Sunday, September 29, 2013

Covers of Unknown-Part 2

To my mind, the covers of Unknown improved in the magazine's second year. Here the figure of the witch is conventional, but the illustration as a whole is much more dynamic and evocative than H.W Scott's previous covers. The date was January 1940.
This is without a doubt one of the best and most effective Unknown covers. The artist was the great Edd Cartier. 
Manuel Rey Isip (1904-1987) executed this cover for the March 1940 issue of Unknown. The male figure here is basically a mirror image of that in the previous cover, yet Isip's cover is comparatively weak. (I don't think it's a good idea for a major figure to have his back turned to the viewer.) The technique is a little weaker, too.
Edd Cartier was back at work on the April 1940 issue. Rene Lafayette was L. Ron Hubbard, author of the previous cover story illustrated by Cartier.
Manuel Isip's second cover for Unknown (May 1940) was much stronger than his first. 
Then the final full-color cover illustration for Unknown. The artist was Edd Cartier. His was a frightening and disturbing image.
This is what covers of Unknown looked like after June 1940. It was clearly a mistake for John W. Campbell to switch to this new look. So why did he do it? 
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

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