Friday, November 18, 2016

Spiders on the Cover of Weird Tales

I can't say that this is a complete list of spiders on the cover of Weird Tales, but these are the most prominent, I think. There are three of them. About thirty years separate one from the next. The first is a monstrous spider like the spider in The Hobbit (1937) or The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). The others appear to be decorations or to establish the mood or to let you know that this is a fantasy.

Weird Tales, June 1925. Cover story: "Monsters of the Pit" by Paul S. Powers. Cover art by Andrew Brosnatch.

Weird Tales, March 1954. Cover story: None. Cover art by Evan Singer.

Weird Tales, Fall 1984. Cover story: "The Pandora Principle" by Brinke Stevens and A.E. van Vogt. Cover art by Ro H. Kim.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Terence,
    I love that Andrew Brosnatch cover; largely because it is stylistically so similar to the paintings to be found in the old Remington ads, or on the covers of magazines like Outdoor Life and Field & Stream in days gone by. I can almost see the cover blurb "How I Bagged a Giant Spider Armed Only With a Maul!"
    As far as movies go, it reminds me most of Earth vs. the Spider; a swell Bert I. Gordon film from 1958.

    1. Mike,

      I hadn't made the connection, but you're right about the similarity to old hunting and outdoor adventure stories and advertisements. That connection leads to men's adventure magazines of the 1950s and '60s. One of my favorite cover blurbs from that era: "Weasels Ripped My Flesh!"


  2. Terence,
    Wow! I was aware of the Frank Zappa album titled "Weasels Ripped My Flesh", but I had no idea that the name came from a cover blurb on a men's adventure magazine until you mentioned it. With a little online research I found that cover to the September 1956 issue of Man's Life. What a great exploitational image! Easily equal to anything else ever found in the pulps.
    The artwork is credited to Will Hulsey, who apparently produced many such covers for Man's Life and True Men magazines in the 50s and 60s. I likely saw his work among my father's magazines when I was a kid; his style sure looks familiar...