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Thread: A century of illustrative and cover art.

  1. #1
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    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.

    A century of illustrative and cover art.

    Some of you know I collect movie poster art. It's all horror and science fiction. But I collect much more than that. In addition to movie props like a chainsaw gash from Ash vs The Evil Dead (I really wanted the "I'm in the butt" torso but it soared out of sight like the Candarian dagger and Necronomicon) I collect horror anthology magazines, often called pulps, going back to the 1920's such as Weird Tales in which Ray Bradbury and Tennessee Williams got their start. Much of it is quite lovely. One of the questions you often get from other collectors is how much Brundage do you have? Margret Brundage did many lurid covers during the thirties and forties in pastels and dripping with sex and bondage. Although the magazine had many cover artists she is the most sought after. Enough talk. Art is for seeing.



    Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, was often a contributor during this period. Those swarthy types were always menacing white womanhood with lesbian heart transplants.



    Sex has always sold but she also did the most iconic cover for them.


  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    In addition to the sweet pussies and death of Weird Tales...



    there were quite a number of other pulps (so named for their cheap pulp paper) that are very collectible. Here is a Startling Stories cover by Earl Bergey that I have on my wall. LOL that men must die.



    Sometimes frustrated scientists created their own women as on this cover of Amazing Stories which I also have on my wall. Notice the finger grip. There are always subtle insinuations to make one laugh.



    Sometimes they just lucked up on horny women. I have this but there is a limit to naked women on even my wall so I don't display.

    Last edited by Tocky; 28th Apr 2021 at 11:32.

  3. #3
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    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I feel like weird fiction is becoming a kind of lost art in our era. When practically everything seems to be fantasy or speculative, then it doesn't get the same attention it did back in the day.

    Anyway, as far as classic cover artists go (that's what this thread is for, no?), I like Chris Foss.





    And Darrell Sweet




  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Gotta have some Luis Royo in here:


  5. #5
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    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I think I read all of those Asimovs before I turned 15. He also had Analog Science Fiction for a time. I was disappointed he turned to mystery stories with The Black Widowers but they were good too. Of course back then they had different covers.





    And Royo is excellent. He did some of the Heavy Metal covers. Of course this was after it had devolved story wise but the art was as strong as ever thanks to his effort and others.


  6. #6
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    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    lot of naked white women

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Archive.org has lots of old pulp magazines. A lot of Weird Tales and Amazing Stories.
    https://archive.org/details/pulpmaga...tab=collection

    This is a favourite.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    lot of naked white women
    They do seem to be a world wide favorite. However if you prefer something more ethnic in your sexploitation Creepy had some excellent issues in the mid seventies. The story "Second Childhood" was actually a good story. Despite the white washing of the cover character the one inside was most black. Stories like that kept me reading past the pubescent boyhood these were aimed at. The story. Not any particular black girl festish.



    Not that most of those I've shown were aimed at boys. Men were absolutely taken by the titillation as Kolya's cover shows. Reminds me of McDonalds "Border Town Girl" cover. Anyway, on that link there is a Planet Stories cover by Allen Anderson that I have on my wall. I have most of those I want.



    Except this one which has continually eluded me. I just can't bring myself to bid the hundred and up it seems to always bring. I got most of mine for less than thirty. The one above I think for ten. Notice it has an early Poul Anderson story? I'm glad these were around to further the careers of authors I like. Anyway the one I can't seem to get-


  9. #9
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    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    The mid fifties saw a crackdown on lurid horror. Although the nakedness of the thirties had already gone, horror knew no bounds as for gore. It was the age of gore. It was the age of EC comics. Shock Suspense Stories, Crime Suspense Stories, Black Cat, Haunt of Fear, Vault of Horror, and the one most know, Tales From the Crypt. The covers showed hangings, a gun blowing someones brains out, heads being cut off, people buried alive, sharks gnashing at legs, rotting corpses, and the usual array of werewolves, vampires, and demons. Things a growing boy needs. Things a stick up the ass psychiatrist named Fredrick Wertham would not allow. His book "Seduction of the Innocent" put an end to that. There were some lovely stories before then though. Stories replicated on film in horror for decades to come. I have a few of them.















    What replaced them? LOL-


  10. #10
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    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Just to let everyone know, any art you post is cool with me. I would like to see it. It does not have to fit in with this timeline sort of thing I'm doing. There is so much I'm leaving out anyway.

    So Fredrick Wertham took his crap psychology to congress and everyone fretted and checked with their campaign donors and decided comics needed a code. It killed EC and many resented hell out of him for that. They never forgot it. Horror took a step backward in print but not in film. The sweaty bodies of teens that grew up on that gore and titillation had flowered and they all went to the drive in. Often they had to bring along their kid brother or sister. Hammer time. Hammer Studios produced many beloved films of rotting faces and blood sucking evil. The local stations, not being able to show those, resorted to the time tested Universal horrors of decades past. The horror host was born. A new generation came along. They sat up late waiting for the Saturday Shocker. They collected monster models and never missed an episode of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. That was me.



    And then sometime in the late seventies some news wank decided those too were bad. Out little minds were being warped. Look at this Iron Maiden kit! Look at these torture devices! Think of the children! Too late. We were warped.



    That one had an R rating and needed it. Saw it at the drive in at 10 anyway.

    All of those words words words were just to get to Warren magazines. Though James Warren had started publications of horror film reviews he never forgot all that lovely money to be made in comics. But there was the code. Oh but his were magazines. Illustrated ones. Wink nudge judge. And in the mid sixties the illustrated "magazine" was born. Creepy was the first of a new genre. Eerie was next but not the first with that name so legal confusion made him push it on the stands in low numbers with a crappy cover not worth showing. It is the most valuable now. A few of these-









    Sometimes even Ken Kelly who got his start with EC came in to do a cover.


  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Frank Frazetta did many covers for them.









    Last edited by Tocky; 30th Apr 2021 at 01:22.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Loving this thread, Tocky! Those EC comic covers are insane

    I also love me some Frazetta although I didn’t even know about him till later.
    Around the time period 89-91 my life was school and the usual nonsense, with the weekends being church (boo!) then football on sunday afternoons. But Saturday was d&d time. So most weekends my best friend and I would be at either house, doing rpg stuff (ad&d, chill, rifts), computer games (My mate had an Atari ST which everyone at school took the piss out of, I was a megadrive man) or discussing dragonlance books etc. What a full nerd eh, but those were good times.

    I was also loving the illustrations and getting into all the art of books; in those days the TSR art staff was very very good: Parkinson, Easley, Elmore, Caldwell etc. They did most of the TSR covers and interiors and a lot of the covers for Dragon magazine. They all loved Frazetta. Me: what’s Frazetta? So that was one to research. I’m not saying they were as good as Frazetta mind you, although Parkinson was a very good artist imo. (He sadly died way too young.) Easley was very good too.

    Sometimes I would go into Plymouth with the old man on saturdays (he was a workaholic) and I’d be searching for a few copies of Dragon magazine, some cast rpg figures of perhaps a new rpg book. Dragon had some awesome covers, check out this link:

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r...Mr-mxHsIvrvQsv
    Issue 143 and 146 I remember very well, killer stuff.


    Dragon 143 Cover By Denis Beauvais



    Dragon 146 Cover by Keith Parkinson

    --
    Hammer Horror brings back memories too. We used to videotape them at Gran’s house for watching the next morning. They were on at 11pm or midnight, and too scary for a kid to watch at that hour. Good times
    Last edited by zacharias; 1st May 2021 at 05:50. Reason: Added Images

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room


    Storm is a favourite of mine. Not the one by Marvel. This was drawn by Don Lawrence and originally released in the Netherlands in the mid 1970s, later translated to English and German.
    This is the cover of the first album I got from a small second hand comic store that's long gone.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_(Don_Lawrence)
    https://www.splitter-verlag.de/alben/scifi/storm/

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    One hell of a siren song. I like this one.



    And Dragon had many great covers. This one is very thiefy.



    But this one reminds me of Skywald covers. Unfortunately for Skywald the stories inside were crap but the covers were fantastic.



    Skywald.



    Ha. This dead thing is the corpse. This bedsheet must be the shroud. Anyway I have several of these just for the covers. I mean just look at this-




  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by zacharias View Post
    Sometimes I would go into Plymouth with the old man on saturdays (he was a workaholic) and Id be searching for a few copies of Dragon magazine, some cast rpg figures of perhaps a new rpg book. Dragon had some awesome covers,
    This brought back a memory to me. I was having a conversation with someone on the Warren Facebook page a few years back when I mentioned going to the drug store in Oxford to read comics and buy some as a kid but I didn't buy many Vampirella because the covers were so racy I was afraid someone would think that was the reason I had bought them. They said that was a shame and talked about how a sneeze could turn into an exposed nipple really quick in that skimpy outfit and then they talked about the early comicons and seemed to know a lot of the big names at Warren and a lot of detail. We talked for a long while about various things. Then someone else interrupted with "OMG that IS Vampirella!" I hadn't noticed the persons sex even. I told them they were crazy. Vampirella is a fictional character. No. That is Barbara Leigh, the original Vampirella model, Steve McQueens woman, the one on the photo covers of Vampi. Wow. Of course that killed the conversation but it was pretty cool to know and I guess she enjoyed talking about those days with someone who obviously didn't know who he was talking to.



    I hadn't actually hung with the comic that long. To me this is the quintessential Vampirella- decidedly NOT real.


  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Hehe, that’s great Tocky.

    We had a year in the states around 83-84. A fantastic experience. Again the old man’s doing. I was very young so it’s all a bit hazy but in that period we bought and read quite a few comics. Some favourites were Spider Man drawn by Romita I think. They were the old comics from the late 60’s I believe but still readily available. I remember a great one where a circus master hypnotises spidey and he has to fight daredevil, who eventually saves the day. I’ve since bought a lot of these on comiXology and they’re still very enjoyable for me. They really hit that nostalgia sweet spot for me.
    Edit: It was amazing Spider Man 16, drawn by Steve Ditko.


    Another comic I never bought a lot of but have very fond memories of, is ‘Savage Sword of Conan’. Printed a little oversize, and had enough monsters, babes and grisly deaths to keep any young boy happy

    http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/s...sword-of-conan
    Art by John Buscema and loads of other greats (and not so greats), covers by Boris Vallejo and others.



    I have fond memories of issue 95. A rat cult kidnaps the damsel and Conan saves the day. Not because of any altruism though. He wants the reward
    Last edited by zacharias; 1st May 2021 at 07:22. Reason: Added Image Link

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Yeah, I knew a couple of guys who were into Storm and have read one or two of the books myself. Not just the covers but also the art inside was beautiful to look at.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Well I mentioned Alan Lee in the other thread. I think he's fantastic. An incredible draughtsman and watercolourist.



    https://www.iamag.co/the-art-of-alan-lee/
    http://alan-lee.narod.ru/Lord.htm
    I guess the LOTR/Hobbit stuff is very well known. The sketchbooks are awesome. His version of the Mabinogion is very very good also.

    Syd Mead
    What can you say about Syd? The man defined Blade Runner, Tron and has made a massive contribution to concept art in general.

    https://magazine.artstation.com/2020...oncept-design/
    https://www.iamag.co/the-art-of-syd-mead/

    Moebius
    Just an incredible draughtsman. I don't really care for Jodorowsky's writing on ‘The Incal’, but the art is five star.

    https://www.iamag.co/the-art-of-moebius/
    https://bluelabyrinths.com/2018/12/1...in-the-desert/
    https://butdoesitfloat.com/The-Eyes-of-the-Cat

    Keith Parkinson


    His Lord Soth's Charge, Dragonlance floating citadel, and Temple of Elemental Evil are iconic. Plenty of other iconic images I haven't mentioned.
    https://www.keithparkinson.com/artwork/
    https://artofthegenre.com/blogs/news...-ass-into-gear

    Yep, i'm an art nerd
    That's probably enough for now. Still got to do Ralph Mcquarrie, Jeff Easley etc.
    Last edited by zacharias; 1st May 2021 at 07:34. Reason: Added link

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by zacharias View Post
    Hehe, that’s great Tocky.

    We had a year in the states around 83-84. A fantastic experience. Again the old man’s doing. I was very young so it’s all a bit hazy but in that period we bought and read quite a few comics. Some favourites were Spider Man drawn by Romita I think. They were the old comics from the late 60’s I believe but still readily available. I remember a great one where a circus master hypnotises spidey and he has to fight daredevil, who eventually saves the day. I’ve since bought a lot of these on comiXology and they’re still very enjoyable for me. They really hit that nostalgia sweet spot for me.
    Edit: It was amazing Spider Man 16, drawn by Steve Ditko.
    That issue is pricey now. I hope you got it early. Spidey was the only superhero I ever read regular besides Swamp Thing. While I was getting my horror and science fiction mags I was talking my little brother into buying Spiderman. By 13 I figured I was too old for them... but I read them. The last I read included the original clone saga where Gwen Stacy was cloned. The end of it had the most iconic Spidey cover.



    But my favorite came a few issues earlier because my older brother read it to my younger one doing the different voices.



    I soon moved on to Heavy Metal and Omni. Moebius featured heavily in HM.



    Though Omni was strictly science developments they had some similar covers. I couldn't locate the one I was looking for but I found this one which looks like Giger.



    Edit: it is Giger.
    Last edited by Tocky; 2nd May 2021 at 16:06.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Great thread and thanks for sharing, Tocky. I was never much into comics, but I've always liked artbooks. Dema already posted Chris Foss, who's one of my favorites; in a similar style I really like Peter Elson.









    It's an iconic look for the covers of the old paperbacks littering my bookshelves.

    Unrelated, but I'm also fond of the watercolor sketches done by John Blanche for early Warhammer art. Most of it is technically pretty crude, but oozes character and off-the-wall weirdness- perfect for a media illustrator, really. This is one of the more refined ones, and the only one I own a physical print of:


  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    That issue is pricey now. I hope you got it early.


    Though Omni was strictly science developments they had some similar covers. I couldn't locate the one I was looking for but I found this one which looks like Giger.



    Edit: it is Giger.
    Oh, the print edition is long gone. I know not where. I guess we probably gave it away when we went back to the UK. If you'd have told me there would be this thing called ebay on this thing called the internet a few decades down the track, I'd have probably held onto them..
    These days I just buy digital on sale at comixology, though I will buy print editions of things I really love. But my print collection of comics is pretty small. Plenty of art books though.

    The Giger one is Li Tobler, his girlfriend who killed herself.

    --

    Gotta have some Ralph Mcquarrie in this thread:







    https://www.iamag.co/star-wars-the-a...0-concept-art/
    https://www.starwars.com/news/ralph-...e-masterpieces

    Catbarf - interesting. Looks more like acrylic or gouache rather than watercolour though.
    Last edited by zacharias; 3rd May 2021 at 06:26.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by zacharias View Post
    Catbarf - interesting. Looks more like acrylic or gouache rather than watercolour though.
    I think the one I posted is acrylic. Blanche's earlier work is pen work filled in with watercolor, and much rougher looking. More like concept sketches.

    Love that McQuarrie art. It's fun how some of his Star Wars pieces ended up being radically different from the final films, while others (like that last one with the AT-AT) are spot on.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I did not know that about Giger's girlfriend. It must be an awful weight for him to carry.

    And wouldn't you know that even in combat women not only have to be the most badass but do it in heels.

    There were some science fiction illustrated mags that came out in the seventies as well.

    Sebastia Boada did my favorite of Unknown Worlds. It even looks like my wife when she wants to cut my head off.



    The stories were good and they didn't shy away from the controversial.



    And they had top authors.



    Even the inside art was good.


  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    1984 and later 1994 had some interesting covers, like this Corbin, but the stories were hit and miss. Some bordered on misogyny. Oddly not this one.



    Ah man, he goes to the dawn of time to seek the origin of life... and kill it.



    It got worse as it went along. But some of the covers were hilarious.



    I never made it to the upskirt tentacle years. Not even the alien probe ones but it does have my curiosity piqued.


  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I think the one I posted is acrylic. Blanche's earlier work is pen work filled in with watercolor, and much rougher looking. More like concept sketches.

    Love that McQuarrie art. It's fun how some of his Star Wars pieces ended up being radically different from the final films, while others (like that last one with the AT-AT) are spot on.
    The one that cracks me up with McQuarrie (and I say this as a big fan) is the Jabba's House Band Concept Art. Because when I first saw the ROTJ special edition with Jabba's band I was like 'wtf is this? What were you thinking Lucas!' But if you look back at McQuarrie's original concept you realise he is being totally faithful to that (too faithful if you like).



    --

    I mentioned Jeff Easley. The cover artist of Ad&D 1st and 2nd editions. I was too young for the first edition, but 2nd edition was a big part of my childhood.
    Always loved his version of Raistlin with the 'Live Ones' (failed experiments at creating life). Love the thing spewing it's own brain..



    Cover for 'Dragons of Winter Night'


    Wizard and Dragon, Cover of 2nd edition DM's guide
    Last edited by zacharias; 4th May 2021 at 06:58. Reason: Added Jeff Easley

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