Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hannes Bok at Arkham House

I am still cataloguing my way through a large collection of strange and supernatural fiction and, having laboured for days to release myself from the 'B's I now feel almost light-headed by the speed at which I have hurtled into the 'H's. In one of those really satisfying by ultimately meaningless coincidences these two books fall next to each other in alphabetical order. Both are posthumous collections (one of short stories, one an omnibus of novels), both are published by Arkham House, both in the same year, 1946, and both have astonishing jackets designed by Hannes Bok. 

Bok, or Wayne Francis Woodard as he was born, (1914-1964), was a prolific illustrator of sci-fi and fantasy books and their jackets, gaining his first break in the field as a Weird Tales illustrator (his Wiki page has details of the odd way in which this came about). He contributed a number of jackets to Arkham Press books and his cover for Frank Belknap Long's The Hounds of Tindalos (Arkham House, 1946) is particularly striking. Like so many in the field and so many of the people written about on Front Free Endpaper, Bok died young, in poverty, a recluse obsessed by the occult and mysticism.

[Update: The whole rationale of this post was ruined by the discovery, ten minutes later, of a book by one Elizabeth Jane Howard - ho hum...!]

1 comment:

eArnie Painter said...

Don't let that stop you for one minute.

Who links to my website?