The relationships among man, woman, and monster are complicated. Those between woman and monster are perhaps less so. In comparison, the man and the monster have a simple relationship: they are contestants in a primeval struggle. The first and last images here are of monsters that are probably or definitely female. Note that the authors are also female. Both show attacks upon mostly defenseless men. (Note also that none of the images shown here was by Margaret Brundage, the only female cover artist for Weird Tales. That may or may not be significant.) All other covers that follow show men relating to monsters as they relate to animals or to other men: as predator to prey, as rival to rival, or as master to servant. Only one--the Virgil Finlay cover--shows a man as a kind of explorer and monsters as more marvelous than dangerous.
|The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).|
|A scene illustrating one of the Carson of Venus books, created three decades later by Frank Frazetta in his watercolor phase. It could have been an illustration for the same story.|
|Weird Tales, January 1950. Cover story: "The Ormolu Clock" by August Derleth. Cover art by Matt Fox. A scene as only Matt Fox could have created it. If there isn't yet a book-length collection of his art, there should be.|
Captions and text copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley