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The far out work of Frank R. Paul, the ‘Father of Science Fiction Art’
08.29.2017
07:36 am
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A remarkable black and white illustration by Frank R. Paul.
 
Hailing from Austria, pulp novel and comic book artist Frank R. Paul (born Rudolf Franz Paul in 1884), only attended school until the eighth-grade. At the time, affluent members of Austria received formal education beyond that, but Paul’s family were not a part of that world. So, when Paul turned fourteen, he got his first job working in a paper mill which he kept until the age of seventeen when he left Austria to avoid being drafted into the military. Paul ended up in Paris where he studied art which then led him to pursue studies in architecture in London. Finally, Paul would find himself and his first success as an artist in New York (after a short pit stop in San Francisco) where he was hired by Hugo Gernsback, the editor of The Electrical Experimenter, to create artwork for the monthly magazine in 1914.

Known today as the “Father of Science Fiction Art” Paul’s vivid work has appeared in and on the covers of a wide variety of magazines and pulp novels, most notably Amazing Stories who published a painting done by Paul on their very first issue in 1926. Other influential covers by Paul include the unique illustration of the “Human Torch” (the robot superhero created by Carl Burgos, not Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four) on Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, as well as his terrifying depiction of H. G. Wells’ vision of The War of the Worlds for Amazing Stories in 1927.

Publications containing Paul’s wild illustrations have sold for more than 20,000 dollars in the past, and his work is highly sought after by collectors. I highly recommend picking up the impeccable 2009 book, FROM THE PEN OF PAUL: The Fantastic Images of Frank R. Paul if you are at all a fan of the science fiction genre. I’ve posted some of Paul’s super spacey paintings, illustrations and magazine/pulp novel covers below.
 

1940.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.29.2017
07:36 am
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‘Amazing Stories’: The bizarre-o pulp science fiction artwork of Frank R. Paul
02.06.2015
12:24 pm
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Frank R. Paul Covers
 
The hardest part about this post has been deciding which of Frank R. Paul’s mind-bending works of satisfyingly strange science fiction art NOT to feature here on Dangerous Minds. Virtually everything the man touched was oddly compelling. The creative genius behind some of the most delightful pulp magazine cover art in history and widely recognized as the “Father of Science Fiction Illustration,” Paul crafted hundreds of vibrant and wonderfully weird compositions to be used as illustrations for several pioneering science fiction periodicals including Fantastic Adventures, Wonder Stories, Science Fiction and Amazing Stories among many others. 

Some of Paul’s work was collected in a 2013 book called Frank R. Paul: The Dean of Science Fiction Illustration from IDW Publishing. In the portion of the book on trailblazing science fiction publication, Amazing Stories, the chapter’s author, Frank Hill documents Paul’s storied working relationship with influential science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback. According to Hill, Gersback began publishing Amazing Stories in 1926 after the success of his Science and Invention magazine at a time when there were only two other science fiction magazines available: Argosy and Weird Tales

It’s pretty incredible what you could by for a quarter in those days. Here’s Hill’s description of the first issue of Amazing Stories:

Naturally, the cover and interior illustrations for this issue were supplied by Frank R. Paul, who had been in Gernsback’s employment since around 1914. The new magazine had a distinct look about it, containing ninety-six pages and printed on heavy paper with even heavier cover stock. The whole magazine weighed in at half a pound, measured over a half-inch thick, and contained stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, among others.

   
With Frank R. Paul working as illustrator, Amazing Stories quickly became very successful according to Hill, reaching a distribution of 100,000 readers. Ray Bradbury once said: “Paul’s fantastic covers for Amazing Stories changed my life forever.” 

Frank R. Paul was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009.

I did the absolute best I could in matching the images below with the publications in which they originally appeared, and I hope that I wasn’t too egregiously off on any of these.
 
Tetrahedra of Space
“Tetrahedra of Space,” November, 1931 Wonder Stories Cover
 
Air Wonder Stories Frank R. Paul
Air Wonder Stories Front Cover August, 1929
 
Wonder Stories Cover, February, 1933 Frank R. Paul
Wonder Stories Cover, February, 1933
 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Jason Schafer
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02.06.2015
12:24 pm
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