is humorous.)

Notice also the variations in colour among the three images. I don’t know if Frazetta’s original painting is truly as subdued as it looks in that JPEG. What I do know, however, is that my scan at the top of this post matches my copy of the book quite well.

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