Fantastic Novels March 1949. Cover illustration by Virgil Finlay.

Cover illustration by Bernard Barton for Instant Love, 1963

Teen-Age Terror, paperback cover by James Alfred Meese, 1958

Illustration by Hugh Joseph Ward for the cover of Spicy Adventure Stories May, 1935

Cover illustration for A Doctor and His Mistress by Orrie Hitt, 1960 (via)

Graves, I dig! by Carter Brown. Cover art by Barye Phillips, 1960 (via)

The artwork of Virgil Finlay

Virgil Finlay, American artist, (23 July 1914 – 18 January 1971) is probably most well know for his scratchboard fantasy and science fiction illustrations for such publications as Famous Fantastic MysteriesAmazing Stories and Weird Tales. He worked on white clayboard, using a combination of straight scratchwork and pen and ink drawing to create fantastically intricate works.

When Finlay first sent his work to publishers he was told it was too detailed for pulp fiction illustration; however in 1935, Weird Tales took a chance on Finlay and he soon became a favourite with readers and writers alike. His work became so popular that when he served with the Army during World War II  the magazines that used his illustrations hired other artists to imitate his style.

In addition to his grass-roots popularity, Finlay received professional recognition for his work: he was nominated several times in the 50s for the Hugo Award (retroactively awarded the 1946 award in 1996). His work was wonderfully detailed and took much longer than simple pen drawings, but Finlay refused to sacrifice quality for speed. When the Sci-Fi/Fantasy magazines of the 30s, 40s and 50s stopped publishing in the 60s, his art was picked up by the new Astrology publishers and he became as popular in this new genre as he’d been in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Following his death in 1971, several portfolios of his work were released and quickly became collector items.

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Illustration by Norman Saunders used for the cover for ‘Detective Tales’ pulp magazine December, 1952

"Girl Singer" paperback cover, 1961 (via)

Sexbound, paperback cover by Clement Micarelli, 1961

My Greatest Crime Story, 1959 (via)

Illustration by R. Pesoto for Glamour Photography Magazine, 1957

Cover illustration by Charles Copeland for “One For The Money” by Elliott Chaze 1960s

The Haunted Dancers paperback cover 1967, illustration by Victor Kalin