Saturday, February 12, 2011


It's no secret that I love Robert E. Howard. I also really love illustrations from old pulp magazines. So when I found these I just had to share.

These are original illustrations for Robert E. Howard stories from Weird Tales. Subsequent illustrators of Howard's stories (Roy G. Krenkel, Frank Frazetta, Ken Kelley to name but a few) are much more widely recognized so seeing these early Hugh Rankin illustrations is a rare treat.

Hugh Rankin was introduced as the new interior artist for Weird Tales in July 1927. Rankin did his first illustration of a Robert E. Howard story in the March 1928 issue. The story was "The Hyena." At one point, Howard stated that Rankin was his personal favorite of all the artists that illustrated his work in Weird Tales. He also signed some of his work with the name Doak.

Those illustrations were done in a style different from his familiar one. Unfortunately, a lot of the work Rankin did for Weird Tales was so poorly reproduced that his abilities were not always apparent. Rankin continued to work for Weird Tales until the mid-thirties.

Rankin's second Howard illustration was for "Red Shadows," the first Solomon Kane story, in the August 1920 issue. This was followed by his illustration for the Howard poem, "The Harp of Alfred," which was featured in the September 1928 issue.

You can read and see more here.

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?


cerebus660 said...

I love that "Shadows In The Moonlight" illustration - Rankin really captures the primitive fury of Conan's desperate battle.

"Crom! I feel as if I'd been racked! I'd rather fight a dozen men.Another instant and he'd have bitten off my head. Blast him, he's torn a handful of my hair out by the roots."

M. D. Jackson said...

It certainly does. I'd love to see the original of that. It would be interesting to see all the detail that got lost in the printing process.

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