Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer

If you like McGinnis's paperback covers, you probably want this DVD from Paul Jilbert. It's got a little of everything, from autobiography to a section on how McGinnis does a painting, and of course it's full of those wonderful cover illustrations and movie posters, as well as some of the gallery work. I came away impressed all over again by the range of McGinnis' work. I mean, at the same time he was doing those Carter Brown covers, he was illustrating stories for Guideposts. I think my favorite moment in the DVD is when Art Scott holds up his copy of Backwoods Teaser, but you might find something you like even better. Check it out here. You can watch a trailer and then order a copy. If you want to read more about it, you can read Jilbert's comments about the "making of" here.

And speaking of Art Scott, as I was, while my comments were sitting in the queue, Art sent me his own review of the DVD. Here it is:

Paul Jilbert's documentary film on Robert McGinnis -- eight years in the making -- is finally, almost unimaginably, completed and available on DVD. By way of full disclosure I should note that I've followed Paul's ups and downs in creating this film from the beginning, and also that I'm in the film (or at least there's this guy who kinda looks and sounds like me only with lots less gray hair).
The DVD is available directly from Paul at his website,; or from Bud Plant (
The film is a superbly made, comprehensive examination of Bob McGinnis's extraordinary life and career as one of America's premiere illustrators. If you know his work principally from his famous "McGinnis Girl" covers for paperback private eye series: Mike Shayne, Carter Brown, Shell Scott, Sam Durrell, etc., you will find that aspect of his work well-represented; but you will be astonished by the amazing range of his work outside the paperbacks: magazine illustration, Western art, movie posters, landscapes and nudes. If the film has a flaw, it is that there are so many images in such a variety of styles and genres that you can't absorb it all in one (or even several) viewings.
The most telling comment in the film -- and the truest -- is made by Don Smolen, Bob's art director at United Artists, "The only person who doesn't think Bob is a genius, is Bob."
Art Scott


Keith said...

That sounds awesome. I'll definitely have to check it out. I'm a big fan of the work of McGinnis.

Unknown said...

You'll love the DVD, then.