MORNING BEER

I nearly always drank beer for breakfast unless we were hunting lion.  Beer before or at breakfast was a fine thing but it slowed you up, possibly a thousandth of a second.  On the other hand it made things seem better sometimes when they were not too good and it was very good for you if you had stayed up too late and had gastric remorse.

– from Under Kilimanjaro

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A MARTIN KOENIG FOR TODAY

Nurse Transplanted, romance paperback cover, 1971.

The nurse’s face, which is what Koenig wants you to concentrate on, is sharply rendered.  Everything else in the painting gets sketchier the farther it is from her face.  This became a common technique when the style of story illustrations got looser in the Sixties and Seventies.  It mirrored the increased use of shallow focus in movies, often achieved with telephoto lenses, as a stylistic device.  It’s subtly done in Koenig’s image, and very effective — you notice the face before you notice the technique — which was not always the case with telephoto shots in movies of the same era.

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RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE

Just got this set of radio dramas from the late Forties and early Fifties, starring Dick Powell. Powell moved from boy-crooner star of musicals to heavier dramatic fare later in his career, in films and on radio. In Richard Diamond, Private Detective he’s a serious but blithely wisecracking gumshoe who ends each episode by singing a song to his girlfriend. Sounds tasty.

This collection, available here from Radio Spirits, venerable purveyor of old-time radio shows, includes lively and informative program notes by Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., whom many will know from his lively and informative blog Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear.

Can’t wait to explore the world of Mr. Diamond . . .