Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snakes on the Cover of Weird Tales

If we were innocent in Eden, then the serpent was the first evil thing we ever saw. A fear and loathing of snakes is natural, especially in the cradles of civilization where very deadly snakes yet live. There are still people who fear--and will kill--every snake they see. Weird Tales and its writers and artists would only have exploited those feelings. I count nine covers of "The Unique Magazine" showing snakes very prominently. There are others in which snakes are bit players. I have shown all but one of these nine images before. The newcomer is for the August 1930 issue, which would also fit into a category of covers with Mesoamerican themes.

Weird Tales, December 1925. Cover story: "The Tenants of Broussac" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Joseph Doolin. Also in the category man, woman, and animal.

Weird Tales, March 1930. Cover story: "Drums of Damballah" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. Also in the category man, woman, and animal.

Weird Tales, August 1930. Cover story: "The Curse of Ximu-tal" by Harry Noyes Pratt. Cover art by Hugh Rankin. The only new image in this category and one of few Weird Tales covers without a human being.

Weird Tales, December 1932. Cover story: "Buccaneers of Venus" by Otis Adelbert Kline. Cover art by J. Allen St. John. Also in the category man, woman, and monster.

Weird Tales, August 1934. Cover story: "The Devil in Iron" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Also in the category man, woman, and animal.

Weird Tales, November 1935. Cover story: "Shadows in Zamboula" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Also in the category woman and animal.

Weird Tales, February 1936. Cover story: "Coils of the Silver Serpent" by Forbes Parkhill. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Also in the category man, woman, and animal.

Weird Tales, May 1940. Cover story: None, according to Jaffery and Cook. Cover art by Hannes Bok. Also in the category man, woman, and monster.

Weird Tales, January 1945, Canadian edition. Cover story: "The Shadow Folk" by Edmond Hamilton. Cover art by an unknown artist. Also in the category man, woman, and monster.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

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