Review: The Pirate Art Book

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Pirate Art Book: 17 Years of Drawing Sea Rovers

Richard Becker has quite the history as a pirate artist. From designing shirts for Sea Wolf Clothing and covers for No Quarter Given, and right through his two comic book series “Bloodthirsty Pirate Tales” (a limited run over several years telling the historical story of Blackbeard) and “Pirate Tales” (his newer, ongoing series of historical pirates in general), it would seem he must have illustrated every conceivable pirate subject by now.

The Pirate Art Book: 17 Years of Drawing Sea Rovers, is a testemant to exactly this – nearly two decades of pirate art summed up into 64 pages of black and white illustrations. What’s inside should appeal to a wide variety of pirate enthusiast…

For the general pirate art lover, there are dozens of finished drawings of pirates, from historical to fictional to supernatural (Becker has a particular love of pirate skeletons.) Some are standalone figures, while others are action shots, complete with background settings. Additionally, many drawings are from album covers, magazine covers, and faux rum ads. As a special bonus, also included is the complete “Demon Rum” from Bloodthirsty Pirate Tales #5, being a five-page illustrated tale of the history of rum.

Of particular interest to pirate artists, I’d imagine, would be the several segments that not only include a completed drawing, but also Becker’s earlier renditions. These provide great insight into the developmental process that went into so many of these wonderful illustrations.

And lastly, let’s not forget the typical pirate “guy.” Becker hasn’t been remiss in providing many of his lovely lady-pirate illustrations. Generally boasting ample cleavage and winning smiles, the content doesn’t really branch into “adult” or erotica, being more along the lines of piratey WWII nose art.

Anyone with an interest in black and white pirate illustrations should find a wealth of booty in this fine collection. Definitely worth checking out.

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