Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · The Brothers Hildebrandt

Look Here: The “Three Damosels” trilogy with cover art by the Brothers Hildebrandt

Way back in high school, I briefly became interested in the work of the Brothers Hildebrandt, although I must say, even though I spent my very own hard-earned money on Urshurak and The Art of the Brothers Hildebrandt, I could never quite muster the same enthusiasm for them that I had — and still, in a much-qualified sense, have — for Frazetta.

The following three covers are typical of the style of the Brothers Hildebrand in the late 1970s. The influence of N.C. Wyeth is obvious here, but once one discovers the work of Wyeth himself, the art of the Brothers Hildebrandt simply will not do…


Keywords: The Green Knight, The King’s Damosel, King Arthur’s Daughter, Vera Chapman, Tim Hildebrandt, Greg Hildebrandt.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Harry Bennett · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: Four covers with art by Harry Bennett

From the collection of yours truly, here are four covers with art by Harry Bennett that seem to me to encapsulate the stylistic trajectory of the artist’s vast body of work in illustration from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, although the early 1970s is not when Bennett’s career/development ended, by any means:


When Bennett died in 2012, his family wrote the following tribute to their beloved patriarch:

Award-winning painter and illustrator Harry R. Bennett, formerly of Ridgefield, died early Thursday, November 29, 2012, from complications of pneumonia at The VA Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

He had lived with his daughter, Pamela Bennett and wife Margaret Shean in Towson, Maryland.

Harry Bennett was born May 15, 1919 in South Salem, NY. His father was a native Ridgefielder whose roots in Ridgefield went back to the 18th Century. Bennett was born months after his own father, Harry Bennett, died of the 1918 flu epidemic. His mother Anna Karlson raised the family earning income by operating a laundry business. The family moved to Gilbert street when Harry was a year old.

He had two sisters, Dorothy Bennett Carboni and Lillian Bennett Bliss.

A 1937 graduate of Ridgefield High School, he starred in athletics, was the captain and center for the RHS basketball team that reached the semifinals in the state championship and was president of his class.

Mr. Bennett was a commercial artist for the Magazine Photo Engraving Corp., Stamford when he enlisted in the Army in November, 1940. He graduated from the Infantry Officer Candidate School in May 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant, and promoted to first lieutenant the same year. Major Bennett was a veteran of the Hollandia operation, in which Gen Douglas MacArthur’s forces cut off the entire Japanese 18th Army, and in which Major Bennett himself won the bronze star.

In 1945, Bennett married Margaret Shean in Ridgefield, Ct, where they lived until 1985. After the war, his wife encouraged him to attend art school and to follow his passion for painting. Mr. Bennett attended both The Art Institute of Chicago and The American Academy of Art Chicago for two years, until he started working as a commercial artist. He illustrated ads for Buick, Pepsi Cola and U.S. Keds.

He lived and worked in what is now known as the Bennett House on Main St. in Ridgefield. He would use his family and neighbors as models for over 1,000 book covers and illustrations over the years.

Mr. Bennett was best known as an internationally published illustrator who painted large scale covers for the big publishers of the paperback industry at the time including, Simon and Schuster, Western Printing and Avon Press. He did covers for various authors including, Jude Deveraux, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. He also illustrated the first paperback edition of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.

The New York Society of Illustrators awarded Harry Bennett a bronze medal for the ink paintings he created to illustrate a boxed collectors’ edition of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” published in 1966, in which he was granted him a one man show at The New York Public Library.

In 1986, Mr. Bennett retired from his commercial work and traveled out West, painting and teaching. He lived in Corvalis and Cannon Beach, Oregon, until finally settling down in a small riverfront town named Astoria in 1989.He was drawn to the landscape there and moved into a small house overlooking the Colombia River. He had a studio downtown where he spent most of his time.

Bennett exhibited his paintings in Astoria, where his work continues to be shown. Jeannine Grafton, director of the RiverSea Gallery, remembers Bennett as a passionate, enthusiastic artist with a “youthful zest for life.”

Harry was compassionate, warm and always interested in engaging with new people. Teri Sund, who was a good friend of Mr. Bennett’s and helped run RiverSea Gallery before opening her own gallery, recalls, “He was the most honorable and graciously sincere human I have ever had the privilege to know. When Harry was in the room, their were no worries, we all felt safe and cared for when he was around.”

Harry had a strong work ethic, always wanted to be painting or preparing for a painting. He was a great mentor to young artists, including his daughter Deborah and Thomas who are also painters.

In 2008, Harry Bennett and Margaret Shean moved to Towson, MD to be closer to his family on the East Coast.

In addition to his wife of 67 years, Margaret Shean, he is survived by two daughters, Deborah Bennett of Atlanta and Pamela Bennett of Towson and three sons, Harry Bennett Jr. of Canyon Country, CA, Michael Bennett of West Palm Beach, FL and Thomas Bennett of Brooklyn, NY. He is survived by eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Keywords: A Daughter’s a Daughter by Agatha Christie, Mary Westmacott, Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist, The Savage by Noel Clad, The Last Love by Thomas B. Costain, Harry Bennett.

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

Look Here: Four mysteries from the ’40s from Pocket Books

The following paperbacks, inexpertly scanned by me from the collection of yours truly, were all printed in the early 1940s. The covers, unfortunately, are all uncredited. The artwork for William Irish’s Phantom Lady, however, is clearly signed by artist Leo Manso…


“William Irish” was a pseudonym of Cornell Woolrich, “Carter Dickson” was John Dickson Carr, and “Agatha Christie” was Agatha Christie.

Keywords: The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie, Phantom Lady by William Irish, Cornell Woolrich, Peril at End House by Agatha Christie, The Bowstring Murders by Carter Dickson, John Dickson Carr, Leo Manso.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Paul Lehr

Look Here: Two SF novels and a political thriller covered by Paul Lehr

So many covers to scan… so little time…


Keywords: Separation by Richard Rohmer, Nightmare Journey by Dean R. Koontz, Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke, Paul Lehr.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Darrell K. Sweet · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: A classic trilogy with classic cover art by Darrell K. Sweet

Illustrator Darrell K. Sweet (1934-2011) was a reliable image maker who, it seems to me, tended to strive for a kind of old-fashioned naturalism in his fantasy and science fiction paintings but whose finished work often appeared slightly (and sometimes, especially in his later years, more than slightly) cobbled together and stiff. Once in a while, however — the period from late 1970s to the early 1980s was definitely the sweet spot — the artist managed to break through to a more expressive (and cohesive) version of his basic style. Sweet’s 1978 covers for Stephen R. Donaldson’s first “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever” trilogy, for instance, were among the finest of his career, and compare favourably with the work of his heroes from the so-called “Golden Age of Illustration.” And look here! I’ve just scanned them — from the 1983 reprints I recently acquired to replace my disintegrating 1978 originals — for you to admire:


Classic covers for a classic trilogy! What more can one ask for?

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Milton Glaser

Look Here: Two plays by Shakespeare with cover art by Milton Glaser

I only have two battered volumes of the Signet Classic Shakespeare Series of paperbacks with cover art in pen and ink and wash by Milton Glaser in my book collection, but they are definitely worth scanning for display here, so… voilà!



If Glaser’s drawing for the cover of The Tempest looks vaguely familiar to you, it might be because you’ve seen Glaser’s famous psychedelic poster of Bob Dylan, created for the release of Dylan’s 1967 “Greatest Hits” album…

Keywords: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Milton Glaser.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · J. Lombardero · Look Here

Look Here: Five Sax Rohmer novels with cover art by J. Lombardero

I’ve posted scans of two of the following covers before, so in order to add value, I’ve rescanned one of the repeats and scanned the other from a duplicate copy that I have in my collection:


I’m certainly no expert on the publication history of the novels of Sax Rohmer, but it seems unlikely to me that they have ever been as attractively and appropriately packaged as they were when Pyramid was the publisher and Joe Lombardero was the cover artist. Sad to say, but sans Lombardero, Pyramid embraced a far more pedestrian design for their Sax Rohmer books (not that the actual readers of the books probably cared one way or the other). Here, for instance, is Pyramid’s edition of Emperor Fu Manchu, with art by Len Goldberg, that was published in the same year, 1966, as four of the five paperbacks posted above with art by Lombardero:

Oddly enough, around the same time, Sax Rohmer and Pyramid Books got a bit of “free” publicity from International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York:

Unfortunately, librarians have often used exactly the same argument that the folks at ITT deploy in that advertisement to defend Corpsman C. Sanders’ preference for Fu Manchu over Hamlet to defend the inclusion of comics in library collections…

But anyway, no publicity is bad publicity, right?

Keywords: Brood of the Witch-Queen, The Dream Detective, The Golden Scorpion, The Green Eyes of the Bast, The Yellow Claw, Sax Rohmer, J. Lombardero, Len Goldberg.

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

Look Here: Four ’40s paperbacks by Hammett, with cover art by various hands

None of the following paperbacks by Dashiell Hammett includes a credit for the cover artist, but the languorous signature of H. Lawrence Hoffman is clearly visible in the lower left-hand corner of the “Pocket Book Editions” of Red Harvest and in the lower-middle of The Thin Man. Several websites give Gerald Gregg the nod for the cover of Dead Yellow Women, so let’s just say that one is by that guy (unless and until someone proves otherwise). And last but not least, the cover art for The Glass Key is signed “MANSU” in the lower right, a solid clue that ought to lead to an attribution, except that I have no idea who Mansu is, and neither, if Google is to be believed, does anyone else. But maybe you can help…?


UPDATE (19 July 2014):

Turns out, the cover art for The Glass Key is not signed “MANSU.” Rather, the signature is “MANSO,” which is the surname of Leo Manso (1914-1993), who later made a name for himself as an abstract painter and collagist.

Keywords: The Thin Man, Red Harvest, Dead Yellow Women, The Glass Key, Dashiell Hammett, H. Lawrence Hoffman, Gerald Gregg, Leo Manso.

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

Look Here: DARK CRUSADE and five others with cover art by Frazetta

My books. My scans. You’re welcome.


Keywords: Conan the Warrior by Robert E. Howard, edited by L. Sprague de Camp; Into the Aether by Richard A. Lupoff; Bloodstone by Karl Edward Wagner; The Moon Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs; Dark Crusade by Karl Edward Wagner; Kane; The Silver Warriors by Michael Moorcock.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · John Berkey · Look Here

Look Here: A couple of lovely covers with atypical SF art by John Berkey

Scanned by me, as usual: