The Best Of The Worst
This is H.J. Ward’s cover for Spicy Detective 38-10 overpainted by Joe Szokoli as per the Pulp Checklist in H.J. Ward by David Saunders.
Joel beat me to the punch! I saw this yesterday and thought, “This cover is giving off an H.J. Ward vibe.” I was gonna post the comment yesterday, but got sidetracked. But I didn’t know about the Szokoli thing, so maybe it turned out for the best to wait for Joel to post…
I wonder why they had Szokoli paint over Ward?
From the Joseph Szokoli entry on Pulp Artists:
“When H.J.Ward entered military service and died unexpectedly in 1945, Donenfeld lost his top cover artist. Joseph Szokoli provided continuity to the cover designs by creating dozens of covers that resemble H. J. Ward’s sensational subjects and compositions. Szokoli’s versions are distinctly recognizable, because they are often painted with an airbrush. In this way he avoided the impracticle challenge of duplicating Ward’s masterful skill as an oil painter.”
That answers my question, “I wonder why they had Szokoli paint over Ward?” It also answers my wondering about the technique he used: airbrush.
Wanna see another H.J. Ward cover painted over by Joseph Szokoli?
What does Saunders’ list say about that one? The Pulp Artist web site says it’s Szokoli, but my eye says it was originally done by Ward and then painted over by Szokoli (now that I know his painting style).
Here’s the Ward cover for comparison:
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