Gross Women in Crime by Gross, George Pulp Master
Do these look like illustrations from a Montgomery Ward Catalog? Hmmm. George Gross fell a little way from the tree, as his father David Gross was a fashion illustrator who sold work to Monkey Ward quite a bit. Maybe that slight twist separating father from son was the eye impairment George suffered from, a vision problem significant to keep him from serving in World War Two. Makes his work all that more remarkable…and it was immediately after the war his paintings helped define the growing middle-class market for exciting, eye-catching periodical. George did covers intended to entice and sell.
The post-war market for magazines was huge, and to capture attention, to stand out, to force that quarter out of the consumer, it took a master.
He first had success with detective and crime titles such as above, in the late 1930s, but he was still doing them a decade later. He did a five-year stint at Women In Crime. The graphic and dicey title was published by Hanro in NYC.
George worked continuously for decades. As late as 1987 he was creating work for the Nick Carter Paperbacks, and he lived to 94 years old!
The nice, crisp copy of Women In Crime (the Queen of he Stag Party Strippers) I found this weekend for three bucks, and the grizzled fellow who took my money pressed his finger down on the magazine cover to say "That's the one."
Just for record, there are some 2 million violent female offenders annually in the U.S. The ones stripping at stags? You don't really have to lock then up anymore.
Group of covers for True Stories of Women in Crime for Hanro
Jim Linderman Books (and affordable Ebooks) are HERE