Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Philippe Curval’s 1950s Photo Collages, Part II

(January 1957)

Part II of my series on Philippe Curval’s SF art–check out Part I first if you haven’t already. In Part I, I included only his covers from 1956, his most productive year for the French SF magazine Fiction. In this post I include the rest of his 50s work, seven covers published between 1957-59. Curval published SF more and more as the 1950s progressed and I suspect writing was more lucrative than art….

This selection includes what I find to be his most disturbing and evocative cover–Fiction 47. Cyclopean imagery combines with odd textures and hair-like growths. I am partial to SF covers that explore skin, mutation, hands, heads, growths, eyes, etc…. And speaking of disquieting heads/growths don’t look too closely at Fiction 41! (you’ve been warned).

What are your favorites?


Other Adventures in French Science Fiction Art entries

Otherworldly Textures and the Patina of Decay (The SF Art of Philippe Jean)

French comic book style 70s SF art by Serge Clerc

Lacroix’s Delicate Lines and Mutations (60s/70s covers for the French SF Magazine Fiction)

1970s Covers for La Grande Anthologie de la Science-Fiction (Robots, The End of the World, Aliens, etc)

The Uncanny Bodies of Wojtek Siudmak

Philippe Curval’s 1950s Photo Collages, Part I

(February 1957)

(March 1957)

(April 1957)

(October 1957)

(October 1958)

(January 1959)

For more Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art consult the INDEX

17 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Philippe Curval’s 1950s Photo Collages, Part II

  1. Joachim,
    This set runs the gamut of the straight forward scene on #40 to the bug looking through the copula on #41; I don’t know what to make of the thing at the lower right? The remaining covers, excepting #62, don’t give me much sense of wonder. #62 is my favorite in this bunch, with the three figures on the dunes making me think of Ballard’s Vermillion Sands.
    This haiku popped into my head after reading The Pillars of Eternity:
    Early misery,
    Straightened with inserted bones,
    Now: Joachim Boaz.

    • It’s been so long since I read The Pillars of Eternity. I remember the bleakness of the vision and the scarred main character (who resonated with me of course) but little about the actual plot… Did you like it?

      • I enjoyed The Pillars of Eternity very much, but thought the ending was not up to the rest of the book. I also read The Forrest of Peldain last year. It reminded me of Harry Harrison’s Planet of the Damned, both of which were intense. And I also read The Zen Gun that I thought fell flat at the end.

        • I listened to Harrison’s Planet of the Damned as an audio book recently. I also thought it was intense…. I enjoy more of Barrington’s short fiction than novels — which tend to be weird (not a critique) and not all that well constructed. I have a lot of older reviews of his stuff on this site… other than short fiction I haven’t returned to him recently.

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