John A. Haelen: Illustration for “Harbor Luck” (1926)
I encountered this nice painting in an Illustration House auction listing. Biographical information on Haelen is hard to come by. I’ve found other illustrations from the late 1920s, but the only other reference I turned up was in the directory of “notable residents” of Portland, Oregon’s Lone Fir Cemetery. It lists Haelen as a “national illustrator” and says he worked for the Portland Oregonian.
The brushwork and vignetting style are reminiscent of Dean Cornwell, who exerted a mighty influence on 1920s magazine illustrators.
Giorgio Trevisan: Portrait of Julia (n.d.)
Julia is the heroine of a long-running comics series from Sergio Bonelli Editore. The heroine is Julia Kendall, a criminologist in the north-eastern US. Her appearance was (obviously!) based upon Audrey Hepburn. Created by noted comics author Giancarlo Berardi in 1998, Julia is still running. It’s noteworthy for the quality of its stories and artwork. Many different artists have worked on Julia, including Trevisan. I believe this may have been the cover of an issue.
Giorgio Trevisan—Portrait of Ken Parker (n.d.)
Giorgio Trevisan, now pushing 80, had a long and extremely diverse career in comics. Like other artists of his generation he started in the Roy D’Ami shop, then went solo in the 1960s. He’s drawn for English, French, and Italian publications.
Ken Parker was the hero of an Italian Western series that began in 1977 and ran for twenty years. Published by Sergio Bonelli, Ken Parker was a kind of “new wave” western with edgier stories and a more “modern” outlook than Bonelli’s flagship Western, the venerable Tex. Ivo Milazzo was the founding artist, but others occasionally worked on the series, including Trevisan.
I believe this watercolor was used for the cover of a Ken Parker book.
Walter Seaton: Football on the Radio (late 1920s?)
I can’t find biographical info on Seaton. He was active in advertising illustration in the late 1920s, showing a nice impressionist-influenced painting style similar to Pruett Carter’s early style. He did nice color work, but most of the printed samples I’ve seen have been either monochrome or two colors.
Walter Molino: Gina Lollobrigida and the Horses (date unknown)
I sure would like to know the story behind this Molino illustration. Maybe he just “cast” Gina in a illustration that had nothing to do with her. Like many of Molino’s illustrations, this seems to have been rendered first in grey, and the color worked over the top in transparent washes. I’ve never seen an original in person so I’m not sure.
Walter Molino: Clumsy Dancers (date unknown)
Walter Molino was a towering figure in Italian comics and illustration as well. Classically trained in Milan, he began drawing comics and political cartoons in the mid-1930s. Soon he was providing art for some of the period’s best-known comic serials, among them “Zorro della Metropoli,” “La Campagnia dei Sette,” “Virus” and “Capitan l’Audace.” All were marked by his exceptional draughtsmanship and flair for character.
In the early forties Molino began doing covers and illustrations for the Domenica del Corriere.He kept busy for another two decades, retiring from comics in the 1960s. He died in 1997.
It’s a fatal combination: a Sharpie, a piece of paper, and too much time…
John H. Striebel: Dixie Dugan (1928)
A Chicago-based newspaper artist, John Striebel illustrated a “racy” story about a young girl adrift in Tinseltown of the 1920s. “A Showgirl in Hollywood” starred Dixie Dugan, whose appearance Striebel based upon (obviously) Louise Brooks. Author J. P. McEvoy sold the property as a daily newspaper strip, Dixie Dugan. Striebel went along as artist. Strangely, Dixie almost immediately abandoned Hollywood and the strip became a rather mundane career girl tale. Striebel died in 1962; Dixie Dugan lasted four more years before folding in 1966.
Ron Harris: Dark Chocolate Covered Australian Ginger (ca. 2005)
The stuff tasted awful.
Aldo di Gennaro: Solitude
I have no idea what the story is behind this evocative watercolor (the title is mine), but it’s a tiny masterpiece of color and composition.