Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dangerous Art of Frank McCarthy

So I've recently stumbled across the work of an artist named Frank McCarthy. A commercial artist and illustrator by trade, McCarthy spent a lot of time in the 1960s doing movie poster work, which is how I ran across him. In later years, McCarthy did more "fine art" style paintings, mostly with Old West themes. And I like that stuff alright, but it's his movie poster art that's been blowing me away. Here's his poster art for one of our personal favorite B-flicks here on the Dork Forty, Danger: Diabolik!

For god's sake, click to embiggen!

Holy crap! Does that not look like the most exciting movie ever?! And, honestly, this isn't even McCarthy's best work. But it does show off his specialty: summing up all the action of a film into one big image. Or series of images, as in the case of his poster for The Dirty Dozen:

Again, click to embiggen.

Or with more of a "snapshot" effect for The Great Escape:

You know the drill...

I really like that one; it's astoundingly effective. But my favorite might just be this Escheriffic poster he did for the James Bond flick You Only Live Twice:

Definitely embiggen this one to get the full effect 

It's all great stuff. If your movie featured tough guys shooting guns, stuff blowing up, and a side garnish of hot chicks, Frank McCarthy was the man to make it look tens times as exciting as it already was. I found all of these pieces at the excellent Shoot 'Em Up Bang Bang site, which features a huge gallery of Frank McCarthy artwork. Go check 'em out! It's artwork so exciting, your heart may explode!

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