The Second Day of Hess-mas

One thing that always amazes me when I look at Lowell Hess' work is how frequently he had to roll up his sleeves and get busy on a BIG SCENE.

The results were always nothing less than spectacular. Yesterday I showed you one Lowell's last Boys' Life covers... here's one of his first - from December 1950.

Lowell told me more than once that Jan Balet was a big influence on him during the early days of his career. But personally I think he was already coming into his own style with that Boys' Life cover. By the time he did the massive, magnificent scene below for the December 1957 issue of Today's Living, his work was pure Lowell Hess.

* I have placed extra large scans in this post so go ahead and click on the image to enjoy all the details.

And then of course there is the diametric opposite of the typical Lowell Hess "Big Scene". In fact some of my favourite pieces by Lowell are his many crossword puzzle magazine covers. Each one is a simple, beautiful statement in character design and composition...

... always managing to tell an amusing silent story with a minimal number of visual elements - and always cleverly incorporating the mandatory crossword puzzle grid as apart of the picture.

When I first told Lowell how much I loved these he could hardly imagine why - at the time when they were assigned they were, to him, just low paying "quickies" - but when we spoke again more recently he mentioned that I had convinced him to look again at these 'simple statements', and that he now thought they were "actually pretty good."

No kidding! I think you'll agree: they're wonderful!

* I should mention again that Lowell has a website where you can see many examples of his work. Why not drop by there, have a look, and perhaps leave Lowell a Christmas greeting through his 'Contact Us' page.

* My Lowell Hess Flickr set.

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