Monday, August 26, 2013

AMAZING, the first all-sf magazine: some of the best covers, for each editor:

Most images courtesy of Galactic Central and ISFDb.

1928: Editor: Hugo Gernsback; cover artist: Frank R. Paul:

1933: Editor: T. O'Conor Sloane; cover artist: A. Sigmond:

1942: Editor: Raymond A. Palmer; cover artist: Malcolm Smith:


1942: cover artist: H. W. McCauley (the male figure is Ray Palmer):

1947: cover artist: Arnold Kohn:


1952: Editor: Howard Browne; cover artist: Walter Popp:


1953: cover artist: Mel Hunter:


1958: Editor: Paul W. Fairman; cover artist: Edward Valigursky:


1959: Editor: Cele Goldsmith (later, Cele Lalli); cover artist: Albert Neutzell:
For more on Cele Goldsmith/Lalli, please see here.


1960: cover artist: Leo Summers:


1963: cover artist: Lloyd Birmingham:

1964: cover artist: Ed Emshwiller: 
For more on the Emshwillers, please see here.

1965: cover artist: Gray Morrow:


1966: Editor: Joseph Wrzos aka Joseph Ross; cover artist: uncredited:

(Publisher Sol Cohen had purchased inexpensively a number of uncredited paintings from
European publishers, along with reprinting art [as well as fiction] for which Ziff-Davis had 
purchased all rights over the decades, and sold to Cohen and his Ultimate Publications in 1965.)

1967: Editor: Harry Harrison; cover artist: uncredited:


1968: Editor: Barry Malzberg: cover artist uncredited: 
For more posts about and by Barry Malzberg and his work, please see here.


1971: Editor: Ted White; cover artist: Jeff Jones:
for more Jeff Jones, please see here.

1974: cover artist: Mike Hinge:
for more Mike Hinge, please see here.
Another good Hinge display.


1976: cover artist: Ron Barber:


1981: Editor: Elinor Mavor (briefly aka Omar Gohagan); cover artist: Vincent di Fate:


1983: Editor: George Scithers; cover artist: George Barr:


1987: Editor: Patrick Price; cover artist: Stephen Fabian:


1992: Editor: Kim Mohan; cover artist: Jon Weiman:


2004: Editor: Dave Gross; cover photo: uncredited:

2005: Editor: Jeff Berkwits; cover photo: uncredited:

As I finished this, Rob Latham drew the attention of fellow IAFA list members to two review essays he'd just put forth in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

Check out the pair of review-essays covering the recent biographies of Raymond Palmer and Richard Shaver that were just posted to the LA Review of Books's SF page: 

To which I replied on list (and in comments to the essays):

 --Thanks, Rob.

 I’ve left a pair of comments, with the heavier one thus: The comparisons between Palmer and Campbell don't end with the cheerful little hoax issue of Astounding, sadly...Campbell would go on to support at least as much fringy nonsense, including some at least as pernicious as anything in Palmer's armory (until the late anti-Jewish lunacy you cite--though Campbell had discouraged use of Jewish bylines in Astounding in his early years as editor), including supporting George Wallace's American Independent Party run in 1968.


Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

That Popp cover is truly perverse! Some great art and some great juxtapositions especially - thanks chum.

Unknown said...

I miss the old days.

Jerry House said...

Cele Goldsmith Lalli and Ted White both did an amazing job with the restraints they had.

Todd Mason said...

Sergio--indeed! And Paul Fairman would, if anything, further the leaning into perversity with more than his share of covers for the magazine during his few years as very casual editor. Thank note that Browne sought to step back from pulpishness after having gone whole hog, but he just couldn't bring himself to care sufficiently...particularly as (as both his covers might suggest) he was never shy about letting everyone know how much more he liked fantasy than sf (and, of course, the crime fiction he wrote throughout his career than either).

Bill--indeed! Hope you enjoyed the memory-jog...and you particularly know how slim the pickings can be among Fairman-ere covers, particularly (Patrick Price seemed relatively unengaged with good cover art, too...but the TSR days at AMAZING always did seem to have an afterthought quality to their packaging, even given the lavish production of the later issues).

Jerry--no question. Lalli also seemed an editor who wasn't That worried about covers (or perhaps wasn't allowed, at least at first, to have much say over them), but she did publish more good covers than not by the end of her run (leaving aside the lack of budget and promotion the magazines got at Ziff-Davis during her editorship, almost all after Davis, the great fiction-magazine champion, had left). Ted White and Elinor Mavor both faced even more ridiculous undercapitalization, and particularly Mavor overweening publisher's meddling, but it's notable how quickly both editors, with some experience and talent in graphic arts, strove to improve their magazines' packages as much as possible. (Given their hideousness, the publisher-driven first Mavor issues fully deserved her hiding behind a pseud.)

Kelly Robinson said...

Stunning collection! It was a real treat to look through these.

Todd Mason said...

Glad you liked it! Of course, a collection that emphasized the artists at the expense of the editors would be even more impressive, if less representative...