TV Guide Magazine's 60th Anniversary: Bob Peak's Visionary Cover Art
Considered a father of the modern movie poster, Bob Peak created art for Apocalypse Now, Superman: The Movie and The Spy Who Loved Me, among many others. But during a nearly 20-year run, he was also one of TV GuideMagazine's most prolific cover artists, contributing 38 gorgeous, graphically inventive illustrations. Peak's son and archivist, Thomas Peak, helps annotate some of his father's finest.
November 18, 1967
"The cover is very bold, but you're looking at a futuristic movie," says Thomas. "He would work his craft depending on the subject matter." Peak revisited Kirk and Spock when he created the poster for the theatrical release of 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture as well as four of its sequels.
2. Bill Cosby
October 4, 1969
"When he did these covers, he made sure there was space for the logo and also some type," says Thomas, who is especially entranced by the Cosby silhouette. "The figure is fun. It's got elongated legs, which was a style he got into in the '60s, when he did a lot of fashion advertising and ads for shoe companies."
February 7, 1970
On the sitcom, Elizabeth Montgomery's Samantha was known for twitching her nose, but for this cover, Peak decided to accentuate a different body part. "Where he came up with that idea, I'm not sure," admits Thomas, adding, "Those hands catch your eye. The small [digest] format needed an artist that could compete against larger formats at the newsstands."
4.Man From Atlantis
December 3, 1977
Peak created this portrait of a partially submerged Patrick Duffy through the use of watercolors. "It gave him an opportunity to use all those vibrant [shades]," says Thomas. As for other materials in the artist's toolkit, pastels and charcoal were among his favorites.
5. The Holocaust
February 13, 1982
"You can't do something that's lively and friendly when you're talking about such terrible subject matter," says Thomas of this cover pegged to the Holocaust-themed TV-movie The Wall, which diverges from his father's usual dynamism. "He was so versatile. And this is one of those cases where he went really off to do something completely different."
August 10, 1985
Subjects rarely sat for Peak, so he based his portraits on photos. "This was during the 'Material Girl' [phase] of her career," Thomas says of the pop icon. "He wanted to do something that very much showed the big hair and that whole look."
For a gallery of these covers, click here.