Margaret Brundage

Some of the best early torture art to appear in the pulps was done by an unassuming Chicago housewife. Margaret Brundage was trained to be a fashion illustrator, but found work difficult to find during the Great Depression. With a young son and elderly mother to support, she looked up Weird Tales, which was also located in Chicago. Once hired, she would submit various cover sketches for approval. Of course the drawings of women wearing the least clothing would be selected for her to complete in pastel. Seabury Quinn, an author for Weird Tales, made sure to put at least one nude scene in each story under the correct assumption that the editors would choose a cover, such as the one top right, based on it. He became on of their best selling writers on the strength of Ms. Brundage's artwork! Robert E. Howard, author of Conan the Cimmerian, had several stories illustrated by Ms. Brundage, including the controversial whipping scene above center.

Unfortunately Weird Tales moved to New York and shipping pastels halfway across the country while on deadline proved too much for the relationship. Besides, by that time Weird Tales had begun to employ another talented artist, Virgil Finlay, but Margaret's sensual nudes for Weird Tales will not soon be forgotten.