In this original oil on canvas pulp painting by Harold McCauley, used as the cover for the November, 1954 pulp digest, Imaginative Tales #2, a near nude runaway pin-up girl seductively rides a speeding red bullet – with the next stop being the moon… Created to illustrate an interior serialized novella story by Charles F. Myers, the cover slug reads… “Here’s A Zippy Rollicking Adventure! Toffee Takes A Trip – The Moon Or Bust! Hop On!“
Grapefruit Moon Gallery brought this painting to San Diego Comic Con in 2013 where it was quickly sold, but not before catching the attention of a New York Times reporter who featured the work in this July 19, 2013 article, which includes a quote from gallery co-owner Sarahjane Blum. Subversive and timeless, pulp cover art continues to be a conversation starter – we are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer this again for sale!
McCauley loved working for The Greenleaf Publishing Company, and was a frequent illustrator for Imagination-Stories of Science Fiction and their sister title, Imaginative Tales. The artist always tried to outdo himself with the high-spirited works he created for this publishing house, which he nicknamed “Madge,” we can see his immense commercial talent and artistic whimsy on display in this sparkling pulp cover rendering.
Imaginative Tales was an American fantasy and science fiction magazine launched in September 1954 by William Hamling’s Greenleaf Publishing Company. It was created as a sister magazine to Imagination, which Hamling had acquired from Raymond A. Palmer’s Clark Publishing in 1951. Both Imagination and Imaginative Tales ceased publication at the end of 1958 in the aftermath of major changes in US magazine distribution due to the liquidation of American News Company.
The first issue contained a serialized version of Charles F. Myers’ novel Toffee, reprinted from the June 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures, where it had been titled Shades of Toffee. The “Toffee” series, about an attractive woman who was a figment of the imagination of the main character, Marc Pillsworth, also appeared in two later novellas, “Toffee Takes a Trip” and “Toffee Haunts a Ghost”. Additionally this publication printed original pulp fiction by Robert Bloch, Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison, typically written under a variety of pseudonyms and house names.