Robert Graef copy

Graef copy comparison The Spot of Life 1932

Here’s my newest pulp copy, Robert Graef’s cover painting for Argosy August 1, 1932 featuring “The Spot of Life” by Austin Hall. This story is sequel to “The Blind Spot” by Hall and Homer Eon Flint. My painting is mainly watercolor with touches of gouache and pastel. It’s always nice to have an excuse to get back to watercolor, it’s such a beautiful medium and ultimately my favorite.

This piece was quite challenging but very fun to do. I worked larger than I normally do for copies — 12″ x 13.5″ — as I wanted to handle the details as carefully as possible. No broad brush strikes on this original! No sir. This style was seen on Argosy covers in the 1920’s and is almost fussy, certainly it’s feminine. Cover art styles transition during the 1930’s and by the 1940’s Argosy covers are all about trout, hunting dogs, leather slippers, and pipe smoking outdoorsmen. But back in the 1920’s and early 30’s we have the era of science/scientific romances and the pulp covers reflect that. Here are a few other examples of this romantic style painted by Graef and another in the same school, P. J. Monahan.


Robert Graef's Argosy cover featuring 'Maza of the Moon' by Kline.


Robert Graef's Argosy cover featuring 'Tama of the Light Country' by Cummings.


P.J. Monahan's cover painting for Argosy featuring 'The Blind Spot' by Hall and Flint.


P.J. Monahan's cover painting for Argosy featuring 'Chessmen of Mars' by Burroughs.

I often think that this old-school romantic style is the least known of any of the pulp styles. It’s a winner though, and still popular amongst pulp collectors. Perhaps I’ll try some new pieces in this sort of feminine style. It might suite me just fine!

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