Mike Hinge (1931-2003) combined a distinct 70s pop art visual aesthetic with SF themes to great effect. For the general public in the early 70s, he was best known for his Time Magazine covers (Nixon, November 5, 1973, “The Push To Impeach” and Emperor Hirohito, October 4th, 1971, “It’s Tougher World for Japan”).
I have selected Hinge’s eight covers (between 1970-1975) for Amazing Science Fiction to feature—a small slice of his massive and varied output. I own three of the eight issues of Amazing Science Fiction included in this collection (my SF magazine piles still remain on the small side) and have often wondered about the others he illustrated.
I find the May 1972 cover the most compelling—the large strokes and shadings of the face devolve into a complex machinery interlaced with a kaleidoscope of color. It harkens back to the incredible detail he was capable of (see the bonus Witzend 6 April 1969 cover included below). All in all, I find his work a fascinating collision of 70s aesthetic with pulp SF tropes from decades before.
Thoughts? Impressions? A favorite cover?
(Witzend 6, April 1969)
For additional art posts consult the INDEX
20 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Art: The Amazing Science Fiction Magazine Covers of Mike Hinge”
March ’73. I need that framed, in my house, now.
That is one of the three in my personal collection! As I pointed out in my brief comments, I love how he “reimagines” pulp scenes (the intrepid astronaut driving a fantastic craft, etc.) with very 70s stylings. They scream 70s, but in a finely wrought way….
January 1973 and the September 1975 covers. His stuff was deceptively simple looking, but it is all loaded with detail. Reminds me of the animation for the Beatle movie “Yellow Submarine”. Very reminiscent of some of the underground comic artwork of the time. His style is missed.
Didn’t he illustrate comics as well?
Absolutely incredible especially love the Astronaut going for the hatch & the spaceship going into the sun. Azaming.
I spot an early story from Game Of Thrones writer George RR Martin. 🙂
I’ve not read any of Martin’s early SF — certainly his genre of choice in his early years.
You deserve more exposure than you get. I wish science fiction fans were more aware of you work.
Is there anything I can do?
Thank you for your kind words! It means a lot.
Just do what you do — comment on posts, engage with the community, etc. Due to my post-Ph.D. life I’ve not been able to devote as much time to my site — something I hope to rectify in the coming months (I’ve made a concerted effort the last few weeks to post more regularly).
Absolutly wonderful art. As coverart is dead today this is an example of what this art was capable of. Even if it was used on a magazine which at the time was deemed a disposable piece of entertainment.
I wasn’t aware that Amazing had this strong line-up in those years. It reads like a who is who in SF. Vance, Benford, Martin, Haldeman, Effinger, Malzberg.
Thank you for your comment.
I do not believe that cover art is dead today.
But yes, as I mentioned above, I own a three of the issues with Hinge covers and the line-up is shockingly good.
I used to have the Science Fiction Book Club edition of Clifford Simak’s A Choice of Gods. I used to stare at the Hinge cover of that for hours…Any idea if the story in the May 72 issue of Amazing is by THE Roger Ebert? It would be interesting to read if it was.
Hmm… it seems to be the same Roger Ebert!
As for Roger Ebert … he was a huge SF fan, and wrote a lot for fanzines in the early ’60s. He was from Champaign, IL, and went to the U of I, I suppose 17 years before I did — but when I joined the Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association I noted his name as a past member (maybe an officer?) I knew him first, of course, as the movie critic for the paper my parents subscribed to, the Chicago Sun-Times. (He also wrote at least some about music — at any rate, he famously was one of the first people to notice the great John Prine, in a piece for the Sun-Times.)
I’m pretty sure his only published SF/F stories were the two he sold to Ted White.
I had forgotten about Ebert’s stories until your comment. I really should read them… I obviously knew more about him as a film critic.
I love these covers! My girlfriend collects vintage sci-fi books with covers like these
Any favorites in her collection?
Great post! Keep it up!
Thanks! Do you have a favorite cover of this bunch?
As noted on Twitter — I really did like Hinge’s work,and especially for Ted White’s magazines. I have the issues with the MARUNE cover, and the ARAQNID WINDOW cover — the latter I think the second issue of Amazing I ever bought.
Some of these are scans of my magazines. I don’t own a ton of magazines but if they have a Hinge cover and are inexpensive at my local Half Price I snatch them up.