Friday, January 31, 2014

One Hundred Years Gone

Today I picked up a book at a secondhand store. It's called Lost . . . and Never Found and it's by Anita Gustafson. (1) Lost . . . and Never Found is about people who have disappeared, never to be seen again. The second chapter is on the disappearance of Ambrose Bierce. I read something in that book that I have never read before. In his last letter of December 26, 1913, sent to his secretary from Chihuahua, Mexico, Bierce wrote that he was going to proceed with Pancho Villa's army to Ojinaga. From Anita Gustafson's book:
Some explanations of [Bierce's] disappearance point to his last letter, when he wrote that he was going with Villa's army to Ojinaga. The siege of that city began on January 11, 1914, and one Mexican army dispatch lists a casualty named A. Pierce. Was that Ambrose Bierce? (2, 3)
If Bierce wrote a letter on December 26, 1913, announcing some plan for immediate action, it seems pretty likely to me that he lived into the year 1914. So if the A. Pierce who died at Ojinaga was indeed Ambrose Bierce, then this month--January 2014--marks the one hundredth anniversary of his passing. There aren't many today who are  puncturing the great gasbags of our age the way Bierce did in his. We could use someone like him again. Rest in peace.

(1) Lost . . . and Never Found was published by Scholastic in 1985.
(2) p. 23.
(3) An article on the website of Marfa Public Radio says that the battle at Ojinaga was actually won on January 10, 1914. The New York Times reported fighting there on or before January 1. If Bierce died at Ojinaga, then his death may have taken place some time between January 1 and January 10. That's a big if. By the way, as everyone knows, Marfa, Texas, is home of the mysterious Marfa Lights. If, as Charles Fort suggested, someone in the great universe is collecting Ambroses, then maybe they made their approach to Mexico above Marfa and still do.

Original text copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

Woman Into Animal

Weird Tales, August 1939. Cover story: "Apprentice Magician" by E. Hoffman Price. Cover art by Virgil Finlay. This image was recycled fifteen years later:

Weird Tales, September 1954. Cover story: None. Cover art by Virgil Finlay. Lamentably, the last issue of Weird Tales in its original incarnation. But like a phoenix from the flames or like a cat with a few lives left, Weird Tales has been reborn, not once but many times.

Captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

Man Into Animal

Weird Tales, September 1946. Cover story: "Day of Judgment" by Edmond Hamilton. Cover art by Peter Kuhlhoff. Although the idea of the man being transformed into an animal goes back to the beginning of time, this cover is unique among Weird Tales covers. The progenitor in science fiction was probably The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells (1896). The American Indian skinwalker, the 1983 television show Manimal, and the much more recent Animorph series (1996-2001) by K.A. Applegate and ghostwriters are other variations on the same theme.

Caption copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Man and Animal

I have placed seven covers in the category of man and animal. Surprisingly, four of the animals are birds, two corvids (a crow and a raven) and two vultures. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be much of a pattern. Sometimes the animals are helpers and sometimes adversaries.

As far as I know, the image of a whip-poor-will, the calls of which figure prominently in several weird tales, never appeared on the cover of the magazine. I'm not sure why whip-poor-wills should be associated with the supernatural. Is that from folklore? In any case, I don't find anything strange or eerie in the sound of whip-poor-wills calling. On the contrary, the call of the whip-poor-will in the evening woods is to me the sound of a kind of wildness, of something that has been lost in the irretrievable past. Seeing a whip-poor-will float through the woods might remind you of a kind of ghost. To me, it's more like the flight of a kite or like a weightless wooden toy with moving parts. The association of the whip-poor-will with the supernatural or paranormal continues. A whip-poor-will is a goatsucker, in Spanish, chupacabra.

Weird Tales, July 1925. Cover story: "The Werewolf of Ponkert" by H. Warner Munn. Cover art by Andrew Brosnatch. If you didn't know better than by the title of the cover story, you would think the creatures attacking the man are wolves rather than werewolves. By the image alone, they appear to be animals, so I have put Andrew Brosnatch's cover in this category. It's also in the category of man and monster.

Weird Tales, July 1930. Cover story: "The Bride of Dewer" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. A little green guy may not be quite a man, but in what other category does he belong? In other words, in terms of telling a story, a character of this type functions as a man, so I think he has to go into the category of a man. So the first two covers show horses, but they're the last horses you'll see for awhile.

Weird Tales first appeared in the 1920s, but it wasn't exactly a creature of the Jazz Age. Fantasy, weird fiction, and ghost stories look to the past. Science fiction is about the future. It shouldn't come as any surprise that Weird Tales had a somewhat old-fashioned look to it, even into the 1940s. That look was exemplified in the cover art of Curtis C. Senf, an artist of Old World sensibilities whose art often looked more like a nineteenth-century lithograph than an illustration from the pulp fiction era.

Weird Tales, February 1939. Cover story: "Death Is an Elephant" by Nathan Hindin, a pseudonym of Robert Bloch. Cover art by Virgil Finlay. When I think of weird fiction, the image of a rogue elephant doesn't leap into my head. Maybe in 1939 a cover with a circus theme would have helped sell magazines. God knows there were enough men wearing turbans. In any case, there is more than just a man and an animal in this picture, but the essential relationship is between the two. I guess the elephant is supposed to be the bad guy and deserves to be stuck with a knife. We in the twenty-first century might see things differently. As an artist, I see that Virgil Finlay made a mistake in aligning the man's left hand with the elephant's knee. Learning not to do things like that is a beginning lesson in drawing. Otherwise it's a perfectly fine cover, although the faces in the foreground seem to have been drawn from stock photos in the artist's morgue. The one in the middle looks really familiar to me.

Weird Tales, September 1939. Cover poem: "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. Cover art by Virgil Finlay. To me, this is one of the most memorable and iconic covers for Weird Tales. Finlay kept it simple as a magazine cover probably should be for maximum impact. Note that Poe is looking not at the bird but to its right. I don't know why. This is one of only two Weird Tales covers that I have found showing the image of an author. (The other is of Harry Houdini from March 1924.) It may be alone in illustrating a poem rather than a story. By the way, this is the 205th anniversary of Poe's birth month. (He was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston.) Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Weird Tales, September 1944. Cover story: None. Cover art by A.R. Tilburne. The website Yankee Classic has identified this cover as a swipe from the artist Jose Segrelles from an image published in American Weekly Magazine in October 1931. It's a shame that Tilburne resorted to that, but his is a fine version and well executed. If you look at the regular Weird Tales artists of the 1940s--A.R. Tilburne, Hannes Bok, Matt Fox, Lee Brown Coye, Boris Golgov--they stack up pretty well against the artists of the 1920s. The 1930s of course were dominated by J. Allen St. John, Margaret Brundage, and Virgil Finlay. This drawing reminds me of a cartoon by Shaw in The New Yorker from last year (June 3, 2013). The cartoon shows a man crawling through the desert. On his back is a vulture. The man is saying to the vulture, with some annoyance, "If I can crawl, you can circle."

Weird Tales, January 1946. Covers story: None. Cover art by A.R. Tilburne. Many of those 1940s covers didn't illustrate any particular story. Here is another in that category. I don't think this picture is as striking or as well executed as the previous one, but that's not because Tilburne wasn't capable of such a thing on his own. He was in fact a very accomplished and interesting artist. I'll have more on him as time goes by.

Weird Tales, May 1946. Cover story: "The Valley of the Gods" by Edmond Hamilton. Cover art by Ronald Clyne. It's our loss that Ronald Clyne illustrated only one cover for Weird Tales. Fortunately he created a number of covers for hardbound editions issued by Arkham House. He was a very fine designer as this cover shows. His work also has a kind of precision approaching the technique of the lithographer or woodblock engraver. Here, man and vulture lack pupils--their eyes are lit as the lantern is lit.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, January 27, 2014

Woman and Wolf

The category of woman and wolf would fit inside the category of woman and animal except that there are enough covers of the former to separate them from the latter. I think that fact alone is significant. Of the ten covers shown here, seven show the woman and the wolf as friends or companions. I would also call that significant, but I don't know in what way it is significant. Of the remaining three covers, two are of the wolf attacking or stalking the woman; the third shows the wolf as a woman. The identification of woman as wolf would seem to me merely an extension of the idea that the wolf and the woman are friends or companions. In other words, somebody--whether it's the author of weird fiction, or humanity in general--seems to be saying that the woman has some basic affinity with wolves. She runs with their pack or they run with hers. I'm still trying to puzzle it all out, and I welcome comments.

Weird Tales, April 1926. Cover story: "Wolfshead" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by E.M. Stevenson. This cover would more properly go in the category of man and woman (or woman and monster), but because of the wolf theme, I have included it here. The male figure is apparently a human being, but the shadow of the wolf behind him suggests that he is more monster than man, perhaps a werewolf. Of all the covers in the category of woman and wolf, only this one shows the wolf attacking the woman.

Weird Tales, September 1927. Cover story: "The Wolf Woman" by Bassett Morgan. Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. Likewise, this cover fits into the category of man, woman, and animal, but because of the theme, I have included it here. Morgan's story and Senf's cover set the pattern for woman/wolf covers to follow: almost every one of them shows the two as being friends. Women have an affinity for animals, but why the wolf in Weird Tales?

Weird Tales, December 1930. Cover story: "The Wolf of St. Bonnot" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Hugh Rankin. Another cover that is not well represented on the Internet. Margaret Brundage's first woman-and-wolf cover (third illustration following) and the second Canadian woman-and-wolf cover (the last illustration below) are not very different from this one.

Weird Tales, June 1932. Cover story: "The Devil's Pool" by Greye La Spina. Cover art by J. Allen St. John. Here the woman isn't just friends with the wolf--she is the wolf. That may get to the question: Is the woman somehow identified with the wolf, either in her own mind or in the minds of men? What does a wolf represent? A kind of wildness I guess, but is that all? If not, what else?

Magazine of Horror, November 1965 (No. 11). Here is Carl Kidwell's version of the same scene from "The Devil's Pool." Kidwell drew one illustration for Weird Tales in 1952. More than a decade later, Robert A.W. Lowndes began a successful term as editor of Magazine of Horror, a digest that might have captured the spirit of Weird Tales better than any of its successors.

Weird Tales, March 1933. Cover story: "The Thing in the Fog" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Once again, a woman who runs with wolves.

Weird Tales, October 1935. Cover story: "The Six Sleepers" by Edmond Hamilton. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

Weird Tales, August 1938. Cover story: "The Wolf-Girl of Josselin" by Arlton Eadie. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Note that a female artist drew three of the five American covers in which the woman and wolf are friends. Significant? Maybe.

Weird Tales, September 1942. Cover story (?): "Never the Twain" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by A.R. Tilburne. This cover doesn't quite fit the category. After all, there is a man in the picture. I have included it here because of the wolf theme. Again, out of ten covers, only two show the wolf as an enemy of the woman.

Weird Tales, January 1943, Canadian edition. Cover story (?): "Satan's Bondage" by Manly Bannister. Cover art by an unknown artist. It seems to me that the Canadian edition of Weird Tales has been pretty well ignored by fans and researchers. I base that on a lack of information on the Internet. I would like to correct that oversight with a future series of postings. If anyone has special knowledge of the Canadian edition, I would sure like to hear from you. 

Weird Tales, May 1945, Canadian edition. Cover story (?): "Bon Voyage, Michele" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by an unknown artist. This cover is both a woman-and-wolf cover and a ghost cover. The wolves may actually be huskies, but the theme is the same. 

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Woman and Animal

A pattern started to emerge in the previous category, which I called man, woman, and animal. The pattern is more evident in the category for today. With the man removed from the picture, it becomes clear that the relationship of woman to animal is either: a) the animal as a threat to the woman (in the same way a monster is a threat); or b) the animal as a pet, companion, or helper to the woman. The animal may even go so far as being an alternate identity for the woman or a kind of witch's familiar. We'll see more of that in the next category, woman and wolf.

Weird Tales, June 1923. Cover story: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe. Cover art by William F. Heitman. I have commented on this cover before. William F. Heitman was a good draftsman (he was employed by the Indianapolis Star as a sketch artist), but this cover is not very well executed. The ape isn't bad, but the figure of the woman is poorly done. I'll assign the poor drawing to two things: it was done in a hurry, and it was done without use of a model. However, Heitman deserves credit for drawing the first gorilla cover for Weird Tales. In the 1950s, DC Comics discovered that gorilla covers sell. I wonder if that was true in the 1920s as well.

Weird Tales, September 1923. Cover story: "People of the Comet" by Austin Hall. Cover art by R.M. Mally. I know there's a man in the picture, but he might as well not be there at all for all the good he's doing. Essentially this is an image of woman and animal, and the animal is a threat. I would say that the woman's goose is cooked.

Weird Tales, September 1929. Cover story: "The White Wizard" by Sophie Wenzel Ellis. Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. Before there was King Kong, there was this cover for Weird Tales. Senf did a good job on the gorilla's face. I'm not so sure about the legs. And the woman is pretty stiff for being hauled around by a big ape. The animal is still a threat, but things are about to change.

Weird Tales, January 1935. Cover story: "Black Bagheela" by Bassett Morgan. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Here the animal is depicted as a companion or defender of the woman, in strong contrast to the previous three images. Bassett Morgan's story should not be confused with Val Lewton's earlier tale, "The Bagheeta," which appeared in July 1930. Both titles presumably go back to Rudyard Kipling's Bagheera, the black panther character from The Jungle Book (1894).

Weird Tales, November 1935. Cover story: "Shadows in Zamboula" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. A Conan cover without Conan. Instead we have snakes, and the threat of the animal is back.

Weird Tales, March 1939. Cover story: "The Swine of Aeaea" by Clifford Ball. Cover art by Virgil Finlay. Clifford Ball sure bought a lot of vowels for his title. The idea and the image are odd, but Virgil Finlay's cover works for me. It is, as always with Finlay, beautifully done. Again, it looks like the animal is a pet or companion and no threat at all. 

Weird Tales, May 1943. Cover story: "John Cawder's Wife" by P. Schuyler Miller. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. This was very nearly Margaret Brundage's last cover for Weird Tales, and it's a far cry from her fantasies of the 1930s. Instead of nymphs, we have a mature woman and the work of a more mature artist. Weird Tales was based in New York City by 1943. Margaret Brundage's delicate chalk pastel drawings would not have survived very well in the mail from Chicago (her home) to New York. I believe this is a watercolor, a more durable medium that would have easily been shipped halfway across the country. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Margaret Brundage's drawing of a woman with an ermine reminds me of Leonardo's well known and beautifully done painting "Lady with an Ermine" from about 1489-1490. 

Weird Tales, March 1945. Cover story: "Lords of the Ghostlands" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by A.R. Tilburne. This cover just barely fits into the category of woman and animal inasmuch as the animal is more an element of design than a part of the action. But the cat is there acting as a companion, familiar, or even alternate identity for the woman. (I haven't read the story, so I can't say.) You will see this cover again in the category of Egypt.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A New Magazine

Just a note to point out that I have added a new page to my blog. To see it, click on the page label "A New Magazine" (below "Home," "Weird Tales Artists," and "Weird Tales Authors") on the right or on this link.

Man, Woman, and Animal

I remember a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey:

In that first wordless sequence, before men become men by discovering tools, weapons, and murder, they, as primitive anthropoids, huddle together, listening with fear in their eyes to the growling, yawping, and shrieking of unseen animals awake in the night. That fear is still with us. It's why we're afraid of the dark, why we hide under the covers and lay still, petrified in fear, when we hear strange sounds in the room, in the house, or somewhere beyond. We still fear those first animals, for we were their prey. We have also forgotten them. Our fear is an atavism. In our imaginations, we have replaced those long-ago creatures--most of which are now extinct--with monsters. As children, our monsters resemble the animals we feared when we still lived in trees, caves, and huts. They are hairy or scaly or slick. They have fangs, spikes, and claws. They creep and slither and crawl. As adults, our fear of the animal becomes a fear of the human, hence of the true monster. But if we retrace our fear, we find that the first monsters were animals. Before we knew of good and evil, we feared them. It was only after the apple that the true monster--a being with a capacity for evil--could exist in our imaginations.

In Weird Tales, the relationship of man and woman to animal is often very much like the relationship of man and woman to monster. In other words, animal and monster can be interchangeable. But the animal can also be a servant or a helper, for good or evil. Certain animals are usually symbols of evil, especially snakes. Animals are sometimes on the side of human beings and sometimes against them. The tigers in two separate images below are obvious examples. Several related categories will follow in this system of categorizing cover images. First though: man, woman, and animal.

Weird Tales, December 1925. Cover story: "The Tenants of Broussac" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Joseph Doolin. There are lots of snakes on the cover of Weird Tales. Usually they're trying to kill somebody. Here, the woman looks like she is enjoying the snake's company. Even so, I suspect the man is trying to rescue her. She is obviously in thrall to the serpent that coils around her. Note the presence of the same elements as in the category of man, woman, and monster: a) Man; b) Woman; c) Monster, in this case a monstrous serpent; and d) Weapon. Note also the sexual symbolism, unintended or not.
The previous picture reminds me of this one in which, again, the woman and the snake are friends. No matter what you think of Frank Frazetta, you have to admit this is an arresting image.

Weird Tales, March 1930. Cover story: "Drums of Damballah" by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. The theme of snake and woman continues. This time the woman seems to be commanding the snake instead of the other way around. The man, an unfortunate racial stereotype, is merely incidental to the picture except perhaps in some sexually symbolic way. Note that the man's loin cloth and the snake are the same color. Note also where the distal end of the snake is positioned in relationship to the man's body. On the other hand, maybe I'm making something of nothing. Strangely, the woman lacks nipples.

The excuse for racial stereotypes is that they were a product of their own time. I don't accept that excuse. Stereotypes are an offense against humanity, but they are also an offense against art. They are in other words a failure of the imagination. There are examples of art from that period--paintings, drawings, novels, movies--in which the artist of vision and courage did not fall back on stereotypes but portrayed human beings as human beings, regardless of their skin color. There isn't any reason why every artist should not have done the same thing.

Weird Tales, June 1931. Cover story: "Tam, Son of Tiger" (part 1 of 6). Cover art by Curtis C. Senf. First I have to apologize for the image. Evidently this is not a very popular cover of Weird Tales because it's not plastered all over the Internet. This is the largest and clearest version I could find. In any case, all the elements from the first image above are back but combined in a slightly different way. The animal is not protecting the woman but attacking her. The man (enter stage right) attempts to intervene, sword in hand, as before.

Weird Tales, October 1931. Cover story: "Tam Son of the Tiger" by Otis Adelbert Kline. Cover art by C.C. Senf. The woman is small, but she's there in the background being abducted by giant spider monkeys.

Weird Tales, April 1933. Cover story: "Golden Blood" (part 1 of 6). Cover art by J. Allen St. John. Another tiger but in a different role, this time as a mount for the man and woman and a threat to the riders on camelback on the lower left.

Weird Tales, August 1934. Cover story: "The Devil in Iron" by Robert E. Howard. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. Here the man's life is at risk and he must defend himself rather than the woman from attack. But then the artist was a woman. That makes three Conan covers by Margaret Brundage in which the hero is threatened or helpless while the woman rescues him, shields him, or simply looks on.
I grew up looking at Frank Frazetta's artwork. I go back to him again and again. For instance, the previous image, by Margaret Brundage, reminds me of this one, by Frazetta, from thirty years later. Again, the hero is in a fight for his life. Again he wields a curved sword. The woman is in a much different situation however. 
Here's the whole picture, perhaps original and perhaps revised, but looking a little washed out compared to the paperback cover. I wanted to show it because of its similarity to the next image:  
When I saw this cover of Double Comics from 1941, drawn by Malcolm Kildale, I couldn't help thinking of Frazetta's cover for Wolfshead. The composition is very similar, with the action taking place on the left side of the page, while the right side recedes towards a set of stairs and a fallen figure. There is even a brazier in the room. If you think I'm done with Frazetta, think again.
Here is Frazetta's cover for Kavin's World by David Mason (1969). If you reverse the female figure and put her arm down at her side, she is more or less the same as Kildale's female figure from a quarter century before.

So did Frank Frazetta swipe elements of his two paintings from a then twenty-five-year-old comic book? Or is the resemblance merely coincidental? If they're swipes, were they done consciously or unconsciously? We should remember that in 1941 Frazetta was only thirteen years old and probably reading (and drawing) comic books every day. Malcom Kildale's cover might have stuck in his head. It is after all a striking and memorable image. Even if the swipe was conscious, I think we can forgive Frank, for he was far from alone in swiping from other cartoonists. Still, I don't like to find Frazetta implicated in a swipe. (M.D. Jackson at Amazing Stories and James Gurney on his blog, Gurney Journey, have found other instances.)

Frank Frazetta was far more often the victim of a swipe. (A better word might be theft.) Too many artists have copied from him absolutely shamelessly, so many in fact that Burne Hogarth had to tell his students, "Quit trying to paint like Frazetta! There's only one Frazetta and he's it!" So it's one thing to copy another artist when you're learning to draw. It's quite another to be a professional artist and to steal outright from him. As everyone knows, Frazetta imitated Hal Foster and even his friend Roy G. Krenkel to some degree. But he became his own artist as every artist should. (My advice to every artist is to be the artist that you are. Do not try to be someone else. Burne Hogarth had it right.) In the end, in his defense, I can say that when Frazetta swiped from another artist, it wasn't very obvious and he put his signature on his work, figuratively and literally. But when others swipe from Frazetta, their work is obviously a swipe and it still has Frazetta's signature on it. You can't copy Frazetta without looking like you're copying Frazetta.

Finally, I would just like to say what a shame it was that Frank Frazetta never drew anything for Weird Tales. Now that would have been something to see.
Or maybe Frazetta did draw something for Weird Tales, he just did it through the hand of another artist.

Weird Tales, Feb. 1936. Cover story: "Coils of the Silver Serpent" by Forbes Parkhill. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. This image doesn't quite go in the category of man, woman, and animal. The reason is that there is another man in the picture. I have included it here because it shows a figure in the coils of a snake, like the pictures above. The animal is the immediate threat, the villain secondary. You will see this image again soon among the other snake covers.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley