Supernatural Pulp Noir Pulp Cover

I recollect the very moment that I was introduced to pulp. I was twelve. We were going cross country and had stopped in a dusty gas station in the middle of nowhere, Texas.

Inside the station, it was dark and cool with a dirt floor. Towards the back, amongst the candy and oil and stuffed armadillos, was a rack of paperbacks. I wandered over to look.  My eyes were immediately drawn to an unbelievable sight. There on a paperback cover, was a thickly muscled man chained to the floor of a dungeon.  Facing him, was a snake of immense proportions. It reared up above him,  it’s body passing through the man’s legs making him appear to be almost riding on the back of the immense reptile. To boot there were nebulous things with wings and claws hanging out in the corners as if the snake was not enough of a menace to a chained man.

I picked it up and read the title. Conan the Usurper.  I did not know what a usurper was but if this book was half as good as the picture, I was ready to find out. My father bought the book for me and I was introduced to the work of two great fantasy master’s in one day. Thanks Pop!

So, Frank Frazetta’s art led me to Robert E. Howard’s writing. Howard is inextricably tied into the pulp’s and it’s history. From there, it was just a mind boggling expansion of pulp heaven. Stories to inflame the imaginations of the young and old alike. Monsters from space, hidden temples in deep jungles, spies, impossible machines, rampant dinosaurs and on and on…

I recently managed an assignment with Bad Moon Books to do a cover for a story called Wings Over Manhattan by Don D’Ammassa. I read the story and was struck by the distinct supernatural pulp noir feel of it all.  I decided, this was my chance to finally do a pulp cover! So off I went and here it is, the cover and an attending interior illustration.