Test tube Frankenstein

Women in tubes turning into mermaids under the direction of a mad scientist.  Cover of May 1940 Terror Tales by Rafael DeSoto.

By May 1940 Terror Tales was nearing the end of its run (as were most shudder pulps), but it still had a great issue that begins with this cover by Rafael DeSoto and included some pretty classic pulp stories with some pretty classic pulp interior art, for example Russell Gray’s “Mistress of the Dark Pool.”

Opening pages of Russell Gray's "Mistress of the Dark Pool" with unattributed cover art from the May 1940 issue of Terror Tales.

But most mad-sciency of all is “Test-Tube Frankenstein” by Wayne Robbins (1914-1958), a pretty good yarn about biological mimicry (and probably what inspired DeSoto’s cover, even if that latter isn’t really what’s going on there).

Opening pages of Wayne Robbins's "Test-Tub Frankenstein" in the May 1940 issue of Terror Tales, with unattributed interior art.

This issue of Terror Tales is available to read or download from the Internet Archive.

Forever Frozen

A woman frozen in a block of ice as he devil's hand reaches for her.  Cover of Famous Fantastic Mysteries October 1950, painted by Rafael DeSoto.

Beauty preserved in ice is a classic mad-sciencey theme, here illustrated on the cover of Famous Fantastic Mysteries (October 1950) by Rafael DeSoto (1904-1992). An American artist born in Puerto Rico, he was originally educated to be a priest but instead became an artist because “I liked girls too much!” (And, in case you might have been wondering, he was indeed a descendant of the famous conquistador of the same surname.) The cover apparently illustrates Arthur Stringer’s (1874-1950) story “The Woman Who Couldn’t Die,” as does interior art by the prolific Virgil Finlay.

A nude woman encased in ice, as illustrated by Virgil Finlay.
“White and beautiful she was, frozen there forever…”

This issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries is available to read and download at the Internet Archive.