Uncanny pic of the day: Virgil Finlay

Virgil Finlay must surely have been the most accomplished of all the ‘pulp’ fantasy and science fiction artists. I’ve chosen this example – an illustration to Robert E Howard’s ‘Skull Face’ from Weird Tales – out of my many other favoruites simply because it shows his extraordinary dexterity and mastery of light and shade. The contrast between the skull and the woman behind it is striking enough but the subtle suggestion of a gauze veil over the skull’s ‘face’ is even more impressive. Then there’s the silhouette of the man illuminated by a spark of flame in the eye socket… Finlay used a kind of pointilism to achieve this subtlety and yet most of his artwork was printed on rough, grainy pulp paper. If Finlay had belonged to the previous generation he could easily have been a fine book illustrator to rival the likes of Rackham and Dulac.


About UncannyUK

I am the editor of Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com), a website devoted to British ghosts and folklore. I am the former editor of Paranormal Magazine and the author five books on Welsh folklore. Just launched Apparition Developments, first product of which is Ghost Finder London - an app plotting 300 haunted sites in London for iPhone. I'm a highly experienced journalist and corporate copywriter. I'm an enthusiast on the subjects of UK folklore, the supernatural and antiquities and am fond of old horror and sci-fi movies, cult TV such as Dr Who and I collect Victorian/Edwardian magazines. I also enjoy weird art and macabre literature by the likes of M R James, E F Benson, Algernon Blackwood, W Hope-Hodgson, H P Lovecraft etc. I live in North Wales, which is a very spooky place.
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