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GALLERY OF FRANK R. PAUL's ARTWORK
PART I: List of Cover Art: Amazing Stories; PART II: List of Cover Art (cont.): Air/Science Wonder Stories; PART III: List of Cover Art (cont.): other magazines (Dynamic, Fantastic Novels, Fantastic Stories, Future Fiction, Gernsback Awards, Planet Stories, Science and Mechanics, Science Fiction, Science-Fiction +, etc.); PART IV: List of Back Cover Art; PART V: Interior Art and Essays/Articles.
DUBIOUS PAULs. IS THAT REALLY A PAUL? POSSIBLY NOT.
Every once in a while I receive an email from some who is wondering if a particular cover is by Paul or not. Or they've found an old pulp-style painting and they're trying to figure out who painted it. Usually I pick these things apart and come to the conclusion they're not Paul.
None of these covers, of course, has an artist's signature, but they each had qualities which were both Paul-like and not - but ultimately, it was the un-Paul-like qualities that convinced me.
Paul-like: bright colors, movement
Un-Paul-like: Face has too much expression and lacks the Paul-ish big forehead; the pose also feels too "natural," as if taken from a photograph.
Also, Paul tends to outline everything - look at the black lines around everything - except those things which have a white line; look here or here or here. The lines define objects, but also tend to flatten the overall piece.
Un-Paul-like: Again, the figure seems to be painted from a photograph. There seems to be a little outlining, but not as strongly as Paul usually does it.
The motion lines seem weird, too. The Oct. Short Wave and TV had some motion lines - Paul uses these, but sparingly, e.g., Sept. 31 Wonder Stories. or Feb. 34 Wonder Stories or April 1932 Wonder Stories. Paul's motion lines just seem to be lighter than the ones here, and overlap the moving object less.
It does look like Paul in the large solid area of color in the background, and things do look outlined. The Machine shapes speak of Paul, but seem a little simplier than what Paul usually does.
However... the checkerboard floor seems un-Paul-like. I looked at a bunch of
other covers he did, and he never uses a checkerboard floor - usually
just a flat block of color, once or twice textured like carpet. Never checkerboard. Also, when he lays down patterns on things (like buildings or other architectural surfaces), he tends to like dots and circles and round things rather than square things like checkerboard.
Or... this could be an early use of checkerboard that convinced him never to ever do that again because it was too much work.
Also, the glow around the electrical discharges seem different than that painted
by Paul in for the April 1933
Wonder Stories - the
edges of the glow in the S&I painting are more diffuse and soft, whereas in the
WS cover, the edges are hard. (Of course, though, in his black and whites, he
often used more diffuse glows around things, so maybe this isn't a good
However... the discharges themselves in the S&I have a different shape, more rounded, but Paul's discharges are more jagged.
The other thing is that I don't have a record of Paul doing any covers for S&I - only interiors, though he did a ton of covers for Science & Mechanics. Of course, maybe this was Paul's only cover for S&I.
Thanks to John B. Robey for bringing these images to my attention and
instigating a really fun discussion - he also sent me some cool Paul images.
artwork (c) Frank R. Paul estate
FRANK R. PAUL BIBLIOGRAPHY
PART I: List of Cover Art: Amazing Stories;
PART II: List of Cover Art (cont.): Air/Science Wonder Stories;
PART III: List of Cover Art (cont.): other magazines (Dynamic, Fantastic Novels, Fantastic Stories, Future Fiction, Gernsback Awards, Planet Stories, Science and Mechanics, Science Fiction, Science-Fiction +, etc.);
PART IV: List of Back Cover Art;
PART V: Interior Art and Essays/Articles.
Corrections? Additions? Please email me at Qarlo999@hotmail.com.
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