Saturday, February 25, 2012

John Berkey

    Last night I read through the newest Illustration Magazine and read the feature article on John Berkey, an American-born artist (1932-2008) famous for his sci-fi paperback covers of the seventies as well as some movie poster art. The guy was prolific, but until I read the article I thought I was unfamiliar with his work. It turns out, the man burned a huge impression on my young psyche in the late seventies. I couldn't forget the movie poster for the 70's remake of King Kong if I tried. I stared at it every day at lunch because it was on my lunchbox. Kong is standing atop the trade centers and smashing planes. It doesn't get much cooler than that when you are 5 or 6 years old. The other piece of art that is indelibly etched in my brain pan is Orca, and many comic fans of a certain age will back me up on this, but it was hard to miss the poster art because for a long while it was on the back of seemingly every comic published. Worlds are colliding at this point. Orca terrified me at the age of five, which is crazy if you've seen it since then because it is pretty hoaky. I guess Richard Harris couldn't find a paying Shakespeare production at that point. Suffice to say, both of those films made a huge impact on me. Here is to memory lane and apparently, the work of John Berkey.