TRASHY TUESDAY: LARRY KENT COVERS BY FERNANDO FERNANDEZ
As I have previously highlighted, the Australian Larry Kent digests (Cleveland) went through several revamps over their nearly thirty year run from 1954 to 1983. These changed from the nicely stylised artistic covers by Walter Stackpole in the 1950s and early 1960s, through to the stereotyped, more routine covers of the mid 1960s, which typically featured semi-naked or bikini-clad young women. In the late 1960s/early 1970s this changed again when the Spanish syndicated art agency Nova Bossa started providing a lot of covers for Cleveland, including those for the Larry Kent books. These were generalised action covers, which were used across the world, most commonly in Germany for the Kommissar X series, and then re-used in Australia on the Larry Kent books. Nova Bossa used a number of well respected Spanish illustrators and comic book artists, including Rafael Cortiella, Josep Maria Miralles and Enrich Torres. The Spanish covers were typically more violent and sexualised in their approach and often used tropes and actors from popular movies. (see my earlier article: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-more-larry-kent-spanish-covers/)
I recently acquired another batch of the Kent digests, including several done by the Spanish artist Fernando Fernandez. Fernanez was a well respected artist, who did a wide of comic strips and covers for a variety of publishers, including British Fleetway, Avon, Beagle and Dell, and Vampirella comic strips. At the bottom of the article I have also included a cover he did for Leisure Books.
The covers below feature the typical Fernandez components of a man with a gun, an action scene and a young woman in various stages of undress. The male figure in the tan shirt in Lost Lady and Ends Of The Earth, can be seen in a number of Fernandez’s covers and presumably is based on a model he used. The covers are all generic, so that they could be syndicated and used on a variety of books. As a result they usually have relationship to the story in the book.
Although generic, the covers are actually very good, especially the one for The Dark Goddess. They are well drawn and are certainly eye catching. Fernandez was certainly a good artist and the breadth of his work is testament to his ability.
The use of microscope in the above cover is interesting and unusual in those pre-CSI days, and I wonder whether the cover had originally been specifically done for a science thriller of some kind.
I have included below a couple of other Fernandez covers that I have previously highlighted: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-larry-kent-covers/ and https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-more-larry-kent-covers/
I also recently obtained the below cover that Fernandez did for Touch & Die by Jess Cloud (Leisure Books, 1980). The cover is not signed, but it is included in David Roach’s Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art under the entry on Fernandez.
The cover on Touch & Die was originally used by German publishers Pabel on a Fledermaus Kriminal-Roman title by Guy Brent. Interestingly, the cover sort of fits the Jess Cloud book, which is about a female US agent and her partner hunting down a terrorist.