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Jeff Jones (1944-2011) was one of the most important illustrators of sword and sorcery fiction. He started out with Canaveral Press’ I am a Barbarian by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1967. Donald Wollheim (again) jumped on the new talent for paperback covers. Jones provided art for two of Jack Vance’s “Planet of Adventure” series and […]

Manuel Sanjulian (b. 1941) is the most successful artist of the Spanish invasion of the 1970s. His first American work was for Creepy #42 (November 1971). From December 1972 to April 1974, he produced all the covers for Creepy except two montage covers for July and August 1973. Ken Kelly then produced most covers through […]

Esteban Maroto (b. 1942) was part of the “Spanish Invasion” of comic book artists in the early 1970s. He started in the 1960s in his native Spain. He had been published in the U.K. and then in the U.S. Warren Magazines reprinted the first six issues of New English Library’s Dracula series. Maroto did both […]

Don Maitz (b. 1953) is yet another artist to emerge in the middle 1970s with a legacy of sword and sorcery illustration. His website has this biography: “A native of Plainville, CT showed an early interest in drawing and received initial art training from the Famous Artist’s Correspondence School at age thirteen. Maitz attended the […]

The mid-1970s was a golden age for new artists coming on the scene: Tom Barber, Carl Lundgren, Doug Beekman, Richard Hescox, Steve Fabian etc. One of those whose career weathered the changes in book cover art is Stephen Hickman (b. 1949). His website has this to say: “Hickman’s work has earned him critical acclaim, including […]

                An artist with a thirty year career in paperback cover illustration is Douglas Beekman (b. 1952). The online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction states: “After briefly studying at the Columbus College of Art and Design in his home state of Ohio, he grew dissatisfied with the school and […]

Wayne Barlowe (b. 1958) has had a very successful career in science fiction illustration. He has also done some fantasy work. From his website: “Born in Glen Cove, New York to well-known natural history artists Sy and Dorothea Barlowe, Wayne Douglas Barlowe attended the Art Students League and The Cooper Union in New York City. […]

Michael Whelan (b. 1950) is probably the most successful artist I will cover in this series. If you bought science fiction or fantasy books in the 1980s or 90s, you have seen his work. His website has this say about his story: “A graduate of San Jose University with a BA in Painting and a […]

1980 is like a KT event for many sword and sorcery artists. KT stands for Cretaceous-Tertiary and the mass extinction 65 million years ago. The late Steve Tompkins used the term for any cultural extinction event. It seems Ken Kelly and Rowena Morrill were the go to artists for fantasy paperback covers during the 1980s. […]

Sword and sorcery paperback art had some minor players, some memorable, some not. One artist who produced some covers including one stone cold classic was George Barr (b. 1937). Barr got his start with the second incarnation of Amra starting in the late 1950s. He did a few covers for the Celia Goldsmith era Fantastic […]

There are three artists whose careers started in the pulp magazines, continued with digest magazines, comic books, trading cards, and a few paperback covers: Norman Saunders, Frank Kelly Freas, and Wallace Wood. Norman Saunders (1907-1989) started in the middle 1930s painting innumerable covers for pulp magazines. He did work for comic books. I thought his […]

Virgil Finlay (1914-1971) was one of the first artists of sword and sorcery fiction. Hugh Rankin and Vincent Napoli are almost the only ones who proceed Finlay in the genre. Finlay started in the pages of Weird Tales in 1935. He illustrated Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith. Finlay illustrated early […]