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Fuqua, Robert

Main working name used by US illustrator Joseph Wirt Tillotson (1905-1959); others included R Fuqua, Fuqua, Joe Tillotson, Joe W Tillotson, Joe Wirt Tillotson, Joseph W Tillotson and his full name, Joseph Wirt Tillotson. He received his formal art education at the Art Institute of Chicago, then went into advertising in that city; to supplement his income he took on freelance Illustration commissions, signing these "Robert Fuqua" – his maternal grandfather's name – to disguise his second career from his advertising clients. In due course Fuqua became a prolific artist for the Ziff-Davis magazines, then based in Chicago; between 1938 and 1944 he painted 24 covers for Amazing Stories, with one more in July 1951; during that 1938-44 period he also did seven covers for Fantastic Adventures with, again, another in 1951. He did perhaps twice as many back covers for these magazines.

When Ziff-Davis moved away from Chicago, Fuqua stayed, contributing illustrations to Raymond A Palmer's magazines Imagination and Other Worlds; he might have become better known had he worked also for New York-based publishers. One of the more prominent sf illustrators of the 1930s and 1940s, Fuqua, like other artists working on these magazines at the time – such as J Allen St John – used very bright colours to compensate for poor reproduction processes. His melodramatic style – the very essence of Pulp-magazine sf – perfectly complemented the lurid ethos of Ziff-Davis and Ray Palmer. [JG/PN/JGr]

Joseph Wirt Tillotson

born Greeneville, Mississippi: 30 January 1905

died Hamilton, Ohio: 1 September 1959


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 08:14 am on 29 June 2022.