(1949- ) US artist who from the early 1970s painted many covers for Comics, magazines and paperbacks, the latter including several Marvel Comics paperback collections of graphic material; he has also been credited, perhaps by accident, as Robert Larkin. His characteristic punchy designs with strong colours and bold central figures were well suited to the 1970s/1980s Bantam paperback reissues of the Doc Savage adventures by Kenneth Robeson (ie. Lester Dent and others), and Larkin's slickly post-Pulp depiction of Doc Savage himself is well remembered as perhaps the definitive image of this character. His painting for David A Kyle's Lensman tale Lensman from Rigel (1982) interestingly reimagines one of E E Smith's Aliens; competently executed space hardware and Television characters feature on covers for Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek Ties; further science-fictional covers for Leah Rewolinski's Star Wreck sequence echo these books' broad and unsubtle Parody of the Star Trek franchise. Larkin's 2005-2006 artwork for Bantam reissues of the Arabesk trio by Jon Courtenay Grimwood departs from his normal realistic style, with striking white silhouettes of symbolic creatures appearing against fantastical Middle-Eastern city backgrounds.
Though his pop-culture imagery has a considerable following – the Werewolf cover for Marvel's The Haunt of Horror #1 (April 1974) is regarded as a collector's item – Larkin was never shortlisted for any sf Award. He has not confined himself to sf/fantasy subjects and seems to have worked outside these genres since about 2006. More than 100 of his paintings (42 at full-page size) are assembled as The Savage Art of Bob Larkin Volume One (graph 2009); there are more than 100 Larkin cover credits in this encyclopedia's author Checklists. [DRL]
see also: Famous Monsters of Filmland; Marvel Preview; Monsters of the Movies; Planet of the Apes [comic].
born USA: 10 July 1949
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