Wednesday, June 27, 2012

John Fernie on a Perry Mason paperback

I was reading The Case of the Gilded Lily by Erle Stanley Gardner in a suburban train, on my way to work this morning, when I casually looked at the cover, as I had done many times before, and wondered who might have painted it. I turned to the back cover and found the words "Cover Painting: John Fernie" in small print, alongside a black-and-white photograph of Raymond Burr advertising "Another case for PERRY MASON, on CBS-TV, Saturday nights."

My copy of the Perry Mason paperback (left) claims to be 
a Genuine Cardinal Edition, June 1959. I wonder if John Fernie illustrated other Perry Mason covers. I'm sure he did as most of the ESG paperbacks have similar covers.

I looked up John Fernie (below) on the internet and found that he was an illustrator and artist from Dundee, Scotland, who was commissioned to do illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan, among others, as well as paintings for Broadway the­atre posters Bye-Bye Birdie, Baker Street and the Ice Capades.

The John Fernie website says that his paintings are in collec­tions in Canada, England, Italy, Spain and throughout America.

Fernie (1919-2001) was, no doubt, a very gifted artist who brought his paintings to life with vibrant colours. Check out some of his paintings here.


  1. I like his style. I've seen his images around a lot, I think, but never knew his name. good stuff.

  2. Thanks, Charles. True, Fernie has a fine artistic style and I have a feeling his colour illustrations adorned most Perry Mason books. I'll have to check it out, though.

  3. He illustrated for Beverly Cleary’s YA books and did the movie poster art for Les Girls with a gene Kelly and Mitzi Gaynor, I adore his work and collect his magazine illustrations.