drb
logo
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | famous | cool ads | funny pics | food | futurism | gadgets | history | japan
military | music | nature | photo | russia | sci-fi | signs | space | sports | steampunk | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird


Rare & Wonderful 1950s Space Art


"QUANTUM SHOT" #778
Link - article by Avi Abrams




This Art Truly Makes "The Ether Vibrate"

It's been some time since our last Retrofuture Space Art update, and today we are going to treat you to the rarest of the rare, the most spectacular 1950s space art that we could unearth from pretty unlikely sources around the world. Blast off!... and feel how "the ether vibrates", quoting the exciting letter and editorial column from the legendary sf pulp magazine "Thrilling Wonder Stories":



The yellowing brittle pulp pages of the 1940s science fiction magazines are not going to survive in pristine collectible condition much longer, no matter what the prices on eBay might imply. It is our hope that the contents of these magazines will be preserved online (as the copyright on many of them has expired), but before that happens, here is a little taste of the rarest and most interesting 1950s space art and cover illustrations:


British Pulps and Paperbacks Oozed a "Sense of Wonder" All Over the Bookshelves

They are also some of the hardest to find today. "Vargo Statten" (published by Scion Publications) and "Tit-Bits Science Fiction Library" were at the forefront of scifi paperback industry in the 1950s Britain, most written by a handful of writers (John Russel Fearn, E. C. Tubb, Kenneth Bulmer, Robert L. Fanthorpe) using multiple pseudonyms. The quality of such fiction was highly debatable, but the cover art was great - sometimes as garish as the "purple prose" contained within:






"The Master Weed?" No, the other weed... an alien plant that certainly looks very big and thriving, being harvested from the crater:




The "Exile from Jupiter" features a nice flying disc spacecraft concept, somewhat reminiscent of the Star Trek's USS Enterprise:




Here is an interesting spaceship carrier, with a landing field for smaller aircraft on top:




Spectacular spaceships explode from the covers of these obscure editions:




"Planetoid Disposals, Inc." by Volsted Gridban! If you are thinking that Volsted Gridban must be a pen name, you are correct. This is one of dozens of pen names of John Russel Fearn, sometimes a "house name" (also accomodating stories by E. C. Tubb) - see our huge list of science fiction pen names here.




You gotta admit that "Ray Cosmic" is a pretty awesome pseudonym for a 1950s pulp writer (used by John S. Glasby):




Practical Mechanics was a popular-science British magazine published by George Newnes, Ltd., which often featured futuristic illustrations. The cover on the right shows a space station similar to the one in 2001: A Space Odyssey:





Rare American Editions Featuring Spectacular space Art

Beautiful planetary exploration (or invasion?) scene, painted by Alexander Leydenfrost:


(art by Alexander Leydenfrost)

(cover for Astounding Science Fiction, August 1941)


Some of the 1950s paperback science fiction anthologies featured very memorable art, like this intense planetary exploration scene from "Operation Future" (ed. by Groff Conklin, 1961):




Dramatic space rescue illustration by Robert Lesser from "Future Fiction" pulp magazine:


(image via)


Thrilling cover by Lou Cameron for the 1951 issue "Classics Illustrated: The Time Machine":




This cover for Amazing Stories, July 1947, simply bursts with excitement and sense-of-wonder:




Legendary Chesley Bonestell was regularly illustrating fantastic and popular science publications; here is a lesser known example:


(image via)


Here is a collage of Popular Mechanics cover and a 1950 "Destination: Moon" 1950 interior illustration (with some shots from the movie):



(images via 1, 2)


Exploring the Icarus Asteroid:


(image via)


Approaching Mars:





There are plenty of surprises (and possibly misery) awaiting astronauts on outer space missions - see our Surprised Astronauts article for some fun examples:



(left: Science Club's "L'homme dans l'espace" publication; right: the "Green Slime" movie, or "Invaders From Beyond the Stars")


Italian Science Fiction Pulp Art

... was also very colorful, and featured beautiful astronaut ladies:




(on the right above is the underground city from the 1936 "Things To Come" movie)


This great rocket is a fragment of the Utopia magazine cover (see the whole cover here):




Spectacular and Rare Russian Science Fiction Illustrations


(various illustrations from the early 1960s issues of "Smena" magazine)


"Smena" magazine 1961 illustrations for "The Astronauts" novel by Stanislaw Lem (1951):





The "Moon Station Dome", illustration by Andrey Sokolov:




Some great covers by "Tekhnika Molodezhi" youth science magazine:






"Meeting Across the Centuries": great romantic Smena illustration:




And we finish this short collection of vintage Russian space illustration with this great "Happy New Year" cover:


(Smena magazine, Russia)


Cut to our times: here is a great example of modern space adventure art

... done in the best tradition of space pulp illustration: "Starcraft Medic" by Korean artist Kim Yong Su -


(image credit: Kim Yong Su)

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.


READ THE PREVIOUS PART HERE ->

READ THE WHOLE "FUTURISM" SERIES! ->





RECENT ARTICLES:


Japanese Umbrellas: Rainbow Variations

Japanese sky melts down... in color


"Pale Memory" Traumatic Explosion

Stunning Photo-Realistic (and Wildly Surreal) Paintings by Jeremy Geddes

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #22

Loads of cool and rare imagery


Creative (and Weird) Basketball Hoops

Exercise Anywhere! Make your hoop out of anything!



"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus; make sure to subscribe to our updates.



YOUR COMMENTS::

7 Comments:

Blogger Dario Fas Marín said...

Great, Fascinating and lovable!
I love retro-futuristic design.

A little mistake, on the italian pulp magazines part there are covers of a famous spanish space-opera pulp magazine: Luchadores del Espacio, just google "jose luis macias" (the cover artist) with "luchadores del espacio" and enjoy a plenty of damsels in distress.

___  
Blogger marean said...

http://www.djouls.com/techno/images/Omfo-We_Are_The_Shepherds_b.jpg this is one of the images above edited for an album cover.

___  
Blogger Stickmaker said...

That _Practical Mechanics_ cover about the Nova nuclear rocket is interesting in that the artist didn't realize you can't have a trickle of smoke rising in a vacuum. :-)

The _Popular Mechanics_ cover on the movie _Destination Moon_ uses the rocket from the German pre-War movie _Frau im Mond_.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy in the "Operation Future" image seems to be talking into a microphone which he is holding in his hand, as if sound could propagate in vacuum.

___  
Blogger tyler709 said...

vintage spacepunk images are so much more interesting than the images of space we use now.

___  
Blogger Maurice Serico said...

The "1.000 Year Voyage" rocket looks like the inspiration for Phillipe Starck's "Juicy Salif" orange juicer for Alessi.

___  
Blogger Smeghead2068 said...

The 1956 Classic Illustrated TIME MACHINE cover is by George Wilson.

___  

Post a Comment

<< Home


SF ART & BOOK REVIEWS:
Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office



READ OTHER RECENT ARTICLES:


Quantum Shot #881
Fascinating Maps:
Origins of Important Historical Figures in Europe


Europe Seen Through a Temporal Telescope: 1400-1950

DRB Pic-of-the-Day
Pic-of-the-Day: Feather Sea Star

"Flowers of the Coral Seas"

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #20

Loads of cool and rare imagery


Futuristic "Sofil" 1953 Vehicle

Marvelous bus designed by Felix Aublet


More Lovely Micro Cars

Small is Timeless!


DRB Pic-of-the-Day: Thunder Robot Army

Plus a bunch of Freddie-Ford auto robots


Adorable Bubble-Cars

Great Things Come in Small Packages


These Glorious Three-Wheeled Microcars

Jellybean Three-Wheelers! (Who Needs an Extra Wheel?)


Japan Robot Restaurant: Totally Over-the-Top!

Probably the craziest restaurant in the entire world


Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 2
Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 1

Seriously disturbing sculptures, meant for kids


Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 3

When trapped in a nightmare, enjoy a kiddie-slide!


Cars with Propellers, Part 2

Futuristic "Pillbug", built in 1936 in Germany


DRB Pic-of-the-Day: Shire on Earth

Found! The secret hideout of hobbits


Cars with Propellers, Part 1

Essential steampunk transportation


FULL ARCHIVES (with previews, fast loading):

July-Aug 2014 -- June 2014 --
May 2014 -- April 2014 -- Feb-March 2014 -- January 2014 -- Oct-Dec 2013 --
September 2013 -- August 2013 -- July 2013 -- May-June 2013 -- April 2013 --
March 2013 -- February 2013 -- Dec-Jan 2013 --
November 2012 -- October 2012 -- September 2012 --
August 2012 -- July 2012 -- June 2012 -- May 2012 -- April 2012 --
March 2012 -- February 2012 -- Dec-Jan 2012 --
November 2011 -- October 2011 -- September 2011 --
August 2011 -- July 2011 -- June 2011 --
May 2011 -- April 2011 -- March 2011 --
February 2011 -- January 2011 -- December 2010 --
November 2010 -- October 2010 -- September 2010 --
August 2010 - July 2010 -- June 2010 --
May 2010 -- April 2010 -- March 2010 --
Winter 2009-2010 -- Oct-Nov 2009 -- September 2009 --
August 2009 -- June-July 2009 -- May 2009 --
April 2009 -- March 2009 -- February 2009 --
January 2009 -- December 2008 -- November 2008 --
October 2008 -- September 2008 -- August 2008 --
July 2008 -- June 2008 -- May 2008 --
April 2008 -- March 2008 -- February 2008 --
January 2008 -- Dec, 2007 -- November 2007 --
October 2007 -- September 2007 -- August 2007 --
July 2007 -- June 2007 -- May 2007 --
April 2007 -- March 2007 -- February 2007 --
January 2007 -- December 2006 -- November 2006 --
October 2006 -- Link Latte Issues -- Biscotti Issues



CATEGORIES:
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | funny pics | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | history | humour | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | sports | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird




















Airplanes
Animals
Architecture
Art
Auto
Boats
Computers
Cool Ads
Extreme Weather
Food
Funny Pics
Futurism
Gadgets
History
Humour
Link Latte
Military
Music
Nature
Oops Accidents
Photography
Robots
Science
Science Fiction

Space
Sports
Technology
Trains
Travel
UE Abandoned
Vintage
Weird











Avi Abrams
Rachel Abrams
M. Christian
Simon Rose
Paul Schilperoord
Scott Seegert
Constantine vonHoffman


Send us your topic ideas, site suggestions, rants or sweet unpublished poetry. We love to hear from you.

Samsung Galaxy Case friendly.