(Still from the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, dir. Franklin J. Schaffner)
For more covers on the same theme see Part II
I suspect that virtually all science fiction fans and film cineastes recall the vivid sequence near the end of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes where the Statue of Liberty lies half-buried in the sands. Franklin J. Schaffner’s film draws on a rich tradition in pulp science fiction cover art. I’ve included six cover from 1941-1965, all before the film was released, that depict the Statue of Liberty submerged by apocalyptical floods and excavated by future spacemen. I have a large catalogue of covers that show various landmarks destroyed by mechanical monsters, ogled at by aliens, and wrecked by a variety of world ending disasters. The Hollywood penchant for destroying as many national landmarks as possible in movies is deeply rooted in existing visual traditions.
My favorite is by far Blanchard’s (does anyone know his full name) cover for the 1959 edition of John Bowen’s After The Rain (1958). The dark skies, the stormy waters reaching up to her nose, the survivors of the flood perched near the flame, the boats and roofs of houses floating about, perfectly evoke the extent of the disaster — and, “elements gone wild!”
(if I’ve missed any pre-1968 covers please let me know. I know that there are multiple later covers but they might be purposefully referencing Planet of the Apes)
(Blanchard’s cover for the 1959 edition of After The Rain (1958), John Bowen)
(Uncredited cover — might still be Blanchard — for the 1965 edition of After The Rain (1958), John Bowen)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the February 1964 issue of Amazing Stories)
(Hubert Rogers’ cover for the February 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1953 August-September issue of Fantastic Universe Science Fiction)
(Howard Purcell’s cover for the 1966 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
For similar posts consult the INDEX
25 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Statue of Liberty on Pre-1968 Magazine and Novel Covers”
As a bona fide Planet of the Apes fan I’m thrilled to see others have discovered and researched this somewhat common theme. I should correct you that it is Franklin J. Schaffner, not Franklin F. Schaffner who directed the original movie. A minor quibble, but we owe him so much that I felt it necessary to correct. I do believe that there are other prior examples, but I’m going to have to check my files to be sure. One of the most common references we see on such lists is the cover of the first issue of “Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth” (drawn by the great Jack Kirby, no less), but that is a comic and perhaps beyond your purview. Nice work.
Ah yes, I’ll correct it — thanks!
I found that one — but yes, it’s a comic book so it doesn’t really interest me 😉
I enjoyed the film…. but was not blown away by it. I’ve not seen ANY of the various sequels. But I suspect they’re all not as good. Although people did love the most recent one…
Very creative idea for a post!
Thanks! As always, I had fun…
Love this! Always been a fan of that scene in “Apes” but never knew it drew from a rich history of illustration.
Not just drew on but almost exactly recreated! But yes, me neither until I came across these while searching for cool covers…. And they are delightful, aren’t they?
great post (nostalgia for planet of the apes). There’s a book store in town that has tons of old sic fi books like this – i will leaf through them next time I am there – maybe I’ll find something. Is there anything in particular (otherwise) that I should look for while I’m there?
Well, I’m not sure what sort of science fiction you like? 60s science fiction, 70s, 80s, 50s, 40s? Social sci-fi? Hard sci-fi? Military sci-fi? Space opera? earlier Pulp?
I have a best sci-fi I’ve rated in the lifetime of the blog (not favorites of all time or others I haven’t reviewed since I started the blog).
Be warned, many are on the more experimental side.
i meant more along the lines of cover art that might be unusual like the statue of liberty themed covers.
Oh, well, here are my top 15 pieces of cover art. I never buy something for the art only — much more interested in the content… So, this seems somewhat foreign to me.
Some scifi covers are much better than the words within. It’s a genre of art that deserves much more attention. More than I see around my locality, anyway.
Don QuiScottie — I agree…. I does deserve more attention — especially true visionaries like Powers….
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I was always struck by the ending of the original film of “Planet Of The Apes”–the cataclysm not only buried the Statue of Liberty, it also made the planet rotate the opposite direction so that the sun set in the East.
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Thanks! great post!! maybe you like this:
is comic book, but in the context
You’re welcome. That’s a really neat image. Love it.
Re: “My favorite is by far Blanchard’s (does anyone know his full name)”
When I wrote the post, years ago, only his last name was listed. Thanks! isfdb.org is increasingly comprehensive — one of the things that makes it wonderful.
It’s interesting that both of Alex Schomberg’s pieces also feature flying saucers.
A very 50s (and earlier) art idiom… His work always screams “adventure fun-time pulp!” at me.
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