Lost Art #12 The Unique Style of Hans Bok

After the Atom - Famous Fantastic Mysteries April 1950

One of my favorite artists of the pulps and digests is Hans Bok. While I share some mostly unknown interior art, I thought it would be nice to give his biography.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 2, 1914, to Irving Ingalls Woodard and Julia J Parks, Hannes Bok (pseudonym for Wayne Francis Woodard) was a science fiction and fantasy artist and an illustrator. He also wrote poetry, fiction and articles on astrology. He adopted his pen name Hannes Bok in the honour of the famous composer Johannes Bach.

The Ghost Punch - Weird Tales, November 1944

After graduating from high school, Bok moved to Seattle to stay with his mother in 1932 and involved himself in science fiction fandom including publication and illustrations of fanzines. In 1936, he met Emil Petaja, who went on to become his life long friend, and did illustrations for his chapbook, Brief Candle. He later moved to Los Angeles with Petaja in 1937 and met Ray Bradbury who was instrumental in getting Bok his first art job. Bok did the cover art for all four issues of Bradbury’s fanzine Futuria Fantasia and impressed him so much with his work that Bradbury took him to the First Science Fiction Convention in New York in 1939 to show him to the publishers there.

The Dark Dimension - Marvel Science Fiction, November 1951

In 1939 Bok moved to New York and began working for the legendary pulp fiction magazine Weird Tales, debuting in the December 1939 issue. It is around this time that he met Maxfield Parrish who became his mentor and whose influence can be seen in Bok’s work.
Till 1954, Bok had painted for more than 50 issues of Weird Tales magazine. He also executed 6 color covers for Weird Tales between 1940-42. Despite his success as a professional artist, Bok continued to contribute to fanzines.

Cross of Mercrux - Fantastic Novel Mysteries, November 1950

Bok was awarded the first Hugo Award for Best cover/ Professional Artist in 1953.

Bok is not only famous for his artistic work but also his poetry and fiction. His famous novels include The Sorcerer’s Ship and the Blue Flamingo which was later re-titled Beyond the Golden Stairs. Weird Tales also published 5 of his stories and 2 of his poems between 1942 and 1951. He also wrote several unpublished novels.
His illustrations appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Marvel Science Fiction, Imagination, Uncanny Tales and several other books of science fiction and fantasy.

Cross of Mercrux - Fantastic Novel Mysteries, November 1950

Bok died on April 11, 1964 of a heart attack at the age of forty nine.

Cross of Mercrux - Fantastic Novel Mysteries, November 1950

Future Funnies From the Past #16

Today’s funnies come from the August, 1953 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

Not even dusts get spared from  scientists’ curiosity.

Future Funnies From the Past #15

Today’s funnies come from the July, 1954 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

In space, assumptions are dangerous.

Future Funnies From the Past #14

Today’s funnies come from the July, 1954 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

Hot rods and cool heads made their space days.

Lost Art #11 American Magazine — Illustrations From 5-56

As the Lost Art series is basically about interior illustrations that have not been reprinted and mostly forgotten about, we bring you some selections from the June 1958 issue of American Magazine.  American Magazine was a general interest magazine, much like Life Magazine, but with a bigger dose of fiction, by some of the best writers of the day in every genre. They featured such authors bestselling authors like Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and also featuring up and comers like John D. MacDonald. All done with some of the best illustrators of the period.

A good portion of the magazine was non-fiction items of news. With quality photos, it was full of  popular culture, movies, music, technology, sports, travelogues, advice, vintage advertisements, the arts, comics, and probable more stuff than I can think of.

The magazine can tend have a too wholesome sweetness to it (see cover). But I’m drawn to the fiction illustrators. They featured art and illustrations by some of the top professionals in the field. And the illustrations, like the fiction, covered nearly every genre. If there was one thing that was somewhat subversive to the general sheen of the American glee, it was the mystery and crime fiction and illustrations.

And don’t forget to click on the thumbnails.

Cover of American Magazine, May 1956

Not my taste in covers, but the inside is golden.

This is Love -- art by Morgan Kane

jenny and the big bad wolf--art by Arthur Sarnoff

The Most Important Man -- art by Peter Stevens. A bullet to the face plate, yuch!

 

 

Beloved Survivor -- art by Tom Lovell

Nero Wolfe and the Vanishing Clue -- sort of a title page -- art by Alex Ross (no not that Alex Ross)

Nero Wolfe and the Vanishing Clue -- art by Alex Ross

Okay the funniest thing about this is the writer's name. I can see the editor shaking his head saying "Really, we're goin' with that? Dick Hyman?"

Retro-fact -- road maps used to be given away for free at gas stations. This guy could be going "A Beautiful Mind" on us.

Future Funnies From the Past #13

Today’s funnies come from the March, 1954 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

A healthy perspective.

Lost Art #10 A Bit of Color — Super Science Style

This week we’re going to depart from the black and white interior art and look at a few Canadian versions of Super Science Stories and some its variant titles. These covers are bit less common than the usual American editions, and that may be because there is was no American counterpart for these issues. They contained mostly reprints from various magazines. Some of the covers were reused from other magazines, but mostly they were new to these Canadian magazines. The Wikipedia entry for Super Science Stories explains quite well the whole publishing history of this pulp.

Super Science and Fantasy Stories - October 1945

Super Science and Fantasy Stories - October 1945

Super Science and Fantasy Stories - August 1945

Super Science Stories -- October 1944

Super Science and Fantasy Stories -- April 1945

Super Science and Fantasy Stories -- April 1945

From December 1944--Cover reprinted from a Famous Mysteries Stories

The Weirdest Cover of them All from Super Science June 1945

Future Funnies From the Past #12

Today’s funnies come from the July, 1953 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

An eye-opener for kick starters.

Future Funnies From the Past #11

Today’s funnies come from the  July, 1953 issue of Imagination Science Fiction Magazine:

Can anybody make space-life less complicated?

Lost Art #9 Frank R. Paul interior art

Amazing Stories - September 1927

Amazing Stories - September 1927

Frank R. Paul could be called the father or grandfather of Science Fiction art. He is the first artist of the science fiction magazine genre. He painted the cover and did the interior of the first issue of the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories in 1926, and stayed busy into the 50s. His cover art, which I only show one example, are wonderfully colorful to the point of garishness. But this is pulp art and garishness in not such a bad thing. His knack was creating technological machines. His weakness, in my opinion, was humans. They are all very generic and conventional. So I tried to favor the interior art that was more technologically inclined.

 

 

The Isotope Men - Wonder Stories 8-33

The Cosmic Horror - Wonder Stories 8-33

Castaways On Deimos- Wonder Stories 8-33

The Man Who Awoke- 6-33

Gullivar 3000 A.D. - Wonder Stories 5-33

The Wreck of the Asteroid - Wonder Stories 2-33

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