Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Satyrs on the Cover of Weird Tales

Well, after the recent discussion here of centaurs, satyrs, fauns, Pan, and Faunus, I decided to look for satyrs on the cover of Weird Tales. I found only one:

Weird Tales, November 1950. Cover story: None. Cover art by Frank Kelly Freas, the first of his three covers for the magazine.

The word panic comes from the name Pan. There may be some of that after today. Pan of course blows on pipes. (The instrument above looks more like a clarinet.) That image of disorder, madness, and music makes me think of H.P. Lovecraft's god Azathoth. From "The Haunter of the Dark" (1935):
He thought of the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose centre sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a daemoniac flute held in nameless paws.
And all of that sounds awfully familiar . . .

Happy Election Day, America!

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous cover! I love everything about this image; the composition, color balance, contrast, concept... Freas was a genius, and this is one of his finest efforts, I'm sure. He has captured the essence of the satyr perfectly; simultaneously playful and malevolent. I had never seen this cover before; thank you so much for sharing.

    The quote from Lovecraft does indeed embody the current political scene, more perfectly than anything else I've heard or read this year. Regardless of which "Nameless Horror" wins the Presidency today, it would be fitting if they took the oath of office with their tentacled hand resting upon a copy of the Necronomicon...
    (Erich Zann could play "Hail to the Chief"...)