An eerie and post apocalyptic Los Angeles cityscape appears in this original pulp painting by Lloyd Birmingham used as the cover for “Analog – Science Fact, Science Fiction,” Feb. 15, 1962.
Dating both the birth of the era of space exploration (John Glenn would become the first American to orbit the earth one week after the appearance of this issue) and anxieties about the foreign menace of the Cold War Soviet Union, this painting imagines a Los Angeles which has been occupied by aliens and left to rot until it is merely a spaceport for a backwater planet.” Pictured in this science fiction fantasy-scape is the iconic tower of the Los Angeles airport, with young boys playing stick ball next to a street sign of unintelligible script, with nuclear reactors and eastern block architecture having replaced the previous cityscape. Though this relates to no specific fiction in the magazine, the “science fact” featured in this issue of “Analog” concerns the fast developing science of space travel. Painting is beautifully framed and matted behind glass.
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 he painted at least a dozen Sci- Fi covers for the Amazing, Fantastic, and Analog titles.