Theobald, Ray

Tagged: Art

(?   -    ) Highly prolific UK artist who was active from 1949 or earlier until 1960, chiefly painting paperback and magazine covers; his lack of visibility in public records as either Ray or Raymond Theobald has led Steve Holland to speculate that the byline may be a pseudonym [see under links below]. Other names used by the same artist are Glen Allen and Ken Ford.

Among the publishers for whom Theobald produced cover art were Curtis Warren (1949-1953), C M and Co (1950), Modern Fiction (1951-1957), Pan Books (1951-1952), Barrington Gray (1952), Brown Watson (1952), John Spencer and Co (1953-1959), Gannet Press (1953-1954), Edwin Self (1954), R S Gray (1954), Castle Books (1954), Digit Books (1955-1957), Robert Hale Limited (1957-1960), Four Square (1959-1960), Arrow Books (1959) and Frederick Muller (1960). A few of these paintings – in particular those with non-fantastic subjects – betray greater artistic ability than evidenced by the boldly garish Pulp-style hackwork Theobald created for such high-speed production lines as Curtis Warren (for which he painted more covers than for any other publisher) and the Supernatural Stories book/magazine series from John Spencer's Badger Books; for Spencer he also did covers for one issue of Futuristic Science Stories in 1954 and the launch issue of Out of This World in 1958. In sf and fantasy contexts he had an occasional penchant for depicting faces divided into two mismatched halves, to weird effect: an example is his cover for John Glasby's Twilight Zone (1954) as by Victor La Salle. Theobald's artwork appears on more than a hundred books cited in author Checklists within this encyclopedia. [DRL]

Ray Theobald

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