Podcast #26: The Strange Case of “Party’s Girl’s” Cover Art

In this week’s Rocketeer podcast I’m doing some historical detective work involving the dust jacket for a novel called, “Party Girl: A Love Story” by Vivian Grey. This is one of the historical romance novels in my collection. This cover is very strange-looking compared to other titles put out by the same publisher. Why is that? I’m taking you along with me on my research journey this week as I try to discover The Mystery of the Weird Book Cover. The entire list of “slides” that go with this post…

Announcement: The 2021 Cosmos Prize

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve won an important genre prize for pulp illustration. I’m very excited to announce it but there’s a problem…I actually won the award a few years ago but I couldn’t tell anyone until now! Here’s the story…the 2021 Cosmos Prize was given for the best illustration(s) for—“The Challenge From Beyond”—which consisted of two shared world stories (one science fiction and one weird fantasy) that came out in an historically important semi-pro magazine back in September of 1935. That’s something of a mouthful, isn’t it? I’ll…

What Price Glory: Bryce Walton’s, “The Victor”

The Victor

I find Bryce Walton’s dystopians fascinating. His stated goal was to out-do Orwell and I think he certainly succeeded. The variety of his social nightmares is without compare. In this week’s Rockteer podcast I’m talking about the best of those social horrors: “The Victor” (1953). There are others in his catalog that come close but for me this story is the most chilling. Prepare to be existentially terrified. Listen here. By the way, the artwork you see in the meme above is one of my paintings. The Victor was never…

Peroxide Blonde

Peroxide Blonde by Sara Light-Waller

Back in the old days women dyed their hair white-blonde. It was the sexy thing of the moment during the late 1920’s and ’30’s. They used peroxide to do this style of bleaching and the color was called “peroxide blonde.” If you look at the way this type of white-blonde hair was treated in period art you can see that if the artist intended to highlight the whiteness of the hair, they’d show a lot of colorful highlights. (Kind of like a played-down version of the shiny lights you’d see…

Pete Beard’s Video Channel

Pete Beard video header

In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m talking about a great find on YouTube–Pete Beard’s Video Channel. If you’re a fan of good illustration, you’ll love this channel. It’s full of well researched videos about illustrators from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the pulp era! You can read (and listen to) it here.

March 2024 updates from Lucina Press

Thrilling Western pen and ink varient

I’ve been posting a lot about the Rocketeer lately and thought it’d be nice to do a more general update. To begin with, I’ve been writing some “future histories.” My illustrated short story, Anchor, is just the beginning of that tale. There are two other stories, both novellas (or “novels” in old pulp magazine-speak), which recount the continuing adventures of the Time Keepers. The first one will be the other side of Anchor–what happens to Lucy’s partner, Mytah, after he’s been kidnapped. I quite like that story, it’s a real…

Dalton Stevens copy

Dalton Stevens copy comparison

Sometimes I do suffer for my art! Recently, I determined to improve the delicacy of my handling of painted skin tones. Skin tones should (underline should) seem almost transparent and lovely, especially for women but also for men. Even if the skin presents as rougher and more weathered it should still seem like there’s blood flowing beneath it. I love portraiture but to-date my skin tones have been subpar, according to my own standards. I decided to try my hand at pastels in order to break some bad painting habits.…

Inktober and Guy Gifford

I always enjoy #inktober. Pen & ink is one of my favorite illustration techniques and probably the one I use most often. I always find it fun to do a few extra drawings in October for #inktober. Here are the two drawings I’ve done so far in 2023. As you can see, my 1930’s theme remains. Each of these drawing uses a different approach. The girl has quite a bit of stippling but the hoodlum has none, using instead parallel ink marks with some cross-hatching. I’m getting used to my…

Two new articles, a story in progress, and a drawing for practice

Rocketeer alien series meme

There seems to be a lot going on at the moment. For the next few weeks the ROCKETEER is going to highlight aliens in honor of the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party—a local event celebrating everything UFO. (It’s like McMenamins UFO Festival only smaller.) I’ll be discussing pulp-era and slightly later stories with the themes of invasion, alien manipulation, control, and humanity fighting back in stories ranging from the absurd to the deadly. The first in that series came out this week: “Tactical Error: This Star Shall Be Free.”  The story…