Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blue Book Artists

I want to pass along some links to a dandy blog I visit on a frequent basis, Today's Inspiration. It focus on illustration -- for magazines, books, whatever -- and the illustrators who have made their mark in our cultural awareness of our world. Many of them toiled away, basically unknown -- not everyone became a household word like Norman Rockwell.

My reason for pointing to this blog today is that its creator, Leif Peng, has focused a number of posts on illustrator Austin Briggs. Briggs toiled in the pulp magazines -- primarily Blue Book -- and followed Alex Raymond as artist on the Flash Gordon newspaper strip, before moving to the slicks.

Peng looks primarily at Briggs' work for the slicks, then launches into profiles of artists who worked on Blue Book. This latter was a pulp magazine -- bibliographer Mike Ashley has called it a slick in pulp clothing (I may be misquoting here, but you get the idea) -- that published a lot of western fiction, including by big western names like Max Brand and Luke Short. (To be honest, I'm not sure off the top of my head whether Max Brand/Frederick Faust published any westerns in Blue Book. I don't have my Max Brand Companion close to hand to check the bibliography there, but I know he published at least two adventure stories there -- at least one a serial, Luck of the Spindrift.)

Here are the links to Today's Inspiration's posts looking at Briggs.

AUSTIN BRIGGS at Today's Inspiration:
The Obstinate Briggs Standard

Development Through Struggle

Merciless in his Scrutiny

Regarded an an Important Young Illustrator

The Discovery of Self

BLUE BOOK ARTISTS at Today's Inspiration:

The Artists of Blue Book: John Fulton

The Artists of Blue Book: Hamilton Greene

The Artists of Blue Book: Maurice Bower

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