Sunday, August 11, 2013

The BLACK MASK Art of Arthur Rodman Bowker

 "Heir to Murder" by James Duncan

I've been looking at Arthur Rodman Bowker's interior illos in Black Mask for a great many years, but wasn't particularly impressed by them until recently, when I separated a few from the magazine. Standing alone, in black and white, they have a power I had never noticed. These three illustrations were scanned from the August 1936 issue. More coming soon.

 "Homicide Cue" by Nels Leroy Jorgensen

"Border Blockade" by Roger Torrey

See more Bowker illos HERE.

Keith Deutsch has asked me to say that this artwork is copyright © Keith Alan Deutsch as successor to Popular Publications, Inc. Here you go, Keith!

6 comments:

David Cranmer said...

His art (like all divine art) enhanced these marvelous stories.

Richard R. said...

I's sure like to see his artwork collected in an affordable soft back format with knowledgeable commentary.

Evan Lewis said...

Bowker provided ALL the artwork for a whole lot of years (I should check how many) giving the mag a uniformly fine look. It's partly because it's so uniform that I eventually failed to appreciate each piece as a distinct drawing.

And yeah, a book would be great. Of course, someone with a lot more issues than me would have to submit their mags to a scanner.

Cap'n Bob said...

I don't know what medium he used (grease pencil?), but he got a lot of mileage from a few well-placed strokes.

Keith Alan Deutsch said...

I am delighted to hear how much other fans of Black Mask enjoy Arthur Rodman Bowker's wonderful line drawings. Thanks for scanning and posting them. Next time let me know what issues and years your posted art come from and I will send you copyright notices.

FOR CAPN BOB, AND OTHERS WHO WONDER ABOUT MR. BOWKER'S TECHNIQUE, ACCORDING TO THE GREAT BLACK MASK COVER ARTIST, RAFAEL DESOTO, WHO KNEW BOWKER, HE WAS THE FINEST EXPONENT OF DRYBRUSH INK DRAWING/PAINTING.

Lovely work, Dave Even Crockett Lewis!!!

Keith.

Gary said...

I started liking ARBs art way back in the late sixties when I started collecting pulps. I think his art is phenomenal into the early thirties and then mid-late thirties his style changed to heavier line and more angularity-still great-but different. Yes-agree that someone should do an illustrated bio. And for all of you that can't afford the high Mask prices for his work-look up late twenties Popular Magazine-he sometimes illustrated all stories