Frank R. Paul

From Academic Kids

Frank Rudolph Paul (April 18 1884 - June 29 1963) was an illustrator of US pulp-magazines in the science fiction field. He was born in Wien, Austria and died in Teaneck, New Jersey. A discovery of Hugo Gernsback (himself an immigrant from Luxembourg), Frank R. Paul was very influential in defining what both cover art and interior illustrations in the nascent science fiction pulps of the 1920s looked like.

In many ways, Frank R. Paul's achievements and influence on the field through the ages cannot be underestimated. His work appeared on the cover of the first issue (April 1926) of Amazing Stories magazine, the first magazine dedicated to science fiction. He would paint all the covers for over three years. These visions of robots, spaceships, and aliens were presented to an America wherein most people did not even own a telephone. Indeed, they were the first science fiction images seen by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Forrest J. Ackerman and others who would go on to great prominence in the field. His most famous Amazing Stories cover is probably that from August 1927, illustrating a reprint of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds:

Missing image
PaulWoW.jpg
Image:PaulWoW.jpg

In addition, Frank R. Paul can be credited with the first color painting of a space station (August 1929, Science Wonder Stories) published in the U.S. His cover for the November 1929 Science Wonder Stories was an early, if not the earliest, depiction of a flying saucer. This painting appeared almost two decades before the sightings of mysterious flying objects by Kenneth Arnold. So large was his stature that he was the only guest of honor at the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. He has been described as the first person to make a living drawing spaceships; this is a slight exaggeration, as much of his income was also derived from technical drawing.

Paul's work is characterized by dramatic compositions (often involving enormous machines, robots or spaceships), bright or even garish colors, and a limited ability to depict human faces, especially the female ones. His early architectural training is also evident in his work.

Among his credits, Paul painted 38 covers for Amazing Stories from April 1926 to June 1929 and 7 for the Amazing Stories Annual and Quarterly; with several dozen additional issues featuring his art on the back cover (May 1939 to July 1946), and several issues from April 1961 to September 1968 featuring new or reproduced art. After Gernsbach lost control of Amazing Stories, Paul followed him to the magazines Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories, Wonder Stories, Planet Stories and the associated quarterlies, which published 103 of his color covers from June 1929 to April 1936. All totalled, his magazine covers exceed 220.

External links

Frank R. Paul Gallery (http://www.frankwu.com/paul1.html)

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