Earlier this week, I purchased a random selection of nine National Geographic magazines from 1967 and 1969 from a local thrift store. A few days later, as I was flipping through volume 135, number 4, from April 1969, I noticed an image by writer/photographer Malcolm S. Kirk that I knew I’d seen, in part, before. Here’s the comparison:
The helmeted, injured soldier in the lower left quadrant of Frank Frazetta’s Buccaneer/Destroyer painting and the helmeted, injured soldier/sailor in the lower left quadrant of Jeffrey Jones’s painting for Talbot Mundy’s The Purple Pirate are not exact copies of each other, as you can plainly see above, and yet, they do seem to share a certain family resemblance. So much so, that one might venture to guess that one of the painters has been “inspired by” the other in this detail… however, it’s not at all clear to me who was inspired by whom. Near as I can tell, the Jones cover was published first, in 1970; the Frazetta, second, in 1971. So make of that what you will…
Keywords:The Buccaneer, The Purple Pirate Talbot Mundy, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter.
The painting on the cover of Thongor in the City of Magicians also appeared on the cover and foil-embossed slipcase of Night Images, a limited-edition collection of Robert E. Howard’s fantasy verse published by The Morning Star Press in 1976, with interior illustrations by Richard Corben. That same year, the Morning Star Press also published the hardcover black-and-white, first-edition of Corben’s Bloodstar, which was an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s “Valley of the Worm.”
Now, did you know, dear reader, that a few years earlier, writers Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway, along with artist Gil Kane and inker Ernie Chua (Chan), had produced a comics adaptation of “Valley of the Worm” for the third issue (April 1973) of the Marvel series, Supernatural Thrillers?
And did you also know that Gil Kane was co-editor at The Morning Star Press, along with Armand Eisen, of Corben’s Bloodstar, and that Kane himself was the one who suggested the hero’s name be changed from “Niord” to “Bloodstar” and designed the distinctive star mark on Bloodstar’s forehead?
Well, even if you didn’t know before, you do now!
Small world, eh?
Keywords:Thongor Against the Gods, Thongor in the City of Magicians.
P.S. I not only own several copies of the signed and limited first edition of Bloodstar but I actually have in my collection a beautiful copy of the slipcased, limited edition of Night Images. Lucky me!
Here’s another justly forgotten Lin Carter novel, half of an “Ace Double,” with cover art mistakenly credited on the verso of the title page to Kelly Freas even though the art is clearly signed “Jones”:
Yes, there are some serious creases and wear marks on some of the covers, but it is difficult to find pristine copies of thirty-nine-year-old-plus paperbacks, especially when one limits one’s search to local bookstores:
I don’t really like any of the above covers, with the exception, perhaps, of the Uncharted Stars cover, which I feel is a step up from the others in terms of draftsmanship, composition, technique, originality, and wit.
Keywords:Star Hunter And Voodoo Planet, Sorceress of the Witch World, The Planet Wizard, Thongor Fights The Pirates of Tarakus, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars.
I don’t much care for any of these covers from 1968 and 1969, but since I have yet to break out of the collector/completist mentality — and believe me, I’ve tried — here they are, scanned and posted for your “enjoyment”:
To make up for the lacklustre art this time round, my next post will feature two covers by Jones from the early 1970s that I think are very strong, along with one that I have mixed feelings about, so stay tuned for that!
Keywords:Thongor at the End of Time, Master of the Etrax, Zanthar at Moon’s Madness, The Hybrid.