Mr. Tinkelman and his favorite cover!
Two weeks ago I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Murray Tinkelman, the famous and award winning illustrator. This came about by my wanting to do something different for once in the blog. Mr. Tinkelman has been one of my favourite cover artists since the middle 1970s when he illustrated the front and inside covers for the Lovecraft and Lovecraft related titles for Ballantine books under the editorship of Judy Lynn del Rey. Anyone who is familiar with these editions will immediately recognize and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of these editions. Mr. Tinkelman went on to do many more wonderful covers for such authors as Kurt Vonnegut, John Brunner, Richard Matheson, Zane Grey, Joe Haldeman and E. R. Eddison.
Tinkelman has been a guest curator for The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the Society of Illustrators, Museum of American Illustration in New York City.
Tinkelman has been named the recipient of the 1999 Distinguished Educator in the Arts award from the Society of Illustrators in New York. He has received the 1995 Sports Artist of the Year from The United States Sports Academy, the 1970 Artist of the Year award from The Graphic Arts Guild in New York City, and the 2001 Syracuse University Faculty Service Citation.
He is Professor Emeritus from Syracuse University where he taught in the undergraduate program and was the senior advisor in the Independent Study MA Program in Illustration for over 25 years from 1979 - 2006.
Mr. Steve "Doc Savage" Holland
Mr. Tinkelman told me two interesting stories regarding how Art Editors will meddle with and destroy fine book art. Mr. Tinkelman did the famous cover for Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle”. This is lovely piece of art that draws your eye to the book that is done predominantly in shades of yellow. When “Dell Books” decided to reissue the novel, the art director decided that “red sells” and heavily cropped the art and placed a heavy red border around it. The second story involves Mr. Tinkelman’s continuing interest in book design and art. He told me that he still browses the SF section and the books stores. He came across a new edition of “John Brunner’s “Stand on Zanzibar”. “Random House” still owned the reprint rights to his cover art which allowed them to continue using it over the years. It seems that some “genius” in their art department decided to “improve” upon Mr. Tinkelman’s original art and completely butchered it into a horrible collage. Mr. Tinkelman was understandably angry enough that he wrote a letter to the art department at Random House asking them what they thought they were doing. And as a perfect example of how things are run these days, instead of explaining their decision, they just sent him a form letter referring any future inquiries to their legal department. I can’t decide for myself what is worse in this situation, the ignorance, the hubris or the arrogance.
The Original cover The Butchered late 80s cover