Friday, February 22, 2013

The art of Seduction (of the Innocent)

If you're a comics fan, you certainly know the name Dr. Fredric Wertham, and have at least heard of his notorious book, Seduction of the Innocent. Wertham and his book were at the forefront of the anti-comic book movement of the 1950's. The good doctor is not a popular person in comic book circles -- so when Max Collins was looking for a murder victim for a crime novel set in the world of 1950's comic book publishing, the ol' doc  -- or a variation on him -- seemed a natural.  And when it came time to name the novel, well, why not just borrow ol' Fred's title?

Seduction of the Innocent is the third in the Jack and Maggie Starr mystery series.  The previous books, A Killing in Comics and Strip for Murder, had interior illustrations and cover art by me.  This time around, Glenn Orbik provides the (stunning!) cover (see above), while I still handle the interiors. Just published by Hard Case Crime, this is full of references to the classic EC crime and horror comics, as well as the Charles Biro crime comic books.

I thought I'd share some unseen art from the book's production. Below you'll see the rough sketch and finished drawing for Chapter Twelve.  I was rather pleased with this one -- but it didn't match up with the copy -- Jack should have been in suit coat here -- not trench coat.  So this was redrawn -- and the only place you'll see this version of the illo is here.

We had the same problem with Chapter Eight -- so in the published version Jack has shed his coat.  His lady friend is just as naked in both versions! I should note these drawings were all done digitally in Manga Studio.

There's a faux comic book cover that appears as a frontispiece in the book -- a crime comic from the fictional "EF" line.  Here is my rough sketch for same -- and a full color version seen for the first time here. 

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the art of Seduction... to see the rest of my drawings, you'll just have to buy the book!


Rainer F. Engel said...

Exellent stuff- The faux cover is right on the money!

Charles R. Rutledge said...

The book was great and your illustrations made it even more fun.