Original paintings made for the covers of pulp magazines from the 1930's were treated as disposable commercial art-for-hire in their time, and therefore are quite rare today.
One of the masters of the medium was Norman Saunders, so it was quite a treat to stumble upon a small exhibit of the original vintage paintings of some of his now famous work at an out-of-the-way gallery run by Syracuse University on a recent trip to New York.
One of Saunders many employers was Hugo Gernsback, the editor of Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, Science-Wonder Stories and many of the other seminal pulp fiction publications that introduced writers like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to the world. In fact, he is often known as the Father of Science Fiction, and the annual award for the best in science fiction writing, The Hugo, is named after him. I had never seen a picture of him at work, but they had a cool one in the exhibit.
Although not painted by Saunders, I liked this poster from one of the most successful pulp characters, spawning radio shows, comics, movies, and books for generations:
Norman Saunders knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men, and women, and he painted them luridly, and beautifully.