Roger Kastel

Oct 27, 2014 by

Roger Kastel

kastel1Roger Kastel painted a cover for Doc Savage Omnibus 3 and the poster for the film, Doc Savage: Man of Bronze.

While still a student Roger had his first paperback book cover published in the 1960’s by Pocket Books (Simon Schuster). All told, Roger estimates that he has done over a 1,000 illustrations for various publishers. Also in the 1960’s, a painting of Roger’s won first prize from the National Fire Underwriters. This painting was made into a fire safety poster that was used for many years and had high visibility.

By the 1970’s Roger Kastel hit full stride as an artist, becoming one of the most well respected illustrators in the business, working for every major publishing house in New York. — Roger Kastel


kastelDoc Savage study by Roger Kastel. Prints for sale at RogerKastel.com

Joe DeVito wrote: “Thank God I ran into an illustrator named Ralph Amatrudi, who was very well disciplined in the Riley method. Riley was a modern-day Howard Pyle and the mentor of many tremendous artists (James Bama, who revolutionized paperback cover art and made Doc Savage famous again, Roger Kastel, who painted Jaws, Bob McGuire, and many others).”

ds1Ron Ely as Doc Savage by Roger Kastel. Prints for sale at RogerKastel.com

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Joe DeVito

Oct 26, 2014 by

Joe DeVito

joedevitoJoe DeVito (1957-present) has painted Doc Savage covers since 1991.

No matter the art, everything starts with drawing. Before I do anything else, I draw as many small sketches as necessary to arrive at a suitable composition. For any beginners reading this, this ‘thumbnail’ stage is of great importance. Most often illustrators, and artists in general, do not sit down and paint what comes to mind when their painting has specific criteria to meet. By doing loose little drawings, say 2”x3”, no time is wasted on unnecessary detail because you do not proceed until the overall composition is arrived at, or at least until an idea crystallized. At this stage you establish basic size relationships, shadow patterns, and the like with no effort at all. I never stop drawing until I have something which works. — Joe Devito, Notes on Painting

From Joe DeVito’s website: “It was while in the city, though, that his life-long love of dinosaurs and fantastic creatures began, with his first viewing of King Kong. A frequent visitor to the Museum of Natural History as a boy, his infatuation with all animals has never left him.”

DeVito was responsible for the look of Doc Savage for the Will Murray novels. His Doc was a bit older than Bama’s. His well-lined face was often seen in 3/4 profile. DeVito also produced a statue of Doc Savage based on the image from the cover of Python Isle.

From an interview at Papertiger: “DeVito:It was over ten years before I got a chance to sculpt something.

PS: So what happened to open the door in that area?

JD: I was painting the last of the Doc Savage book covers at the time and came in contact with Bob Chapman of Graphitti Design. He was one of the first to tap into the figurine market and was looking to produce a Doc Savage statue. I saw the opportunity and begged him to give me a shot, sight unseen. I convinced him that it would be a good tie-in to have the guy doing the covers sculpt the piece. I had nothing to show, but just knew that, if I had the chance, I could do it. Thankfully, at great risk to himself (if I had failed), he gave me a free hand to do whatever I wanted. The Doc/Python piece was the result. That kind of established me and I’ve been sculpting steadily ever since. ”

All of Devito’s Doc Savage covers are featured at DocSavage.Org

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Boris Vallejo

Oct 26, 2014 by

Boris Vallejo

Boris Vallejo (1941- ) painted six Doc Savage covers for Bantam.

Vallejo’s preferred artistic medium is oil paint on board, and has previously used digital media to combine discrete images to form composite images. Preparatory works are pencil or ink sketches — Wikipedia

Boris Vallejo

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Douglas Rosa

Oct 26, 2014 by

Douglas Rosa

William Douglas Rosa (1932-1977) painted two Bantam covers in the Doc Savage series: The Lost Oasis and The Land of Terror. Vincent diFate postulated that Rosa got the call to do the covers while James Bama was on his honeymoon.

Douglas Rosa was an illustration artist from Long Island, who began his career as a freelance artist at age 19. He is perhaps best known for his depictions of the Viet Nam War where he was among several artists given temporary commissions by the Marine Corps fine arts program to spend seven weeks sketching battlefield scenes. His most famous work portrays the beloved U.S. Marine Corps chaplain and Catholic priest Lt. Vincent Robert Capodanno (1929-1967) on a Viet Nam battlefield. Capodanno lost his life ministering to troops in the Quang Tin province of Vietnam. Rosa’s painting was presented in 1975 to the Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island, after Capodanno posthumously won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Rosa also has extensive credits for his western cowboy and science fiction illustrations and covers for popular books, including a series by fantasy author Talbot Mundy, as well as a series of Biblical scenes for The Living Story of the Old Testament by Walter Russell Bowie (1959). He worked in a realist style, and expressed a preference for “dramatic scenes and faces.” — George Glazer Gallery

A friend of Rosa’s, Cherane Pefly, wrote that Rosa passed away at the age of 42. I found a record of Rosa at the Long Island National Cemetery. Pefley also republished a flyer about Rosa:

rosa1

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James Avati

Oct 26, 2014 by

James Avati

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James Avati, 1912-2005, painted a single Bantam Doc Savage cover, Meteor Menace. According to Wikipedia, Avati “impressed Kurt Enoch at New American Library, a new paperback publishing house. He was a hit from the beginning and changed the style of cover painting by the early 1950s.”

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