dr_hermes (dr_hermes) wrote,

Can you describe this so-called "Martian," sir?

This heart-warming scene first appeared on the back cover of FANTASTIC ADVENTURES in May 1939; it's scanned here from the front cover of FANTASTIC STORIES, September 1965. (And if you want an unsettling jolt, the 1939 art was 26 years old when it was reprinted in 1965... but the cover from 1965 is 44 years old when scanned today. Time doesn't march, it stampedes.)

This illustration was done by Frank R Paul, one of the most popular and respected artists of that Golden Age of imagination run amok, whimsy and terror and astonishing on the stands every month for a dime. The accompanying page explains why Paul designed this chap this way. True, the Man From Mars doesn't resemble HG Wells' brutes, nor Tars Tarkas nor even Dejah Thoris. Nor Marvin, nor J'Onn J'Onzz. Mars must have been interesting in its heyday, what with these varied life forms lumbering and slithering and skipping all over.

Tags: pulps

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