artwork (c) Frank R. Paul estate

Cover art by Frank R. Paul for July 1934 Wonder Stories, illustrating "Voice of Atlantis" by Laurence Manning. 

I never particularly liked this cover; while architectural, it seems to lack pop and verve.  Despite the use of perspective, the solid blocks of color and absence of strong lighting and shadow really flatten the piece.

However, as this is art we are dealing with, there are differing opinions.  One Wonder Stories reader wrote about this cover: "Woe is me. I said Paul's cover was superb. He gets better, and I call it excellent. Still better and I call it excellent-plus, for heaven's sake, if he keeps on improving, I am bound to run out of adjectives! The July Wonder Stories cover was about the best Paul has drawn yet!" (Jan. 1935, p. 1012)

Gernsback replied: "As you say, Paul keeps on improving, and even the sky isn't the limit. Witness his interplanetary scenes."  

Another reader was more in line with my thinking: "Paul's cover is not so hot, if you ask me. I would have thought that he could have picked a better scene than that to illustrate." (Jan. 1935, p. 1012)

I guess there's no accounting for taste.  Nonetheless, the piece seems to be a popular one.  It shows up, for example, on the cover of issue no. 14 of illustrator Paul McCall's annual fanzine Aces, which is dedicated to pulp art:

This issue, available through Paul McCall's website, has an article and an interview about Paul. 

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