Friday, December 18, 2009

The Illustrators of ROBERT E. HOWARD - WEIRD TALES - Installment 3 - Hugh Rankin

Hugh Rankin was introduced as the new interior artist for Weird Tales in July 1927. Rankin did his first illustration of a Robert E. Howard story in the March 1928 issue. The story was "The Hyena." At one point, Howard stated that Rankin was his personal favorite of all the artists that illustrated his work in Weird Tales.
He also signed some of his work with the name Doak.

Those illustrations were done in a style different from his familiar one. Unfortunately, a lot of the work Rankin did for Weird Tales was so poorly reproduced that his abilities were not always apparent.
Rankin continued to work for Weird Tales until the mid-thirties.

Rankin's second Howard illustration was for "Red Shadows," the first Solomon Kane story, in the August 1920 issue. This was followed by his illustration for the Howard poem, "The Harp of Alfred," which was featured in the September 1928 issue.

Rankin's other Howard illustrations were for:

"Skulls in the Stars" January 1929

"The Shadow Kingdom" August 1929

"Skull-Face" Part One October 1929

"The Hills of the Dead" August 1930

"Kings of the Night" November 1930

"Rogues in the House" January 1934

"The Valley of the Worm"
February 1934

"Shadows in the Moonlight"
April 1934

"Queen of the Black Coast"
May 1934

"The Devil In Iron"
August 1934

"The People of the Black Circle"
Part One September 1934

"The People of the Black Circle"
Part Two October 1934

"The People of the Black Circle"
Part Three November 1934

"A Witch Shall Be Born"
December 1934

"Beyond the Black River" Part One
May 1935

"Beyond the Black River" Part Two
June 1935

As "Doak"

"Rattle of Bones" June 1929

"The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune"
September 1929

"Skull-Face" Part Two
November 1929

"Skull-Face" Part Three
December 1929

"The Moon of Skulls" Part One
June 1930

"The Moon of Skulls" Part Two
July 1930

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Illustrators of



Installment 2 -

G. O. Olnick

G. O. Olnick was another of those early Weird Tales artists that wasn't good enough to stick around for long. He only illustrated one Howard story, "The Lost Tribe," which appeared in the January 1927 issue.

"The Lost Tribe" was Howard's fourth story to be published by the magazine, and marked the first appearance of Bran Mak Morn.

I couldn't find out much about Olnick. He did almost all of the interior illustrations for the magazine from the August 1926 issue through the April 1927 issue. In that issue, Weird Tales used Olnick for the last time. Curtis C. Senf, who had done the covers on the March and April issues, took over as the interior illustrator as well.

If I find out any more personal information about Olnick, I'll add it to this post at a later date.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Illustrators of Robert E. Howard: Weird Tales

I've dug out an old project from a few years back tentatively titled The Illustrators of Robert E. Howard and have decided to finish it up in time for Howard Days 2010, where the focus is on Howard illustrators.

I haven't decided whether this will be a color or black and white book, but while I work on it, I'll be posting some rough samples here.

I'll begin by covering the artists who illustrated Howard's work for Weird Tales.

Installment One - E. M. Stevenson, Wolfshead, Weird Tales April 1926

The first time a Howard yarn was illustrated was in his third appearance in Weird Tales, "Wolfshead."

Howard had his first cover for "Wolfshead," done by E. M. Stevenson, a forgotten artist who failed to make a mark in the weird genre.

Howard had to rewrite “Wolfshead.”

In January of 1926, he got a desperate letter from Wright:

“...I hope you have a carbon copy of "Wolfshead." If so, will you please forward it to me at once by special delivery?

“The reason for this request is this: — Every bit of copy for the April issue is set except The Eyrie (which I hold off until the last minute) and "Wolfshead"; and so far the artist has not sent me the manuscript of "Wolfshead." He sent me the black and white art heading last week, and today I wired him to rush the manuscript to me, as the cover (I enclose an engraver’s proof) is on the press and I cannot possibly substitute another story for it now. I do not know that he has lost it, but it should have been in my hands last week, and I haven’t got the ms. to give to the printer. If it should turn out to be lost, and you haven’t a carbon copy, then Lord help us! The artist (E. M. Stevenson, of New York) has done so good a job on the "Wolfshead" cover that I have commissioned him to do the June and July covers for us.

If you receive a sudden wire from me, you will know that I have heard from the artist and that he has mislaid or lost the ms. (something that has never occurred on W. T. so far); but to hasten matters, I will be grateful if you will rush the carbon copy to me any Way, at once. Will you do this?”

Howard didn’t have a carbon for the story. He had to rewrite the story from memory. The original turned up a few days later. Howard got an extra ten dollars for doing the rewrite, and Wright also informed him that he was doubling his word rate.

Stevenson only did four other covers for Weird Tales, and he was gone, as the magazine started to develop a visual identity and found artists who were both more talented and more suited to the needs of the magazine.