Friday, February 22, 2019

THE GREATEST PULP ILLUSTRATOR OF THEM ALL

A Virgil Finlay self-portrait.
We were lucky that Virgil Finlay preferred to work in the fields of fantasy and the supernatural. Any other genre would have been glad to have him, but we have been gifted with his masterful work in countless publications.

Virgil Warden Finlay (July 23, 1914 – January 18, 1971) was first published in the December 1935 issue of WEIRD TALES. He also contributed many illustrations to science-fiction pulps over a period of decades.

Finlay's technique, a combination of line, stipple and cross-hatch is beyond compare and as recognizable as other giants in the field of fantasy illustration such as Frank Frazetta.

Sam Moskowitz (June 30, 1920 – April 15, 1997) was on the other business end of science-fiction; he was a well known writer and historian who wrote and edited many books on the subject. Shown here is the first of his series of articles on "pulp" luminaries in WORLDS OF TOMORROW (November 1965),














Thursday, February 21, 2019

BEFORE THEY WERE SCREAM QUEENS: FAY WRAY


Many of us that watched RKO's KING KONG (1933) as Monster Kids -- and maybe even a few of us as adults -- assumed that 26-year old Fay Wray, the dame with the scream that could shatter glass, arrived fully formed and ready to play Ann Darrow. Not so! Miss Wray had already had a bit of a modeling career and a bunch of movies under her belt before she met up with the Great Ape. As a matter of fact, the four movies she appeared in before KONG were all horror/thrillers (DOCTOR X, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, THE VAMPIRE BAT, and MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM).

This article from the November 1929 of SCREENLAND is subtitled "A Sweet Little Girl Grows Up" and tells the story of Miss Wray from a "shy, sweet and serious" girl to "an emancipated ingenue, gay and gallant, the season's sensation in talking pictures." They had no idea. . .




Wednesday, February 20, 2019

ROLF ARMSTRONG'S SCARIEST PIN-UP


American Rolf Armstrong (April 21, 1889 – February 22, 1960) was the uncle of actor Robert Armstrong who played Carl Denham in KING KONG (RKO 1933). Armstrong is one of the best known pinup artists from the Golden Age of glamour illustration and is sometimes called "The Father of Pinup Art". His work could be seen on many of the movie fan magazines of the day.

Armstrong worked in oils and pastels. In 1935, he either had permission for or was asked by execs at Universal Studios to visit the set of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and work up some sketches of Boris Karloff in Jack Pierce's makeup. Often mistakenly identified as a painting, the series was completed with the pastel shown here. Besides being seen for a few seconds in one of Karloff's home movies, this work is the only known color depiction of the monster from the film.

Armstrong was hoping to gain some financial traction with the picture, but nothing ever materialized. Upon Armstrong's death, it was, along with much of his art, willed to Jewel Flowers, one of his favorite models.






Rolf Armstrong photograph in Screenland December 1929.

In the February 1930 issue of SCREENLAND, Armstrong commented on the power and influence of color. His discussion included the symbolic interpretations of numerous colors and how they correspondent to the different actresses of the day.



















IT'S INTERNATIONAL PIPE SMOKING DAY!



Go easy on the Tana leaves, okay?



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A VISIT TO A TORTURE CHAMBER


When is the last time you had the chance to visit a torture chamber? Aptly named "scientific sadism", this pictorial from the August 1957 issue of TRUE MYSTERY, takes us on a guided tour of the Criminal Museum of Rome. Inside, all manner of delights await. For instance, the cure for a talkative girl is the "Women's Reins", put on like a muzzle with a protruding iron spike that was forced into the mouth. Or, how about the gizmo where the "culprit" was hung by the wrists and dragged along a minefield of spikes. Or, better yet, how about being drawn and quartered by either a team of horses or two trees bent over, then let loose. . . with the victim tied to each of them! An Italian beauty takes us through the terrifying exhibits, one by one! Aieeeeee!




Monday, February 18, 2019

LAND OF THE GIANTS NO. 2 (GOLD KEY)


LAND OF THE GIANTS
Vol. 1 No. 2
January 1969
Western Publishing Co., Inc. (Gold Key Comics)
Editor: ?
Cover: Photo cover
Pages: 36
Cover price: 15 cents

CONTENTS
"Countdown to Escape! Part 1 - The Wings of an Eagle"
Script: Dick Wood
Pencils: Ted Galindo
Inks: Tom Gill

"Countdown to Escape! Part 2 - The Little Buccaneers"
Script: Dick Wood
Pencils: Ted Galindo
Inks: Tom Gill

Dinosauria (Triceratops) Text Story
Text: ?
Art: Rex Mason




































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