Turning a living person into a statue is an idea that goes back at least as far as the Greek myth of the Gorgons and certainly in the Internet era has become a sort of kink. More than a few covers of Dime Mystery Magazine strongly suggest the kink goes back at least to the shudder-pulp era. Consider this unattributed March 1937 cover:
Now I suppose it’s possible that our mad sculptor here is only using his victim as a kind of unwilling model. That would be criminal behavior in the real world, but mere kidnapping and assault don’t seem to rise to the level of menace one would expect from a Dime Mystery cover. I would submit that our lady’s fate here is not merely to model art but to become it.
Again, things become more obvious in other covers. There is this cover from March 1938 painted by Tom Lovell:
Helpless women being moved by pulley and dipped into a gilding vat, then hung up (to dry?). And this one from August 1939.
The curators at Pulp Covers remark, whether in innocence or in irony I am not sure “Yes, the evil cult leader is spray-painting the chained girl gold. No, I don’t know why,” A look in the background at one of the victim’s possible predecessors suggests an answer. That’s no ordinary spray-paint.
This is The Spider for August 1940, cover by Rafael DeSoto. I found this version of the cover at this bondage index.
This is Thrilling Mystery for July 1939, no recorded artist or ISFDB entry. I found this version of the cover at Pulp Covers and checked its date in the index at Galactic Central.
This is Horror Stories for June-July 1937, cover by William F. Soare. The ISFDB entry for this issue is here. The version of the cover presented here is from this French-language collector’s site.
Update April 5, 2017. I mistakenly blogged this image before. If you go to the original post, you can see the image I meant to put up.
This is Horror Stories for November-December 1936, cover by John Howitt. The ISFDB entry for this issue is here. This version of the cover is the one preserved at Galactic Central.
My original tumblr post was here. This image was originally posted on Tumblr by Beep Boop Art and comes to us via Robotdoll’s Tumblr Toybox. Its ultimate origins remain a mystery.
My original tumblr post was here. This image is Iced by AuroBasilisk.
My original tumblr post was here. This is a sculpture Mortality is a Myth by the American artist Ted Lawson (b. 1970). Lawson maintains a professional site here. This image was first posted on tumblr by newyearoldtricks and comes to us via metalonmetalblog.