Fortunino Matania is the cover feature, a brilliant artist who deserves to be widely known. He was already at the top of British artists as a young man during World War I, his work often on the covers of important periodicals including The Graphic and The Sphere.
But his finest work was done illustrating historical fiction and true events of the past for features he often wrote himself for the top magazines of the 1920s to the 1940s. He created scenes that were like a window into the past: William the Conqueror, Romeo and Juliet, Roman Baths, "In the Temple of Isis..." His work for the sci-fi novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs was still being reprinted by Dover in the 1960s!
Most interesting, nudity and eroticism was accepted in British periodicals. His women, when not draped in beautiful period costumes, were even more appealing topless or completely nude. Several examples are included here, as well as plenty of his scarce full color work. His panoramic battle scenes are incredible.
One of New York City's leading illustrators was Andy Virgil. His chic and dynamic sophisticated men and women of the heady 1950s and 1960s would accompany fiction in the leading magazines. He also did bold advertising with iconic young men and women for accounts like Pepsi. Tippi Hedren (Birds) was one of his favorite models.
Peter Maddocks in 1955 created a new style of daily strip cartoon Four D. Jones. It starred the incompetent sheriff of Buzzard's Creek...who had a "time hoop" that he used to travel backwards and forwards in time! Long before Dr. Who, here was danger, chaos, humor, pathos featuring time travel!
Finally, Micron editor Keith Chapman looks at the cover art of Pocket Library, British paperbacks beginning in the 1950s.