Sunday 16 March 2008

Glen Orbik: New Pulp Art Done Right

A while ago I talked about the problem of trying to do new art for old pulp books, and how easily it is to do it wrong. Well, here's an example of an artist who does it exactly right.

Glen Orbik has done a lot of work for DC Comics (like Phil Hale) and has also recently become one of the most prolific cover artists for Hard Case Crime. This is a relatively small, new publisher specialising in reprints of excellent old pulp novels, and new books in a similar style.

Here are some of Orbik's covers for Hard Case. You'll want to click for a bigger version to get the full glory.

The only criticism that can be made here is that, unlike pulp cover artists of the past, Orbik has obviously actually read the books he's illustrating, as the scenes on the cover do actually match events inside the books. It should also be said that the Axelrod, Miller, Faust and Goodis books in particular are great.

Another great recent work by Orbik is this cover for a new pulp novel called, wonderfully, Space Vulture. It so matches the old science-fiction pulp covers that I at first thought someone had merely repurposed an old cover from the 1930s or 1940s.

This book, which I have not yet read, should be well worth seeking out. First of all, the great Gene Wolfe likes it. Secondly, how often do you see pulp science-fiction co-written by a genuine Catholic archbishop? His other publications (such as Ecclesial Ministries Within the Diocese: Development and Integration and An Examination of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body) are for a very different audience.


That Hank said...

"Money Shot" and "The Max" are especially good.

JRSM said...

I'm with you on 'Money Shot'--haven't yet read 'The Max', but I'm looking forward to it.