First Fandom Experience
Roy V. Hunt:
Fan – Artist – Illustrator
“Roy Hunt may have been categorized as a fan artist, but his talent, personality and excellent sense of design easily puts him in a league with many professional artists who worked during the same years that he did. If you never heard of Roy Hunt before seeing this book, you will be very happy to have discovered him now.”
— Mark Wheatley, Breathtaker, Doctor Cthulittle, Song of Giants
ART PLAYS AN ESSENTIAL ROLE in science fiction. We are a visual species, and our visions of the future are sparked more viscerally by pictures than by words. Beginning in the 1920s, the provocative, sometimes outlandish work of artists such as Frank R. Paul called out from the covers of pulp magazines, luring susceptible youth into realms theretofore unimagined. Some of those thus ensnared became the core fanatics who established the science fiction industry that now dominates our media landscape.
Through the 1930s, science fiction fans with discernable artistic talent emerged. Illustrators such as Clay Ferguson, Jr., Morris Scott Dollens and Nils Frome labored in amateur obscurity. A handful of other fan artists managed to cross over to professional careers, including Julian Krupa, Ronald Clyne and Hannes Bok.
In this latest offering from First Fandom Experience, we focus on the work of Roy Vernon Hunt. Hunt lived and worked in Denver, Colorado from 1914 until his passing in 1986. His first published art appeared in the fanzine The Alchemist in February 1940. Hunt was a founding member of the Colorado Fantasy Society, a group formed to organize the
1941 World Science Fiction Convention in Denver.
Hunt is obscure, even among ardent science fiction historians. Our interest was first sparked by a remarkable artifact: an illustration included in the Spring 1941 issue of the fanzine Starlight. The image struck us as perhaps the best ever rendering of H.P. Lovecraft’s iconic Elder God, Cthulhu.
The man, defiant.
The God, annoyed.
The outcome, certain.
Our six-month effort to track down Hunt’s work rewarded us with an astonishing range of art that spanned six decades and encompassed diverse subjects, styles and media. He was inspired not just by science fiction and fantasy, but by rich stories of all sorts: the fantasy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the mystery of Sherlock Holmes, the intrigue of Fu Manchu, the history of the United States.
Hunt’s illustrations appeared in numerous amateur publications and professional pulp magazines. He contributed book jacket and interior illustrations to works published by William Crawford and Stanley Mullen, and produced woodcuts under the auspices of art projects for the Depression-era Work Projects Administration.
We believe that Hunt’s work should be enjoyed and remembered by fans of all sorts. We’re pleased to present a retrospective illustrating the arc of his career and the scope of his talent. The book includes:
- A rich biography that documents Hunt’s life, influences and career
- A foreword by Martin Mahoney, Director of Operations and Collections at the Norman Rockwell Museum, that puts the artist’s work in historical perspective
- Many scarce fanzine illustrations, some likely not seen since original publication in the 1930s – 1950s
- Stunning wood block prints produced for the Work Projects Administration in the 1940s
- Selections from Hunt’s folios illustrating subjects from Sherlock Holmes and Fu Manchu
- As you’d expect from FFE, lots of contextual and historical commentary
- An illustrated appendix documenting the evolution of the technology early fans used to reproduce their art
- A full chronological index of Hunt’s published art
This collection offers the robust treatment that the artist fully deserves. Here’s a sample from the 144-page volume. Use the crossed-arrow icon to view in full-screen.
Order your copy of Roy V. Hunt: A Retrospective
Price: $45, which includes shipping by Priority Mail.
The book is soft-cover, 8.5×11, with full color throughout.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping outside the United States, and with any questions.
Roy V. Hunt: A Retrospective
Price: $45 US, which includes shipping by Priority Mail. Click “Pay with PayPal” below.