Classic Art: Story Illustrations, Part 1
By Harold Von Schmidt
“The word that she was to have a new boss—name of Bullwinkle—almost drove Tugboat Annie crazy. And as someone said: ‘When Annie acts crazy, somebody’d better start ducking!’” Yes, that unsinkable character Tugboat Annie began in The Saturday Evening Post. This illustration by Harold Von Schmidt leads to the question: whatever happened to these great paintings? But that’s another story. The caption reads: “‘Hey, Bullwinkle, ye wind-geared jackass!’ was Annie’s unladylike greeting. ‘Whyn’t ye get out an’ push?’” Gotta love her.
By Sam Bates
I wish I could count all the western stories that appeared in the Post over the years. This was “Gunslick” by Richard Wormser from 1954. The caption to artist Sam Bates’ illustration reads “Jack Gannon brought his hand too close to his gun, and Mel’s own iron was out and pointing. ‘You were saying, Mr. Gannon?’”
By Bob Hilbert
Sometimes I don’t know if it’s the artwork or the captions that grab me. The story is “Larcenous Lady” by William Fay from 1953 and the caption to the sexy illustration by artist Bob Hilbert says, “When he kissed her gently, she clung to him, murmured his name. He didn’t know she was also picking his pocket.” For more steamy images from romance fiction, see our Featured Artist piece on “Leading Ladies.” I’ll do more of these in the future.
By Amos Sewell
I have to show two illustrations from the 1953 story “The Dangerous Angel” by Clarence Budington Kelland. This lovely illustration has the caption: “‘Madam,’ said the young man, ‘nothing could make you more conspicuous than God and nature already have done.’” Oh, brother. As pick-up lines go, that one stinks. And… did he throw his jacket down for her?
By Amos Sewell
The artwork here and above from “The Dangerous Angel” was by Post cover artist Amos Sewell. His covers tended to be a bit more wholesome. This caption reports, “Hephzibah said, ‘A woman that’s built like you be is sure to come to a bad end.’”
By James Bingham
Yes, boys and girls, the decades of the 1940s through ’60s brought many a Perry Mason story to Saturday Evening Post readers. This 1959 Erle Stanley Gardner serial was “The Case of The Waylaid Wolf.” Perry, at least according to the caption, is losing patience: “Mason came bolt upright. ‘Wait a minute!’ he snapped. ‘Try and remember just what he said about O.K.’”
More story illustrations coming up soon.