Monday, February 8, 2010

Four Square 341, 1959

Author : Henry Kuttner (ghosted by Cleve Cartmill?)
Title : Man Drowning
Cover art : Josh Kirby*

Josh Kirby's cover art for Man Drowning depicts a shapely, glowing blonde who seems to be floating in mid-air, and wearing a tight-fitting green dress with green high heels. Also in the cover are a giant undersea beast [a scorpion? or a bizarre rendering of seaweed?] and a figure of a dead man [at the bottom of the ocean?]. The style of the cover art represents a curious, Britishised attempt at a late vintage hard-boiled style, with strangely surrealistic results and a decidedly different look and feel from the prevailing American practice at the time.** The use of the rare color of green for the woman's dress and shoes is a nice change of pace. Man Drowning is sometimes attributed to ghost writer Cleve Cartmill.

* Any relation to Jack Kirby?
** Though to be sure there are overtones of the Mitchell Hooks collage style popular in the late 1950s.

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