The Pastel City (1971), the first in M. John Harrison’s peerless series of Viriconium books.
Today’s post is another guest entry over at Tor.com. I’d been intending on writing something about Bruce Pennington‘s art for some time, having already covered the work of Ian Miller, my other favourite genre cover artist of the 1970s. (By coincidence both artists have illustrated the work of M. John Harrison and HP Lovecraft.) My hand was forced this month by the news of the first ever exhibition of Pennington’s paintings which is being held at Britain’s foremost occult book emporium, the Atlantis Bookshop in Museum Street, London. There’s a catalogue of the works on display here, many of which will be for sale. If I had the cash I’d consider buying one, Pennington’s work made a big impression on my imagination when I was reading many of the titles he’d illustrated for the first time. His art was unique for me in its occasionally Surrealist overtones, and as a cover artist he was unusual in working across a range of genres. Like Frank Frazetta his imagination and technique were able to suggest a great deal with a minimum of brush strokes.
The Mask of Cthulhu (1976).
This post can be taken as an appendix to the Tor one which I didn’t want to overburden with pictures. The Derleth cover is purloined from Jovike’s excellent Flickr collection which includes several Pennington covers. Below are some pages from Pennington’s first book, Eschatus, a large-format collection of paintings interpreting the prophecies of Nostradamus as an apocalyptic science fiction narrative taking place in the 24th century.