BOK, Hannes
(1914-1964)
   US illustrator, author and astrologer, born Wayne Woodard. Sf ILLUSTRATION has had very few mavericks: HB was possibly the most famous. He did not let editors and publishers dictate the way he designed his work, and thereby lost hundreds of commissions. He was a master of the macabre, a stylist par excellence. He painted many covers and did hundreds of black-and-white illustrations for such magazines as COSMIC STORIES, FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES, FANTASTIC UNIVERSE, FUTURE FICTION, IMAGINATION, PLANET STORIES, STIRRING SCIENCE STORIES, SUPER SCIENCE STORIES and, especially, 7 covers for WEIRD TALES. He also did book-jackets for ARKHAM HOUSE, FANTASY PRESS, GNOME PRESS and SHASTA PUBLISHERS, among others. His style was unique, though the colours and techniques he used were heavily influenced by Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966); his black-and-white illustrations are highly stylized, his human figures angular and almost Byzantine. HB was much stronger illustrating fantasy and horror than sf.HB was also a writer. Two of his colourful, moralizing fantasy novels were published in book form after his death: The Sorcerer's Ship (1942 Unknown; 1969) and Beyond the Golden Stair (1948 Startling Stories as "The Blue Flamingo"; rev 1970); his other novel was "Starstone World" (1942 Science Fiction Quarterly). He also wrote several short stories. An admirer of A. MERRITT, he completed and illustrated two of the latter's novels after Merritt's death in 1943 - The Black Wheel (1947) and The Fox Woman and The Blue Pagoda (1946) - being credited in both books. "The Blue Pagoda" was an episode written by Bok to complete The Fox Woman, on which Merritt had worked sporadically for 20 years before his death.HB did little illustration after about 1952, turning to astrology, about which he wrote 13 articles for Mystic Magazine (retitled Search in 1956). With Ed EMSHWILLER he shared the first HUGO in 1953 for Best Cover Artist. After his death, his friend Emil PETAJA became chairman of the Bokanalia Foundation, founded 1967. This group has published folios of HB's artwork, some of his poetry, and And Flights of Angels: The Life and Legend of Hannes Bok (1968) by Petaja.
   JG/PN
   See also: FANTASY; FUTURIANS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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