Friday, January 25, 2013
LOVING THE ALIEN
Human beings have always had a fear of and, at the same time, a fascination with the “other”.
Almost as soon as humans were able to make art on cave walls depictions of strange and bizarre creatures began showing up amongst depictions of their fellows and animals. The stone walls of ancient Egypt were rife with depictions of gods with human bodies and the heads of jackals or eagles or snakes.
In modern times, when gods were replaced with aliens, depictions of beings from other planets have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Before the twentieth century a number of Victorian illustrators, chief among them French illustrator Isidore Grandville, were adept at creating menageries full of wild and outrageous creatures, but it was in the twentieth century with the rise of the science fiction pulps, that alien creatures really took center stage.
J. Allen St, John, a marvelous illustrator from the very earliest part of the century, had the enviable opportunity to be one of the first to illustrate the fantastic tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Although mostly remembered as the author who created Tarzan, Burroughs also wrote planetary romances set on the Moon, Mars, Venus and even at the earth’s core. Burroughs’ books contain a menagerie of alien creature which were ably depicted by St. John. From Martian Thoats to Lunar Kalkars St. John’s depictions inspired the imaginations of readers of the Blue Book and All-Story Magazines where Burroughs’ stories first saw print.
Read the rest of this article over at the AMAZING STORIES website (Tell 'em MD sent ya!)
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?