Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Fantasy Art of Hannes Bok

Hannes Bok, (real name Wayne Woodward) (1914-1964), was an American illustrator best known for his Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine work.  His full color covers are lush and luminescent, influenced by the heavy layering of glazes by his hero Maxfield Parrish, and his black and white interior illustrations are odd and deeply compelling.

Bok's entry into the world of commercial fantasy art came through his friendship with a young and then unpublished Ray Bradbury.  By 1939, Bradbury was committed to becoming a sci-fi/fantasy author and hopped on a bus from Los Angeles to New York City to attend the World Science Fiction Convention.  Since Bok was unable to attend the convention himself,  Bradbury brought along an armload of his friend's work to show off to the editors there and to kill two birds with one stone.  It worked, and the rest is history. Bradbury etched his name in sci-fi/fantasy granite, and Bok became one of the most beloved illustrators from the Golden Age of sci-fi illustration.

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