An Extraordinary Line: From W.H. Robinson to Peter Max

An Extraordinary Line

As a pen & ink artist I usually prefer a highly-textured style, using many different ink marks for varied effects. But there is another, simpler, style of inking which was extremely popular during the 1960’s and 1970’s. In this week’s ROCKETEER  I take a look at this minimalistic style of inking in a range of artwork from classic children’s book illustrations to the pop art of Peter Max. Read it here:

Via the Hewitt Ray: An obscurity from 1930

Via the Hewitt Ray meme

In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m looking at an obscure science fiction story from 1930 called, “Via the Hewitt Ray” by M. F. Rupert. It’s considered an example of early feminist utopian science fiction. But that’s not the reason I chose it for review. I’m more interested in it as a fine example of 1920’s utopian science fiction that happens to have an nearly all-female cast. Here are some other things I like about the story. The author is a virtual mystery. This sentence:  “I had dressed myself in my flying togs…

Pulp Palaver: Co-Starring Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective

Pulp Palaver meme

This week’s ROCKETEER is a special one. I’ve been studying the language and structure of pulp stories for quite some time. Although I am a professional writer, I am also a professional artist and I think like an artist, in the main. I construct stories as if they were paintings. When I construct a painting I design it, figure out a palette, get the relationships right in terms of overall balance and value. Then work it through, constantly seeking balance between the parts until the work is completed. Generally, I’m…

New PulpFest Profile: Cathy Wilbanks and the Burroughs Century

All Story 1912 featuring Tarzan

Are you a fan of Tarzan, John Carter, or any of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs? Then don’t miss my interview with Cathy Wilbanks, Vice President of Operations at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.! The picture I’ve posted here is the cover of “The All-Story,” from October, 1912 featuring “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. (Painting by Clinton Pettee.) This is the first time Tarzan appeared in print. Can you imagine—111 years ago! Did you know that Edgar Rice Burroughs was the first author to incorporate himself? What…

Virgil Finlay and the Art of Scratchboard

Virgil Finlay meme

Before I get to the ROCKETEER’s post-of-the-week I wanted to say something about writing and money. I have been a non-fiction journalist since 1985. I have been paid for my work more often than not. I do not charge for the ROCKETEER, nor will I. Although it takes quite a bit of time and effort to write every post that doesn’t mean they have monetary value. We seem to have this thing nowadays were we feel we’re owed payment for our efforts–always. I’m not sure that’s true. My favorite writing…

Johnny Mayhem: A Spy With Elan

Johnny Mayhem header

This week’s ROCKETEER looks at the “Johnny Mayhem” series from the mid-late 1950’s. Johnny Mayhem was a space opera hero from the pages of AMAZING STORIES. He was a bodiless entity who had once been human. Now immortal, but still under a death sentence unless he’s very, very careful, Mayhem is a galactic troubleshooter who can be anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Great stuff! You can read this week’s ROCKETEER on Substack.

Shrinking (And I don’t mean violets!)

Land of the Giants still

This week’s ROCKETEER looks at stories about shrinking people down to miniscule sizes. This theme has been popular for more than 300 years and is seen in books, movies and on TV. Certainly, we see wonderful examples during the pulp era. These sorts of stories are made for the pulps as the drama level in them is always high. You can read “Shrinking” here and all my other issues of the ROCKETEER on Substack.

Reconstructing Otho

In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m talking about a character from the “Captain Future” pulp stories, the android—Otho. More people today know him from the Captain Future anime from the 1970’s than the original stories. The anime takes some liberties with the character’s original design. In my post I talk about those changes and how Otho was originally conceptualized. You can read “Reconstructing Otho” on Substack. I’ve been noodling around with some Otho drawings using the original design from the 1940’s. Because he’s supposed to be a master of disguise and…

Inking Round-up May 2023

Inking Roundup for May 2023

Art is all about practice, and I practice all the time! My father used to marvel at the fact that I didn’t need any impetus to do art, I just do it. This month I’ve focused on improving my line and brushwork with ink. In this week’s ROCKETEER I show you what I’ve been up to, including a short video, detailing my practice pieces for the month of May. You can read this week’s newsletter here.