Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Bit More Burroughs Art

As promised, here's some more wrap-around Edgar Rice Burroughs cover art. First we have a series of Ballantine editions printed in the sixties and seventies with paintings by Gino D'Achille. I bought them for a quarter apiece at our county library's book sale; no doubt some fortunate fellow townsman is in possession of the first three installments, a murrain seize him/her. I'm less enthusiastic about this art than I am about my Frazetta covers, but – what can I say? – I purchased them solely for the art. My favorite is probably the delightfully bizarre crab-people painting.

While each is more or less monochrome, they're in spectral order, ranging from red through purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and back to red again. In fact – get ready, I'm about to blow your mind here – in fact, I say, a certain amount of transitional coloration on the left-hand side of each image leads me to conjecture that they're all actually part of a crazy super-long Edgar Rice Burroughs rainbow mural.

Here I've just stuck the covers together so that you can get a general idea of what I'm talking about. They don't quite line up at the edges, and skip space between successive covers here and there. Maybe they're from several panels rather than a single one. In some instances at least I seem to see a single horizon extending from one cover to the next. Searching around the Internet yields images that corroborate the idea without quite confirming it. Here's the artist's website, which makes me think, eh, maybe not, but it's still cool to think.

Finally, here's one wrap-around cover painting by Michael Whelan (copyright 1979). He's a well known fantasy artist – he also did a very creepy wrap-around painting for a volume of H. P. Lovecraft stories that I own – and you can see much better images of his various Burroughs illustrations by performing a judicious Google Image search. The Thuvia painting is my favorite, because, with its dusky, dusty golds and blues, it most closely resembles how I imagine Barsoom.

The original is even more beautiful that this mass-produced and rather trashy-looking cover would lead you to believe. But I'll leave it to you to find this out for yourself, and instead conclude by contemplating Thuvia of Ptarth soothing the savage banth, which, to my mind, would look just right airbrushed onto an old van.

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