Illustration • Paperback
1950s-60s • While the early '50s rewarded Vic for his ability to draw and paint realistically, the late '50s gave him license to be innovative and experiment with technique and style. Next to magazine illustrations that allowed for generous compositions with room for detail, paperback covers were small: 7 x 4.5 inches, or less than 20 square inches, with the top 1/3 generally reserved for type. As such, paperback covers had to intrigue and have the dramatic power of a poster. Every publisher aimed for a signature look and within the same house different genres had different looks. Vic's versatility meant he could satisfy them all. Always on the lookout for the unusual effect that would make a cover stand out, he took special pleasure in creating situations that would require a double- take, if not a long study.
Scribner: author John Creasey, Thriller (1967)
Dell: author Mary Roberts Rinehart, Mystery
Dell: author Dan Cushman, Western (1957)
Paperback Library: Gothic (1963)
Dell: author A.A. Fair, Mystery (1971)
Vic painted more than 200 paperback book covers, ranging in style from
photo realistic to impressionistic and surreal. His techniques included watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink oil, pastel, torn tissue, woodcut, collage and manipulated photographs. Among his clients were: Avon, Berkley, Signet, Dell, Ace and Pocket Books.
© 2015 by Rebecca Kalin