Virgil Finlay


Virgil Finlay

Virgil Finlay (July 23 1914–January 18 1971) was a pulp fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrator. While he worked in a range of media, from gouache to oils, Finlay specialized in, and became famous for, beautifully detailed pen-and-ink drawings accomplished with abundant stippling, cross-hatching, and scratchboard techniques. Despite the very labor-intensive and time-consuming nature of his specialty, Finlay created more than 2600 works of graphic art in his 35-year career.

Virgil Warden Finlay was born and raised in Rochester, New York; his father, woodworker Warden Hugh Finlay, died at age 40 in the midst of the Great Depression, leaving his family (widow Ruth and two children, Jean and Virgil) in straitened circumstances. By his high school years, Virgil Finlay exercised his passions for art and poetry, and discovered his lifelong subject matter through the pulp magazines of the era--science fiction, via "Amazing Stories" (1927), and fantasy and horror, via "Weird Tales" (1928). By age 21 he was confident enough in his art to send six pieces, unsolicited, to editor Farnsworth Wright at "Weird Tales". Once Wright determined that such detailed work would transfer successfully to relatively rough paper the magazine used (they were called "pulps" for a reason), he began buying Finlay's work. Finlay's illustrations debuted in the December 1935 issue of "WT," and appeared in a total of 62 issues of the magazine, down to the last issue of the classic pulp in Sept. 1954. He also executed 19 color covers for "WT," for issues from Feb. 1937 to March 1953.

Finlay quickly branched out to other publications after his 1935 debut; he was an immediate hit. In 1938 he went to work for A. Merritt at "The American Weekly," moving from Rochester to New York City. Later the same year, he married Beverly Stiles, whom he had known in childhood in Rochester (Nov. 16, 1938). His adjustment to the city and to his new job was not smooth, however; he was fired and re-hired more than once. Yet during his period on the magazine's staff (1938-43), and later as a freelancer (1946-51), Finlay estimated that he did 845 different images, large and small, for Merritt's magazine.

Finlay served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and saw extensive combat in the South Pacific theatre, notably on Okinawa. He resumed his artistic career after demobilization, doing a considerable amount of work for science fiction magazines and books. As the pulp magazine market narrowed through the 1950s, Finlay turned to astrology magazines as a new venue for his art.

Finlay also wrote poetry throughout his adult life. Virtually none was published in his lifetime, though significant samples have been printed posthumously. [http://www.reutel.nl/virgil_finlay/index.htm]

Finlay had to undergo major surgery for cancer in early 1969. He recovered enough to go back to work for a time; but the cancer returned, and Virgil Finlay died of the disease early in 1971, aged 56. Ironically, Finlay just missed a resurgence in interest in his artwork from the early 1970s onward. Both Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. and Gerry de la Ree have published series of collections of Finlay artwork since the artist's death. The later books published by Underwood contain illustrations from the Gerry de la Ree editions, as well as additional material.

Collections

*Virgil Finlay (1971) published by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc.
* (1975) introductions by Beverly C. Finlay and Robert Prestopino, published by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc.
*Finlay's Femmes (1976) - portfolio of drawings
*Finlay's Illustrations for Weird Tales (1976) - portfolio of drawings published by Showcase Art Productions
*Women of the Ages (1992) published by Underwood-Miller
*Stange Science (1993) published by Underwood-Miller
*Phantasams (1993) published by Underwood-Miller
*Virgil Finlay's Far Beyond (1994) published by Charles F. Miller

Books published by Gerry de la Ree

*Finlay's Last Drawings: For Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream(1975) with Gerry de la Ree
*The Book of Virgil Finlay (1976)
*Second Book of Virgil Finlay (1978)
*The Third Book of Virgil Finlay(1979)
*The Fourth Book of Virgil Finlay (1979)
*The Fifth Book of Virgil Finlay(1979)
*The Sixth Book of Virgil Finlay: The Astrology Years (1980)
*The Seventh Book of Virgil Finlay - Virgil Finlay Remembered(1981)


=External links=
* [http://www.redjacketpress.com/authors/virgil_finlay.html Virgil Finlay biography]
* [http://www.bpib.com/illustrat/finlay.htm Another Virgil Finlay biography]
*isfdb name|id=Virgil_Finlay|name=Virgil Finlay


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Virgil Finlay — Virgil Warden Finlay (* 23. Juli 1914 in Rochester, New York; † 18. Januar 1971 in Westbury (New York)) war ein US amerikanischer Fantasy und Science Fiction Buchillustrator und Künstler. Von 1935 bis 1939 arbeitete er als Illustrator für das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Virgil Finlay — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Finlay. Virgil Finlay (23 juillet 1914 janvier 1971) est un illustrateur américain de magazine de science fiction, de fantasy et d horreur. Il commence à publier ses dessins dans Weird Tales en 1935. Son style… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Virgil Finlay (book) — Infobox Book name = Virgil Finlay title orig = translator = image caption = Dust jacket from the first edition author = compiled and edited by Donald M. Grant illustrator = Virgil Finlay cover artist = Virgil Finlay country = United States… …   Wikipedia

  • Finlay (Name) — Finlay ist ein irisch schottischer Name. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Varianten 3 Bekannte Namensträger 3.1 Vorname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Virgil — bezeichnet eine Variante des Vornamens Virgilius Vergil (Publius Vergilius Maro, später auch Publius Virgilius Maro; 70–19 v. Chr.), römischer Dichter den Taifun Virgil im Pazifik 1999 Virgil bezeichnet Gebäude Bildungshaus Salzburg St. Virgil… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Virgil (disambiguation) — Virgil and Vergil are the most common modern English names used for the Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro (70 ndash;19 BC).Other famous people and characters called Virgil, Vergil, Virgilius, or Vergilius include: People Given name *St. Vergilius …   Wikipedia

  • Finlay, Virgil [Warden] —    (1914–1971)    American artist; perhaps the most accomplished artist to appear in the pulp magazines. Finlay came in touch with HPL in September 1936 and corresponded with HPL until the latter’s death. Finlay actually offered to illustrate… …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • Finlay — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Finlay imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = Blond warrior region = origin = related names = footnotes = Finlay is a given name and a family name. Name meaning: blond warrior.People*Finlay Calder …   Wikipedia

  • Finlay —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Finley. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Finlay est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Carlos Finlay (1833 1915), médecin cubain qui a donné …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Virgil Runnels III — Dustin Patrick Runnels Dustin Runnels …   Wikipédia en Français


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