Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poika Vesanto's western covers

Poika Vesanto (1908-1950) was one of the best Finnish cover illustrators and comic artists of the bygone days. He's always been known and admired by the cognoscenti, but his name has been hidden from wider audiences. My friends, Timo Kokkila and Ville Hänninen, compiled an exhibition of Poika Vesanto's works (it's at display at the Rupriikki media museum in Tampere) and Ville has been writing a short book on Vesanto.
Here are some of Vesanto's western covers from the 1930's and 1940's. Most of them are for juveniles, but the C.K. Shaw book is for adult audiences (no no, it's not porn). C.K. Shaw was one of the forgotten pulp authors of her day - this may be the only instance where she's got a book publication. The book contains also a short story by Walt Coburn, one of the best known pulp western writers. Gil Dennic was a Finnish author called Olavi Linnus (yeah, I know, Buxom is a pretty weird choice for a name), and Arvily was really Arvid Lydecken, one of the first practitioners of the western genre in Finland. Bertil Cleve, I believe, was a Swedish writer, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Edit: Only just now I took a look at the Fictionmags Index and noticed that C.K. Shaw was a woman. I took the bibliography of her short stories and posted it to Pulpetti's Bibliographic Section. Follow the link.
Edit No. 2: Timo Kokkila reminded me that the exhibition is at the Rupriikki museum, not Vapriikki. Sorry 'bout that! He also informed me that the Poika Vesanto booklet is 40 pages and in full colour.


Ossi said...

Lovely! I hope the book will be published with lots of good quality scans.

Juri said...

I don't know what the book's size will be or even if it will have colours, but we always have the web. I may post more of Vesanto's western covers in the near future. And there are some at the Suomen kuvittajat blog:

Anders E said...

Damn, those look really really great!

Bertil Cleve was indeed Swedish - where else would anyone have a name like Bertil?

Seems he was some sort of pulpster, writing anything form juveniles to westerns to spy stories, adventures and whatnot. 1920s and onwards. Do your own search here for details:

Juri said...

Thanks, Anders! Actually over 1,400 Bertils hav been named here in Finland, so it wouldn't've been impossible for Bertil Cleve to be Finnish.