Pulp Art

Sara Light-Waller, Pulp Illustrator

Being an illustrator is a lot like watching your neighborhood go through continual urban renewal. Popular art styles change all the time. Do you keep up with them? Or, do you do your own thing? Being a professional makes that a tough call. I spent years as a portrait artist, landscape painter, and children’s book and magazine illustrator. I’ve done all sorts of wacky client projects from children’s play rugs to tacky company holiday cards. But there’s one thing that’s stayed consistent through all of it — a love of space art and the old pulp art styles. Those bright, evocative (and yes, cheesy) magazine covers and fantastic interior artwork continues to astound and amaze me (pun intended.) When I decided to publish my own “new pulp” books I, of course, wanted to illustrate them also. But to do it right, I had to take some time and learn the style. Classically, the best way to learn art is to copy the masters. Here are some of my pulp copies, duplicating some of the best of the pulp artists from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. (These copies were created solely for the purpose of learning, they are not for sale.)

Pulp Copies

Walter M. Baumhofer (1904-1987) copy. The original artwork was seen on the cover of the March 1934 issue of ‘Doc Savage.” The featured story was called, “Meteor Menace.” My copy is done in casein on watercolor paper.
Virgil Finlay (1914 – 1971) scratchboard copy.  I wasn’t happy with the man’s face and drew it again in pen and ink (see below.)

Pulp-inspired  Artwork

New mural based on “Amazing Stories” pulp cover from August 1928. The original artwork is by Frank R. Paul (1884 – 1963).

New Pulp Illustrations

Promotional materials for “Landscape of Darkness: A Novelette of the Space Patrol.” (All images are copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2020. All Rights Reserved.)
Promotional materials for “ANCHOR: A Strange Tale of Time.” (All images are copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2020. All Rights Reserved.)

New mural detail. Acrylic paint on board. (All images are copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2020. All Rights Reserved.)

Do you need an illustrator for a pulp-inspired project?

I take commissions. If you have a pulp project that needs an authentic touch, give me a shout at sara@lucinapress.com.