The Spy Who oddities – Part 3

We left off discussing an abridged version of “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and I’m back after digging up another one.

From 1937 to the present Readers Digest condensed books have been providing shortened versions of the popular fiction of the day. The Winter 1964 release saw a collection of four novels.Included was “Flight of the Phoenix” by Elleston Trevor who later said he was inspired by TSWCIFTC to create his own iconic spy – Quiller. Most relevant though was “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”

We see a interesting biography of le Carré denying that he was any type of spy. One interesting bit I don’t recall reading elsewhere is the revelation that he wrote his books in bed. For some reason that strikes me as such a British thing to do.

At that time each story in Reader’s Digest was accompanied by several pieces of art inspired by novel. In this case the art was by David Stone Martin.

Martin was an artist well known for his jazz album art having created over 400 album covers for artists including Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald.

Bird&Diz.pngThesearetheBlues.jpg

Once you’ve seen his distinctive style his art is immediately recognizable. Ironically, like our previous artist, he also attended the Art institute of Chicago and his work is held in the collection there.

David Stone Martin also has a espionage connection. He spent part of World War II creating art for the Office of Strategic Services, commonly called the OSS and the forerunner of the CIA.

All of this information and more, including images of some of his great jazz art, can be found on the great pop culture website Voices of East Anglica. If you’re in need of a laugh, their post showcasing some cheap sixties era paperback book covers is well worth a look.

In his work for TSWCIFTC he gives us some very highly stylized versions of the characters done in a dramatically different way than Howard Terpning’s work.

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest
Of all the art he created for TSWCIFTC, the above picture is my favorite. It’s a strikingly dynamic image and easy to see this being a cover to the novel and why he was sought after for albums.

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Although he does have that “rode hard and put away wet” look I imagine Leamas having, I’m still not convinced this is our best version of the character.

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Although I’m not in love with his portraits of the characters from the novel, his drawings of vignettes from the book can be quite striking. This one in particular is great and really captures the violence of what I found to be a rather shocking scene.

Leamus makes contact

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

 

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest
This is another great one, and I sign of why DSM made such a great album cover artist. The perspective here is great. I would have loved to see him as a storyboard artist. He picks some quite interesting angles.

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Those poor communists. They can barely draw a crowd.

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

 

Not sure why this one in particular is in red other than Cold War! Russia!

Art by David Stone Martin from Readers Digest

I’ve got to say I really do love this little sketch. It really captures the feel of both moodiness of the book and what the wall looked like at the time.

Overall, some fascinating images and an interesting look at how books used to included artwork.

Come back next week for a look at le Carré in Mad Magazine. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s