A fantastic 1954 cover by the terrific Russ Heath for an issue of WESTERN OUTLAWS. It’s an amazing piece of work in that Heath uses the reflection in the mirror behind the central gunman to fill in the gaps of the narrative–this single illustration delivers a complete story of action and reaction. Heath’s fine linework and hyper-detailed hatching is impressive on the published cover, but even more spectacular in the original art, below. The coloring here is solid and helps to make the image just a little bit more clear, even as it overwhelms some of that fine linework.
ADDITION: Dr. Michael Vassallo, who is the foremost expert on all things Atlas, indicates that in all likelihood Carl Burgos went over this cover, adding in much of the additional hatching work, as he did obsessively with much of the Atlas line when he was functioning as the firm’s art director.