Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dragons on the Cover of Weird Tales

While we're on the subject of mythological creatures, I figured I would show the covers of Weird Tales with dragons. I count four of them and I like all four. As a bonus, there is a unicorn in the fourth image. You have seen all of these before in different categories, but here they all are, together at last.

Weird Tales, July 1926. Cover story: "Through the Vortex" by Donald Edward Keyhoe. Cover art by E.M. Stevenson. Donald Keyhoe was trained as a pilot. It's no wonder that he would cast his heroes in the mode of a pilot or other similar adventurer. For his (or her) part, the artist Stevenson created five covers for Weird Tales, all in 1926.

Weird Tales, January 1941. Cover story: "Dragon Moon" by Henry Kuttner. Cover art by Harold S. De Lay. I have written about this cover before. It reminds me of works by Frazetta--or maybe I should say it the other way around.

Weird Tales, September 1943. Cover story: "Black Barter" by Robert Bloch. Cover art by A.R. Tilburne. Yeah, I know, Tilburne swiped from other artists sometimes. It looks like he swiped one of Virgil Finlay's creatures for this illustration (below the man's left hand). But as long as he made pictures like this, I think we can forgive him.

Weird Tales, July 1948. Cover story: None. Cover art by Matt Fox. I don't know about you, but I think the cover artists for Weird Tales in the 1940s stack up pretty well against the cover artists of the 1930s. Matt Fox's gorgeous, phantasmagoric cover here is a demonstration of just how well.

Text and captions copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley


  1. What I find most fascinating, most horrific about the De Lay cover pictured here is that, rather than basing his dragon on snake and other reptilian physiology (like most artists do), he seems to have designed a supernatural creature based upon the pug dog; perhaps the creepiest-looking animal I have ever encountered in the real world. What a horrifying concept...

    1. Mike,

      It does kind of look like a dog, maybe a puppy possessed by the devil.