Frank R. Paul

1884 - 1963

American artist

Frank Rudolph Paul was the founding father of science fiction art, and his work defined the look of the future as seen in the early pulp fiction magazines. Born in Austria, Paul first studied architecture and later art in Vienna, Paris and New York. He was working for a rural newspaper in New Jersey when, in 1914, magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback hired him to create covers and interior illustrations for his science magazine, The Electrical Experimenter. Gernsback created the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926 and Paul provided all the magazine’s covers and interior illustrations for the next three years. Paul went on to create art for a number of pulps including Science Wonder, Air Wonder, Wonder Quarterly and Astounding Stories.

Drawing on his architectural training, Paul specialized in enormous cities and spacecraft that dwarfed any living beings. His alien creatures are eerie and well-imagined. His work is known for its bright, basic colors, especially reds and yellows. This was partly the product of a cost-savings measure imposed by Gernsback, who often used three-color printing instead of a four-color press. Paul painted more than 200 science fiction magazine covers as well as countless interior illustrations, although he always considered this work a sideline, and he mainly supported himself and his family as a textbook illustrator. In 1939 Paul was guest of honor at the first World Science Fiction Convention in New York City. That was the year he also painted the cover of Marvel Comics #1, the very first Marvel Comic. He continued to be Hugo Gernsback’s go-to artist up to and including Gernsback’s last magazine, Science-Fiction +, (1952-1953).

Information and Images:
Frank R. Paul Gallery - http://www.frankwu.com/paul1.html