I’m very particular about the usage of the word “evolve.” Probably because in politics it’s so often misused. Some scummy politician will hand-wave away a long-held “conviction” by claiming that he’s “evolved” on an issue.
“Nevermind what I told my constituents for 7 years and that I’m now up for reelection. My views on abortion have evolved!”
Too often there has been no actual growth, no improvement; just a shallow change of position born of political calculus. True evolution implies a gradual process and often a beneficial change. Example – a child doesn’t like broccoli, but as he ages his tastes evolve and he grows to tolerate or even enjoy the healthy green vegetable and maybe other once-repulsive weeds.
Similarly, I once found little attractive about the old classic SFF covers of Frank Frazetta and his ilk. For whatever reason, they just didn’t do it for me. I think a large part of it may have just been that they belonged to old, musty books in my basement. I had not yet been exposed to the high adventure of Robert E Howard or the excitement of Burroughs, and so there was no association there, no fondness.
I’ve read similar accounts online, and it makes me wonder. Is it age and experience that’s brought an appreciation for the work of Roy Gerald Krenkel?
Is it my familiarity with the weird tales depicted by Margaret Brundage that have made her illustrations more alluring?
How large a part have the stories themselves played? Or is it just that I’ve gotten used to this particular style of artwork?
Either way I’m glad that I’ve come to enjoy it. At first, when I was just getting acquainted with the old greats, I didn’t pay much attention to the cover art of the Conan stories. But now I see. There are many beautiful (though a lot of admittedly strange) pieces to be found among the collections of these older artists, and the joy of discovering new cover art has added to the pleasure of finding classic SFF books.
How about you, dear readers? Do you like this kind of art? If so, have you always, or did it grow on you?