May 29, 2006

The fantastic illustrations of Frank R Paul

The Science Wonder Stories ones look like cereal boxes And what terrifying breakfast lurks within

  • I love the mix of then-current technology and projection into the future. That image , for example, has people with old-style diving helmets on, though there doesn't appear to be an oxygen supply, with electrical doodads that remind me of my grandmother's beauty shop equipment. (I can almost smell the insulation on the wires burning.) Television had been invented by 1929, but the square screens in the picture look like something from the 1950s. I doubt that I ever read the story it illustrates, but if the guy on the right was the researcher, I wonder what he was showing the frog descendant on the left.
  • Dr Coy: Just look at that telltale green skin, Jim! Mr Spork: Dr. Coy is correct in his surmise: that is not a frog descendent, captain, but according to Vulcan history, one of Surek's Lost People. Captain Foon (leans forward, eyes narrowing): But in that case, why is his helmet hooked to That Thing? Mr Spork: Readings indicate it is an oatmeal transfusion.
  • Wow! I almost think the B&W stuff packs a bigger punch for me, although the color palette is gorgeous.
  • Notice one of those covers features a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, probably from his John Carter, Warlord of Mars series. Found I always enjoyed those more than Burroughs' tales of Tarzan, which became somewhat predictable. Wonder what else is hidden in those old magazines.
  • Fantastic indeed! Some of them are vivid in the way they convey the essence of the amazing stories within.
  • Phantasmagorical! Thanks, dingles!
  • Neat post. Much of the art has an interesting repeated look to it: the angles often go from the lower left of the picture to the upper right. Perhaps he is trying to illustrate how things are quickly going from normal to tragic in a short time. Then again, maybe he is just trying to get us to look squarely at the price of the work.
  • Probably has to do with the placement of the magazine title.