Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Art Gallery: Black Mask

1937

1938

1937

107 comments:

Laurie Powers said...

Very nice! Maybe it's just my imagination, but these remind me a lot of the Black Mask covers from the very early days in the 20s.

Deka Black said...

I don't like the second cover. The girl is too static, too rigid. Is like the liquid she throws is a glass sculpture. also. Butnot all is bad: i like the colors.

Brian Drake said...

Those issues would be from the post-Shaw days when the editor, Fanny Ellsworth, wanted the magazine to be "softer" than the hard-edged style Joe Shaw favored. Hammett, Chandler, Paul Cain, and others, quit the magazine once Shaw was sacked, and it's interesting to see Daly show up because he had switched to Dime Detective by then, too.

Evan Lewis said...

I see what you mean, Laurie. These are more reminiscent of the very early covers than of the Shaw years or the later Popular Publications era.

I like that second one too, Deka, but it looks like something is missing. I have a feeling there was another gunman off to the right.

True, Brian. Race Williams had moved over to Dime, while Daly moved Satan Hall from Detective Fiction Weekly to Black Mask (if only for two stories). Satan seems a very strange fit for Fanny. These three covers are relatively nice, but I think of this late-30s post-Shaw period as Black Mask's ugly years.

Brian Drake said...

I don't know if I would call the post-Shaw years ugly, but it was certainly sad. An era had ended; however, Shaw's boys went on to set the world on fire in other ways. His contribution had been made.

Speaking of Shaw, my e-book, Reaper's Dozen, is dedicated to him because of his influence. The book will be available for the Amazon Kindle later this week but you can get it on Smashwords.Com right now. Just type "Brian Drake" in the search box.

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