Monday, February 23, 2009

"...ain't nothin' in the world like a big-eyed girl..."

MEN'S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES, a bargain book from Taschen put out as one of their 25th anniversary selections, is an outstanding collection of covers from American men's magazines of 30 to 50+ years ago. As I went through it I couldn't help but notice one face repeated. Artist Clarence Doore used a very distinctive female model with wide, terrified eyes. On most of the covers she's in some sort of peril, either from animal or person, but on some she's actually the aggressor. On some covers she's blonde, or brunette, or even African! She also appears as twins or triplets.

I know nothing of Doore, but he was a good illustrator, and did a number of outstanding covers. That poor girl really went through a lot for him.



Teemu said...

That's a really, really terrific book.

William Hulsey's covers stood out for me like Doore's seem to have for you. They seemed even more preposterous. He had the same poor guy get attacked by all kinds of fierce and dangerous creatures like squirrels, small turtles or, say, a group of apparently cloned women...

One would think that such skilled illustrators could have strayed a little further from their references every now and then. :)

Harry Lee Green said...

As I go more into that book I notice more and more of the repeated models and motifs. I'm sure the illustrators were under tight deadlines and used whatever tricks they could to get the jobs in. Some might have been stereotyped based on ability to draw animals or sexy women. Sure is a fun book, highly recommended.

p spector said...

Always the guy who's either restrained or just a moment too late. I bet I could've saved her (except for the "Real Men" Palin-with-an-ax.)

You've been busy lately -- Your efforts to scan these and get them up does not go unappreciated.

dq405 said...

In this context, it's interesting to see Doore's cover painting for the March 1954 issue of AMAZING STORIES:

That man confonting the robot has exactly the same expression on his face as the women do on these men's magazines. :)

And by the way, thank you very much for the scans on this blog; I especially appreciate the early Jack Williamson stories in their original, magazine versions. Much gratitude!


Chuck Wells said...

I agree with theses other folks, HGE. This stuff is pretty cool!

And while there really " ...ain't nothin' in the world like a big-eyed girl..." a couple of big boobs aren't too bad either.

Harry Lee Green said...

Thanks again for the comments; it's nice to get feedback.

dq, I checked out the 1954 Doore AMAZING STORIES cover you linked and you are right about the eyes. I wonder if he used family members to pose, or if he used the same female model from his men's magazine covers to pose as the frontiersman?

rainie said...

clarence doore is my grandfather...he passed away in 1988...i was 7...i have distant memories of him....does anyone know how to get copies of these works???? i'd love to pass them on to his other grandkids!!!!