Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SCREW Issue #491, featuring cover artist Wallace Wood

Before I get any deeper into my stack of old SCREW covers, I should explain exactly how I came by that stack.

In late 2003, with bankruptcy looming, Al Goldstein's days as SCREW's publisher were drawing to a close. SCREW's offices, (which were stuffed full of Goldstein's personal possessions, as well as bound volumes of the SCREW archives) would soon be padlocked by the authorities. I had groused loudly about how SCREW's imminent bankruptcy would likely mean the loss of the archives, and now I was tipped off that if I didn't get my ass up to the SCREW offices right away, I'd miss my last chance to grab a stack of moldy old covers.

I arrived at SCREW's offices and witnessed a depressing scene of various Goldstein staffers scrounging through dusty cartons, heaps of clothes and other miscellaneous items. I found my way to the SCREW archives, and with my trusty utility knife, began hacking away at the bound volumes, freeing as many choice covers as I could. There was no time to do this systematically; I merely sliced out every SCREW cover that I deemed worthy of salvage, without stopping to take note of the issue dates. As a result, I've got a lot of choice SCREW covers, but when it comes to assigning dates, you're just going to get approximate guesses from me. If anyone has more precise information about any of the art you'll see on this blog, I implore you to share that info.

I should also point out that, while I managed to grab a sizable stack of choice SCREW covers, I'm sure there are many other nice ones that I missed. Again, if anyone has material that they'd like to add, I encourage you to send it my way.

SCREW #491, featuring cover art by legendary EC artist Wally Wood, is one of many covers which I can't date precisely. My best guess is that this cover dates from 1978 or slightly later, mainly owing to the cover line that reads "Hottest Porno '73-'78." Certainly this cover was drawn no later than 1981, when Wood killed himself.

This cover is typical of several SCREW covers Wood drew in this period. Far from his best work, the consummate draftsman Wood would appear to be hacking it out for a quick buck. Still, they're fun, and even bad Wally Wood art is still better than art by almost everyone else. I have at least one or two more Wood SCREW covers in my stack, and I'll post them at a later date.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SCREW Issue #1330, featuring cover artist Guy Gonzales

For our inaugural SCREW Magazine Cover Art post, let's check out Issue #1330, which features a delightful Times Square drawing by longtime SCREW contributor & living legend Guy Gonzales, (in this instance, using the cute pseudonym "Dan Johnson, Jr.").

I don't know exactly how many covers Guy drew for SCREW over the years, but he's certainly on the short list of most frequently-used cover artists, (along with Robert Schneck, Jim "Hak" Hopkins, Kaz, Ken Weiner-Avidor, Paul Kirchner, and myself).

Besides his considerable drawing talents, Guy brought his intimate knowledge of the old Times Square's inner workings to the cover of SCREW. There are lots of wonderful details here, which must've made for a dizzyingly complex color separation, (yep, we did 'em by hand in those days). My best guess is that this cover dates from the mid-1990s, but I could be off by a few years in either direction.