One Foot in Hell

New York: Ace Books, 1961. Original gouache painting by noted pulp illustrator George Ziel, created for Wilene Shaw's 1961 paperback novel "One Foot in Hell." Annotations in holograph ink on the verso, noting the publisher name, date received (4/21/61), date wanted (5/4/61), and issue No. D524.

George Ziel was born Jerzy Zielezinski in Poland, graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1939, just a few months before the outbreak of World War II. Ziel was arrested in 1943, detained in the Pawiak prison in Warsaw, and later moved to Auschwitz, then Dachau. After liberation, while recovering in the hospital, Ziel would create charcoal drawings of his memories and experiences, now considered by many to be among the most haunting and realistic depictions of life in the concentration camps.

Moving to the US in the early 1950s, Ziel began a career as a commercial artist for paperback publishers, developing a dark, moody aesthetic perfectly suited to both the Gothic craze of the 1960s, and to the science fiction and horror crazes of the 1970s. Throughout his three-decade career, Ziel would work for virtually all the mainstream paperback publishing houses of the period, including Avon, Dell, Popular Library, Pyramid, Paperback Library, and Ballantine. Described by Pyramid art director Rolf Erikson as "a fine artist who chose to do commercial work," Ziel's work stands out today for its mastery of the macabre, drawing on the artist's own familiarity with the world's horrors to infuse his work with a true sense of menace.

14 x 18.75 inches. Artwork painted on stiff board. Very Good plus, with a chip on the bottom left corner, and old tape residue on the bottom right corner.

[Book #157532]