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.