Spies, Nazis, Beautiful Women, Mobs, Daredevil Explorers, Heroes & Traitors In Incredible Adventure Artworks Of Mort Künstler – Design You Trust

Spies, Nazis, Beautiful Women, Mobs, Daredevil Explorers, Heroes & Traitors In Incredible Adventure Artworks Of Mort Künstler

Mort Künstler is best known today for his vivid paintings of scenes from American history, specifically the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. These works have been featured in books and calendars, and spotlighted in exhibitions around the country.

Less known is Künstler’s early work in men’s adventure magazines, a unique genre that populated newsstands from the 1950s through the late ‘70s. Also known as “men’s sweats,” because most covers featured a sweaty, shirtless guy facing some type of peril, scores of adventure titles vied for a reader’s attention with eye-popping headlines such as “Death Orgy of the Leopard Women” and “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!”

Men’s adventure magazines were the bastard child of the popular pulp magazines of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, and many of the artists who worked for the pulps also put paint to canvas for this next evolution, most famous among them being Norm Saunders. Numerous publishers saw an easy buck in the men’s adventure magazines, but none more so than Martin Goodman’s Magazine Management, whose titles included Male, Stag, Action For Men, Battlefield, Complete Man, For Men Only, Man’s World, and many others.

Künstler started working for the men’s adventure magazines shortly after graduating from Pratt Institute in the early 1950s.

“I was a hungry guy, and I was persistent,” he says. “I clicked with several [men’s adventure magazine] publishers, and it almost became a competition for my services. I ended up with Magazine Management mostly because they paid better and offered me as much work as I could handle.”

Künstler also did a lot of work for other publishers, whose titles included True, Argosy, Adventure, American Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post. The men’s adventure magazines specialized in lurid headlines and even more lurid covers, often depicting over-the-top war stories, daring tales of escape, deadly encounters with dangerous animals, and sex. Most of the stories were pure fiction but presented as fact – an easy way to lure gullible readers. Künstler illustrated them all with a straight face.

“I always tried to make my covers and interior illustrations as believable as possible,” he says. “That was my knack, and instrumental in why the magazines sold so well. And I was rewarded as a result. It worked out very well and I had a lot of fun with it.”

The stories with a sexual component sometimes made Künstler a little uncomfortable, and he admits to turning down a couple of assignments because of that. When he did say yes, however, the results were stunning – sexy in a clean, classical style.

“By today’s standards, none of them are offensive,” Künstler says, “but they were slightly risque. I never painted an illustration in which a woman’s breasts were seen; they were always covered by long hair or a torn blouse.”

More: Mort Künstler, Wikipedia



















































































































If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Portuguese Artist Luisa Azevedo Creates Dreamy And Surreal Photo Manipulation
Monumentalism of Hell: The Grim Posters by Wiesław Wałkuski
This Restaurant Changes Their Hilarious Sign Every Day
Meet The Tree That Actually Bleeds When It's Sliced Open
Amazing Colorful Street Murals by Key Detail
Sixties and Seventies Film Posters from Thailand: Extended Collection
Ukiyo-e Heroes: Illustrations by Jed Henry
Chalk Artist Reimagines Darth Vader In Steamy 3D Portrait
Charming Photos Of Cool Girls Posing With Their Cars In The 1920s
Artist Illustrates Common Household Items’ Conversations During Quarantine
Amazing Black & White Photographs That Capture Everyday Life Of Paris From The 1930s And Early 1940s
"We Do Lockdown": A Razor-Sharp Satire of COVID-19 Lockdown Life Packed Full of Parodies of Vintage Illustrations by Miriam Elia
"Introspection": The Superb Digital 3D Sculptures of Sasha Belitskaja
Social Distance: A Graphic Story For The Coronavirus Age By Mark Haddon
"Your Lost Memories": Sensual And Dreamy Paintings By Andrei Zadorine
This Russian Woman Grew Her Hair To Rapunzel Length
Valentine’s Day Cards For Couples Who Hate Corny Love Crap
Faces of Death: Macabre Art by Vladimir Chebakov
Famous Classic Album Covers Mashed Up With Star Wars Characters
Russian Street Artist Shows Off His Amazing Calligraphy Artwork On The Local Tram
Finnish Woman Creates Controversial Self Portraits, Calls It Art
Satirical and Absurd Illustrations From JJ Grandville’s Un Autre Monde, 1844
Quirky Visual Experiments By Illustrator Christoph Niemann
Artist Maria Popova Makes Vintage Science Face Masks Featuring Wondrous Centuries-Old Astronomical Art And Natural History Illustrations