Saturday, 28 March 2015

Digest Photo/Art Reference pictures !

These fantastic Digest books in most cases have exceptional cover artwork, but not all good artists use photo's for inspiration, some just used their imagination, others like you will see below used B/W professional model photo's to get the required image the book company had requested .

I have hunted through old Detective mags and the early digest pulps to find these images and then try and locate the cover where the image was finally used. Sometimes I see a photo and it can take me days to track that cover down, sometimes it drives me mad because I recognize the photo but just cannot find the digest cover it was published with.

These below are the ones I have located so far and where I can I will list the publication where the photo was found and the digest book in question.

1 - Quarter Book #79 

      Pin-Up girl B/W Photo taken from page 39 'Best True Fact Detective' Magazine from Story 'Hercules and The Pin-Up Girls' May 1952.

2 - Venus Book #154

B/W Female photo taken from back cover 'Farmer's Woman' - Venus Book # 172
Artwork by Raymond Johnson.

3 - Cameo #301 & Ecstasy #11

B/W photo taken from Quarter Book # 87 'Ticket To Passion' 

Same photo inspiration with guy lighting the ladies cigarette and in both cases she has control as she is holding his wrist. On the Cameo version she is a hot redhead and she has gone blonde bombshell on the Ecstasy edition.

4 - Croydon Book #41 

Inspiration B/W photo shows female model and the artist himself Bernard Safran pouring the young lady a drink !

5 - Quarter Book # 46 

B/W Pin-up photo taken from inside Ecstasy Novel 'Harlot In Her Heart' # 03/1950.

6 - Carnival Book # 909

Photo taken from back cover Venus Book # 158 'Girl On Parole'

7 - Exotic Novel # 1949/12

B/W Pin-up photo taken from inside pages of 'Paula Has A Price' Ecstasy novel # 01/1950

Art by Fred Claude Rodewald 

8 - Quarter Book # 88.

Photo found inside Venus Book #108 'Cutie' . Hair changed from brunette to blonde, her top from black to animal print (note her sleeve cuffs are diamond cut in both) and for added spice a bottle of booze in the artwork !

9 - Star Novel # 762 

B/W Photo taken from back cover 'Shanty Girl' Venus Book # 159

Artwork by Rudy Nappi 

10 - Quarter Book # 36

B/W Pin-up girl photo was inside 'Quarter Book' Frisco Dame # 80 .
Book cover art by Fred Claude Rodewald.

11 - Quarter Book # 22

Photo model shot taken from inside pages of 'Paula Has A Price' Ecstasy Novel # 01/1950 

Artwork by Fred Claude Rodewald

12 - Exotic Novel # 04/1949 

Photo of model leaning against wall is taken from inside Exotic Novel 04/1950 'Once There Was A Virgin' this was used as inspiration art for Fred Claude Rodewald and previously used on the first ever Exotic book cover 'Pay For My Kiss' .

13 - Ecstasy Novel # 01/1950 

The red hot smoking blonde photo found inside 'Detective Annual 1951' and proved to be another art inspiration for Fred Claude Rodewald and used on cover Ecstasy Novel 'Paula Has A Price'.

14 - Venus Book # 112 

Another red hot smoking blonde bombshell (Below) painted by George Gross and used on cover 'Temptation' in 1950 and the very close reference photo which I found when I purchased 'Smash Detective-Crime Cases' magazine from Jan 1951. The girl has a cigarette in her mouth and the guy in the back ground does not in the photo image but her dress, hair and ankle straps on her shoes gives the game away!

So there you go, sometimes even great artists just need a little inspiration, sometimes it is just a guide like the one directly above and other times an exact copy. More to follow as I match them up by flicking through countless early books and mags !


  1. Your dedication to the world of sleazy books and cover art is inspiring me to do better on my blog. My next post will be in your honour sir. Keep up the good work...

    1. Thank you John, very kind of ya mate ! Your blog is a belter, always a superb read !