Rediscovered: Paul Stahr

For Autograph Hound Super-Sunday what John Hancock could our own maniacal Autograph Hound Brian Leno pull from his trove? You may recall that a couple of weekends back he presented the signature of pulpster Anthony M. Rud — if you wondered in which pulp mag the story for which Rud endorsed the cheque appeared in, look above. One of many covers the artist Paul Stahr knocked out relentlessly for Argosy.

Brian states, “Paul Stahr is one of those names that, while being familiar to collectors of pulps, probably is not so well known to the general reader.

“He’s an extraordinary artist, one of the best in my opinion. His covers for Argosy All-Story Weekly are terrific and he illustrated many authors, from Edgar Rice Burroughs to A. Merritt to J. Allan Dunn.  Note should be taken of the covers he created for Avon Books, The Big Sleep an outstanding example. His paintings also helped to sell W. R. Burnett’s Little Caesar and various reprintings of A. Merritt. So much talent deserves a lot of recognition.

“His ‘Be Patriotic’ poster is a fine example of his versatility. Frankly, his covers for Argosy are infused with an excitement that the stories themselves sometimes lacked.

“He did the cover of my beat-up Grosset & Dunlap reprint edition of Slater La Master’s The Phantom in the Rainbow. The book was serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly beginning December 29, 1928, first published in book form by A. C. McClurg & Co. (I only mention this because as you know some people feel Robert E. Howard never would have hit the hardcover ranks because fantasy, during his time — or so they maintain — just couldn’t quite make the leap to permanence in hardcovers. Dozens of books, hundreds of books, prove those knuckle-dragging knuckleheads wrong.)

“The example of Stahr’s signature presented here is payment for his cover of ‘The Sun Makers’ by William F. McMorrow from Argosy All-Story Weekly November 21, 1925.

“His signature is rare, I believe, and I’ve never seen another like it offered for sale. Of course there must be more out there but I’ve never come across them, not once — and I’ve looked. And I’ll keep looking because the man is that good.”


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