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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Virgil Finlay’s Salomé

finlay2.jpg

While chasing down Virgil Finlay’s illustration for Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space earlier this week I came across another Finlay drawing I’d not noticed before in a book I’ve owned for years. Makes me wonder what else is lurking on the shelves. Finlay’s depiction of Salomé was an illustration for Waxworks, a story by Robert Bloch published in Weird Tales for January 1939. I’ve never read much of Bloch’s fiction, this story included, so can’t say anything about it, but Finlay’s drawing impresses for the solid black night sky, and the peculiar flaming headdress, the kind of unique detail he often added to his pictures.

Bloch and Finlay had a memorable encounter a couple of years years before when Finlay illustrated The Faceless God, another Weird Tales piece which so impressed HP Lovecraft that it inspired a poem, To Mr. Finlay, Upon His Drawing for Mr. Bloch’s Tale, ‘The Faceless God’. Lovecraft’s handwritten draft can be seen (but not necessarily read) here.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Salomé archive

 


 

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines}.

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7 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    Strangely enough I can just about read the handwriting. My own handwriting is so bad that I’m used to reading atrocious writing of other people. Thank Cthulhu for typewriters eh?

  2. #2 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    For example the postscript reads
    “Well well – quite in the Yuggoth tradition! I’ll have to keep a copy of this to try on one or another of the fan magazines”

  3. #3 posted by John

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    Lovecraft shunned typewriters as horrible modern things fit only for office workers and vulgar journalists.

    “Yuggoth tradition” probably refers to Fungi from Yuggoth, his sonnet cycle.

  4. #4 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    “I could easily scrawl a sonnet to one of your masterpieces if you weren’t too particular about quality. For example —”

    So what lucky person(s) got to decipher his handwriting when they were first being published?

  5. #5 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    PS. How many major artists did JHWilliams III emulate during his run on Promethea. Just the covers alone:
    http://kleinletters.com/PrometheaCovers.html

  6. #6 posted by Nathalie (@spacedlaw)

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    The hand writing is not SO dismal. I love the poem (and the picture of Salomé). Thanks for the treats.

  7. #7 posted by John

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    I forget offhand who typed Lovecraft’s work, would have to check the biography. He was often resolutely unprofessional. He regarded writing as an amateur art for “gentlemen” so he’d often send handwritten manuscripts to magazines then shrug when they were rejected.

 


 

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