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November 11, 2009


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Janet M

I found this artist through the Dover editions of his work back when I was a teen. His work is fabulously bizarre, I'm sure he would have loved being on pulp fiction (and he would have probably loved being paid too!).


I love this illustration is very strong by the colors and the rhythm of the composition. I was ecstatic watching the header of your blog, I love it.

alex wald

This is definitely not a Kley--The horse in particular is a giveaway--Kley's animals, however fantastic in setting, were always rendered with solid draftsmanship. And the color palette is very 50s pulp, owing more to Richard Powers than any German influence. I puzzled over this for a bit before consulting pulp-master Bob Weinberg, author of A Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy artists. Here's Bob's explanation: "it's the back cover of the Jan-Feb 1953 issue of Fantastic. The art is by an unknown artist named Robert Frankenberg (at least unknown to me). The art is part of a wrap-around cover, which I've attached. The Kley banner on the bottom refers to five Kley illos reproduced in that issue of Fantastic. It was the 2nd issue in a row in which they ran Kley art, thus the words "More Classic Illustrations by Kley." This was during a short period of time when Fantastic was a high quality digest and published big name authors as well as one-color illos. It didn't sell and so they turned it into a cheap pulp type magazine until a second revolution around 1960." You should have shown the whole spread with the front cover, the centaur carrying off the fair damsel--in all a nice
piece that evokes a "classic" fantasy mood. I can even see that there is something of a Mary Blair look, especially to the chasing "Oberon" figure. Mary Blair was one of Disney's concept artists and her color styling came to shape the look of all Disney work after 1940 and continues to inspire contemporary animators and designers.

alex wald

Here's the whole wrap cover:

Thanks again to Bob!

william horberg

Hey Alex, thanks for the correction and all of the further information. Glad to know about Bob Weinberg - what a great resource. Will come in handy in the future, I'm sure.


Funny, when I looked at the link you provided to the full cover, I knew something was off, as I had never seen the front cover image before. Now that I am home and can inspect my book, it looks like I was duped, as the copy I bought at the flea market actually has the back cover illustration on both the front and the back covers. On closer inspection, I see that the original front cover must have been removed, and for some reason, the back cover from another copy of the book was carefully cut and affixed to the front. Thus giving the impression that the book itself was a collection of Kley illustrations. Weird. Glad that some more educated eyeballs than my own were able to set the universe straight again! :)

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