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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 […]

Earl Norem (1923-2015) was an artist with a similar background as John Duillo. It is debatable that he is forgotten considering his comic book work is still discussed today. Norem served in the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division in WW II. He saw combat including getting wounded during the breakout into the Po River valley […]

Pulp magazine illustration did have some influence that carried over into post-pulp publications. One of the best examples is Stephen Fabian (b. 1930). Gerry de la Ree wrote in the introduction to Stephen E. Fabian’s Ladies and Legends (Charles Miller, 1993):                 “Stephen E. Fabian came late to professional illustration. Whereas most of our leading […]

John Duillo (1928-2003) is an artist many of you have seen if you collect classic sword and sorcery paperbacks. He is known as the other guy who painted three covers for Lancer Books seminal Conan series in the late 1960s. There is not much information available on John Duillo. He produced covers for the “men’s […]

Jack Gaughan (1930 – 1985) was a ubiquitous illustrator for both science fiction paperbacks and magazine covers in the 1960 and 70s. He appears to have been Donald Wollheim’s main artist at Ace Books in the 1960s and a prominent artist for D.A.W. Books in the 1970s. Gaughan was right up there alongside Frank Frazetta […]

The second half of the 1970s was a golden age for British paperback cover illustration. Bruce Pennington, Melvyn Grant, Chris Achilleos all created memorable book covers. Another member of this group is Rodney Matthews. From his website: “Born in 1945, in Paulton, North Somerset, Matthews was fascinated by nature from an early age.  He spent […]

At a used bookstore, you might come across a 1970s U.K. paperback with distinctive art. You might have Melvyn Grant or Bruce Pennington art on the cover. There is a good chance it will be Chris Achilleos. From his website: “Christos Achilleos grew up in a rural village near the town of Famagusta in Cyprus; […]

Melvyn Grant (born 1944) has had quite a long career in paperback cover artistry. He burst on the scene in 1975 in the U.K. and really hit his stride in 1977. The was a sword and sorcery boom going on at the time and Grant was in the middle of it. He did a great […]

Carl Lundgren (born 1947) is an artist who you probably have seen but did not realize who he is. He started out in the mid 1970s with a post-Frazetta style for the first printings of the first two Horseclans books by Robert Adams. These covers in my opinion are superior to the later Ken Kelly […]

Ken(neth) Barr (1933-2016) is a guilty pleasure of mine. He was a fixture of the 1970s into the early 1980s for many paperbacks and comic book covers. He was originally born in Scotland. He had some early work for Nebula Science Fiction in the U.K. in 1958 and 59. He did comic book work in […]

I mentioned Gino D’Achille (1935-2017) last week in comparison to Enrich Torres. Not a Spaniard but an Italian from Rome. From his webpage: “Gino D’Achille was born in Rome in 1935 and displayed a precocious talent as an artist from a very young age – being invited at 11 years old to present a portrait […]