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Punchatz, Don Ivan

Entry updated 7 August 2023. Tagged: Artist.

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(1936-2009) US designer, animator and illustrator who concentrated in the latter capacity on fantasy, though he executed numerous sf covers, sometimes signing his name Don-Ivan Punchatz or just Don Punchatz. His work appeared frequently in Slick magazines like Omni, Playboy and Rolling Stone, and for such publishers as Ace Books, Avon, Dell, New American Library/Signet, Warner Books and others, where he did many reprint covers. His high-toned and rather cheerful hyperrealistic style made him particularly useful in venues where art needed to be immediately eye-catching. Some of his non-sf work – like the famous 1974 National Lampoon cover of the notoriously clumsy President Ford smooshing an ice cream cone into his forehead – was both light-hearted and elatedly Satirical. Surprisingly, he seems never to have contributed to Mad Magazine. In "Rider of the New Wave" (March 1999 Science Fiction Age), Karen Haber compared his work to that of Hieronymus Bosch and M C Escher.

Punchatz's commissions for original editions of sf work include covers for Neal Barrett Jr's A Different Vintage (coll 2001); Philip José Farmer's Gods of Riverworld (1983), Dayworld (1985) and Dayworld Rebel (1987); John Jakes's On Wheels (1971); Mike Resnick's The Three-Legged Hootch Dancer (1983); Robert Silverberg's Silent Invaders (1963), The Time Hoppers (1968) and The Man in the Maze (1969); Howard Waldrop's All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past (coll 1987); and many others. A painting of B F Skinner is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Punchatz was given a Spectrum Grand Master Award in 1994. [JC]

Don Ivan Punchatz

born Hillside, New Jersey: 8 September 1936

died Arlington, Texas: 22 October 2009



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