My earliest exposure to the work of H. P. Lovecraft and his friends was through the Beagle Boxer paperbacks that were published in the early 70's. The artwork on these early paperback editions strikes me even now as some of the best evocations of the "cosmic weirdness" quality of Lovecraft's writing. Unfortunately, until recently, I didn't know the artist's name for sure. A couple of people have suggested to me that the artist is probably Murray Tinkleman or Gervasio Gallardo, who did other Lovecraft covers for Ballantine in the 70's, but his work looks stylistically a bit different to me.
More than one artist may have contributed to the book covers shown below. However, a correspondent, Ric Bergquist, has recently discovered that several of them are the work of Victor Valla, including some Lovecraft covers for Lancer books. He notes that Valla used a floral V signature on some of these works. Among the covers shown below, it appears to me that Valla probably painted at least the Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos volumes, The Mask of Cthulhu, The Trail of Cthulhu, The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, and The Horror in the Museum. Ric also sent me links to a couple of webpages that are selling Valla's works:
Another correspondent, Phil Clarke, found artist credits for some of the same art on Panther Books editions published in the U.K. The cover of The Lurking Fear is credited to Michael McInnerney; the cover of The Lurker at the Threshold is credited to Gino D'Achille.
(If you have any further information about these artists, send it to me via our Send comments to email@example.com form.)
For those who remember these books fondly as I do, or those who are new to them, I'm including reproductions below. Please excuse the scuffed condition of the covers . . . consider it atmosphere. Eldritch, worm-eaten tomes from time immemorial, you know.
Click on any of the following for a larger version:
Following are some of the Lancer editions that Ric Berquist mentioned. The Colour Out of Space cover and Horror in the Museum cover include the floral V signature that also appears on the Mask of Cthulhu cover. (Thanks to terran_trader_rarefinds for supplying the cover of The Horror in the Museum.) Click any of the following for a larger version:
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