Rediscovered: Hamilton and Finlay, “He That Hath Wings” — or, Weird Tales, The Lost Illustrations

Autograph Hound Saturday — and noted book and pulp collector Kevin Cook uses one of the Edmond Hamilton signatures from his collection to spin a little yarn about the Hamster (1904-1977) and Weird Tales and the legendary artist Virgil Finlay (1914-1971). Page from the July 1938 WT above — autograph and art on the pages below:

I briefly corresponded with Edmond Hamilton in the last year of his life. In my first letter I stated that his “He That Hath Wings” from the July 1938 issue of Weird Tales was my favorite story of his that I had read to that point.

Readers of that issue of Weird Tales were curious to find that the first five stories in the issue were accompanied by Virgil Finlay illustrations, but the rest of the stories — including “He That Hath Wings” — lacked illustrations.

Another instance of the notoriously-late Finlay not turning in his work on time.

So then apparently we all missed out on the possibility of seeing a Virgil Finlay illustration for Hamilton’s story?

Not so, Edmond Hamilton related.

Finlay completed his assignment, but simply did not get it to Weird Tales in time for publication.

When the story was reprinted in the July 1963 issue of Fantastic the original Finlay illustrations finally saw print.

Exactly 25 years late, but better late than never!

I tracked down a copy of that magazine, and when I finally met Edmond Hamilton in October 1976 at the World Fantasy Convention in New York I asked him to sign it as confirmation of his story.

Sadly, he would pass away just a few short months later, February 1 1977. Forty-three years ago today.

Page 70 of the July 1938 Weird Tales, no title illustration. The illustrations in Fantastic appear on pages 22-23 and the back cover.

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