The editors of this April 1948 edition (presumably the Canadian one, which appears to be the same as the U.S. one) may not have had the spectacular luck they would come to have in October, but they still did well, beginning with the cool cover painting above by Earle Bergey.
(Aside: is anyone here old enough to remember flashcubes? Those little shiny plastic disposable cubes you could attach to your camera to generate flashes for home photography? That’s what these weirdos cubic helmets immediately reminded me of.)
Ever-available Virgil Finlay was available for the promoted cover story, “The Faceless Men,” itself penned by the tireless pulp producer Arthur Leo Zagat (1896-1949).
The art budget for Thrilling Wonder Stories had obviously swelled considerably in the post-war era, and the consequences thereof can be seen right on this cover painted by Earle Bergey. There was substantial interior art as well, such as these two fine pieces by Virgil Finlay for “The Moon that Vanished” by the Queen of Space Opera, Leigh Brackett (1915-1978). There is this:
I’ve recused a version of this cover before from the social network I shall no longer name (but rhymes with “bumbler”), but feel okay about doing a reblog now that I’ve tracked it to its source, the October 1942 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. The cover is the work of Earle Bergey.” Interestingly, it appears not to illustrate any of the stories promoted on the cover, but “The Molecule Monsters” by Oscar J. Friend (1897-1963).
The interior illustration provides an example of what wartime deprivation could do to the pulps:
Earle Bergey did this cover of Thrilling Wonder Stories for Summer 1946, albeit with a bit of gender-reversal in the classic trope. In the interior art, there is this bit of rather Erotic Mad Science done in illustration of Polton Cross’s short story “Twilight Planet.” I regret that I have been unable to discover the identity of the artist.
And it looks like our irresponsible young scientist here has just irradiated the living daylights out of this poor girl. Nice work, Telsor.
This metal-man has a ray gun, shoots lasers out of his eyes, and is strong enough to abduct a scantily-clad human female with only his left arm. Pretty dangerous! He’s the creation of Earle Bergey for the cover of the January 1950 issue of Startling Stories. Meanwhile the interior has an illustration that is uncredited as far as I can tell, and is quite voeyeristic (who’s looking through what?). It’s proportions are such that, properly reduced, it too might make a nifty bookmakr.
Earle Bergey painted this cover for the February 1952 number of Startling Stories, I believe illustrating Margaret St. Clair’s story “Vulcan’s Dolls.” St. Clair must have been riding high at this stage of Startling Stories, because the same story also go interior illustrations by Virgil Finlay. Example:
(I could swear that woman’s gown grows more transparent the further south it reaches.) This cover for Startling Stories was painted by Earle Bergey for its January 1948 issue. It is special because the author of the story that it appears to illustrate is Hannes Bok (1914-1964). himself most famous as an artist with a remarkably distinctive style and creator of one of the most exquisite of all the tube girls (see right). There is also an interior illustration for the story by Lawrence Sterne Stevens (1884-1960).