JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I was reminded of this 1951 pamphlet yesterday, a softly-shocking piece of Red Scare propaganda that played on everyone's fear and offered not much more than newspaper and a hole for protection from a nuclear attack. But the thing I hadn't noticed before was how quiet the very noisy cover is.
[Source: Atomic Scout, https://atomicscout.wordpress.com/tag/atomic-bomb/]
The point of view here is from a suburb, or exurb, and there seems to be nothing going on--not only is there no activity, but there are also wide swaths of no buildings where there should be. For example the second car on the right is parked at an empty city block-blob, and the whole of the foreground seems to be intensely deserted. It strikes me as odd, given that there is an enormous explosion going on less than a mile away. There is definitely a scene of destruction at the base of the explosion, though we also see the slight outskirts of the city dotted with factory silhouettes, which makes me think that this part of the illustration was also selling a hope-to-survive-vibe.
Covers of pamphlets/comics are legion with more vicious examples of apoca-art--even those publications aimed at kids, like this one--so it wasn't like the times were too gentle to portray real destruction and chaotic noise and viciousness, so I'm not sure what this artwork is really trying to achieve--except that it does manage, in away, to convince a viewer that there may be some calm in the soup of horror.