This original gouache pulp magazine cover painting by Lloyd Birmingham used for the December 1961 issue of Fantastic Stories of Imagination illustrates the Daniel Galouye short novel “Spawn of Doom.” The image features an alien astronaut breaking into a museum window to stop a sentient spore-based life form from taking over planet earth and destroying the human race. The notion of the private war taking place under the nose of unsuspecting society was a popular science fiction trope during the Cold War, as it allowed writers to create detailed and terrifying metaphors for the fight between freedom and fascism which threatened the planet with annihilation on a daily basis.
This fresh to the market cover published pulp painting had remained for decades in the artists upstate New York estate. A rare surviving work that is handsomely framed in a retro looking limed oak fine gallery frame behind glass, comes with the complete published December 1961 edition of Fantastic Stories of Imagination.
Lloyd Birmingham was trained in painting and illustration at the Parsons School of Design and the School of Art Studies in New York. He worked in tempera and gouache on illustration board and was prolific creating covers for many of the Ziff-Davis pulp titles during the 1950s – 60s.