Monday, January 23, 2017

Whips, Chains, Bondage, and Torture-1932-1935

More bondage, more whipping, more cruelty. The only cover here that doesn't exactly fit in this category is the last, showing Conan in prison, about to be helped by a spunky young woman straight out of a Hollywood movie. He is in chains, though. The 1930s were the decade of the weird menace fad. Weird Tales seems to have participated in that fad, especially in the covers following these, in the last of the three parts of this series. Note that two of the four covers here that show a woman whipping another woman are of stories by Robert E. Howard. He may have been giving his readers some thrills when he wrote scenes of lesbian sadism and bondage. Then again, maybe he was giving himself some thrills.

Weird Tales, February 1932. Cover story: "The Devil's Bride" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by C.C. Senf.

Weird Tales, September 1933. Cover story: "The Slithering Shadow" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, January 1934. Cover story: "The Red Knife of Hassan" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, April 1934. Cover story: "Satan's Garden" by E. Hoffman Price. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, December 1934. Cover story: "A Witch Shall Be Born" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, February 1935. Cover story: "The Web of Living Death" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, December 1935. Cover story: "The Hour of the Dragon" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

To be concluded . . . 

Text and captions copyright 2017 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. Not only were those two covers illustrations of stories by Robert E. Howard, but they were also both rendered by Margaret Brundage. It seems likely to me that Howard created such scenes for his own titillation first and his readers second. But since he was a great admirer of Ms. Brundage's erotic images, it also seems possible that he wrote these fetishist sequences with her art in mind as well.
    In essence, through the pages of Weird Tales, Howard and Brundage became long distance collaborators. As such, it's not much of a leap to suspect that she may have, to some degree, inspired the content of his writings. He could well have been putting pen to these scenes counting upon Margaret Brundage's pastels to eventually breathe life into his erotic fantasies.

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