Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sexy Roy Krenkel ERB Paperback Covers

When I was a kid I collected Ace paperback editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Not so much for the stories themselves, although I enjoyed reading them for a period, but I was after the amazing covers by Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta.

Frazetta, who recently passed away, is a well know fantasy illustrator but Roy Krenkel, who was a big influence on Frazetta, has been largely forgotten. An example of one of Frank Frazetta's provocative ERB covers below, I scanned the back cover so you can see the art better.

Frank Frazetta sexy ERB paperback cover

These Roy Krenkel illustrations from the '60s came before the Frank Frazetta covers of the '70s that replaced them. Some of the 1960's books came with illustrations on the title page by Krenkel and they are truly spectacular; he was one of the greatest pen & ink artists of all time.

Here are some examples of Krenkel's sexy ERB paperback covers:

Roy Krenkle illustrations

Poor Thuvia, bad enough she's a maid on Mars but her pissed off employer looks pretty brutal. A marvelous use of typography.

Edgar rice burroughs illustrator Roy Krenkel

Gorgeous example of Krenkel at his best.


Edgar rice burroughs illustrator Roy Krenkel

Not one of Krenkel's best in my opinion but striking none the less, almost abstract.

Edgar rice burroughs illustrator Roy Krenkel

A perfect example of the 'Men's Adventure' type of covers that made these books best-sellers. I remember enjoying reading this book. Did Frazetta help out on this painting? It certainly demonstrates just how much Krenkel influenced the fantasy master.

Roy Krenkel paperback covers

Sexy man on man action. This was originally the cover for 'A Fighting Man on Mars.' Perhaps because Frazetta couldn't keep up, I don't know, but Ace began reprinting Krenkel covers on some 1970's editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Printing techniques had greatly improved as you can see compared to the example below from a decade earlier.

Roy Krenkel paperback covers

What a shame these paintings haven't been reproduced in a quality format, at least none that I know of.

Roy Krenkel died in 1983. I wonder who owns these magnificent works and what they're doing with them?