Re: RARA-AVIS: "A Hangman's House Mystery"

mark monlux (
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 08:56:30 -0700

Dear Scott,

I recieved the same paperback in a blind bulk purchase I made a few years ago. The artwork is definitly different. Usually when cover art is done in a non-realism manner it is through he use of airbrush. This one was done with watercolor. Composition wise, there are a few fun things goin on: the window where the eye should be for example. But there are tons of things that just don't work right. The hard edge of a wall almost severing the silhoette head effect. The swirl that comes from the outline of the head but is cropped so badly that they look like irregular rings. Another severe seperation where the tree roots look like a quick cut with an exacto knife was taken to it.

Now, as a professional illustrator I can see just what is happening here. This is not the artist's layout. The artist has a saddle on his back and someone is giving them firm uncompormising direction on what to draw. Having gone through this experience myself I know how it can reflect in the art.

I would love to see another issue in this series. I read on the inside backcover that "Fit to Kill" by Hans C. Cowen was another Hangman's House Mystery. I would like to see if they used the same artist for the cover of that book. If they did, and if the art reflected the same type of "riding" then I think it would be a fair assumption that there was an overbearing editor involved. I believe that such preconcieved layouts (usually thought up from a non-art trained background) are usually only enforced by those extremely close to the story.

I haven't read this book yet. Do you recommend it?

>On a recent vacation, I picked up a copy of "Death Gets a Head" by A.R.
>McKenzie that part of "A Hangman's House Mystery" series.
>The slightly oversized paperback features a Salvador Dali like cover
>picture of a sereved head. The copyright reads 1942 and indicates the
>paperback is "Slightly condensed". The publisher is "Journal of Living" by
>arraignment with Phoenix Press.
>Couple of questions"
>1) What is "A Hangman's House Mystery" series?
>2) Who is AR McKenzie?
>3) Does anyone know more about this book?


Monlux Illustration Home of the Creative Mind 7622 South Yakima Avenue Tacoma, Washington 98408-5315

Phone 800-574-Mark Fax 800-574-Draw

e-mail: website: ICQ# 17101548

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 12 Aug 1999 - 11:42:30 EDT