Friday, September 30, 2016

Hyang Ro Kim (b. ?)

Ro H. Kim
Artist, Portraitist, Illustrator, Teacher
Born ?, Republic of Korea

There were only two issues of the Bellerophon Network's version of Weird Tales and only two covers. The Korean-American artist Ro H. Kim created both. The Winter 1985 issue called him Hyang Ro Kim, but Mr. Kim clearly signed his cover art as "Ro H. Kim." That same issue wrote of him:
Mr. Kim is revered as one of the top portrait and scenery painters in Hollywood, having been commissioned for his portrait work by names such as George C. Scott, Judy and Diana Canova, and the late William Holden. Mr. Kim's work is best known by millions of television viewers on the evening soap, "Dallas." [p. 21]
In becoming an artist to stars, celebrities, and presidents, Ro Kim has come a long way. Growing up in Poahung, South Korea, he drew pictures on toilet paper because that was his only available medium. His parents wanted him to be something other than an artist. Instead, Mr. Kim came to America in 1972 and set about his chosen career. Since then, he has become a very successful artist and especially a painter of portraits. His two covers for Weird Tales are in fact portraits. Brinke Stevens appeared on the front of the Fall 1984 issue. Texas-born dancer, model, and actress Jacqueline Pulliam was the subject of the Winter 1985 cover. Ro Kim also created the cover for Lon of 1000 Faces! by Forrest J Ackerman, et al. (1983). You can see images of Mr. Kim and created by Mr. Kim at his website, Ro Kim Art, at http://www.rokimart.com/home.

Ro H. Kim's Covers for Weird Tales
Fall 1984
Winter 1985

Further Reading

Weird Tales, Fall 1984, with cover art by Ro H. Kim showing model and actress Brinke Stevens.

Weird Tales, Winter 1985, with cover art by Mr. Kim. This time his model was Jacqueline Pulliam

According to James van Hise in Locus #308 (Sept. 1986), Mr. Kim's cover for the Winter 1985 issue was a swipe from a Victoria's Secret catalogue. After seeing photocopies of the two Bellerophon issues, very generously provided to me by publisher Brian L. Forbes, I have to admit to a little confusion. Jacqueline Pulliam, the model for this cover, was associated with Bellerophon and Weird Tales: a photograph of her appears inside on the editor's page (Winter 1985, p. 21), and she modeled Weird Tales nightshirts in a couple of advertisements (Fall 1984, p. 37, and Winter 1985, p. 49, both with Brinke Stevens). I can't say whether the woman in the photograph on the right above is Ms. Pulliam. It doesn't look like Ms. Pulliam to me, but I can't say for sure. But if that is she, then maybe the same person was a model for both images shown here. More likely, it seems to me that Mr. Kim, who freely works from photographs, used an image from a Victoria's Secret catalogue and perhaps a photograph of Jacqueline Pulliam to create his cover. In any case, you can read Mr. van Hise's full article, "Weird Lingerie Tales," at this URL:

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. I was admiring the cover reproductions here -- especially the image featuring Brinke Stevens -- and thinking that I had never encountered the work of Ro Kim before. But then I read your mention of the cover that he had done for Forrest Ackerman's book Lon of 1.00 Faces and realized that I actually had seen his work before...some 30+ years ago. I located my copy of said book on my bookshelf and sure enough, there's his name in the credits! Makes me wonder if all of his paintings are so dark and atmospheric.

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