PulpFest Historical — The Rozen Twins

Oct 12, 2020 by

Born 125 years ago on October 16, 1895, George Rozen and his twin brother, Jerome, were both pulp artists. George’s first published assignments were covers and interior pen-and-ink story illustrations for Fawcett magazines. In 1931, he replaced his brother as the cover artist for THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. George became the Street & Smith hero pulp’s most renowned cover artist, while his brother branched into the more prestigious fields of advertising and slick magazines.

George Rozen would sell cover paintings to all of the major pulp magazine publishers, particularly Street & Smith and the Thrilling Group. For Ned Pines, Rozen painted adventure, detective, western, war, and even science-fiction covers, including the first issue of CAPTAIN FUTURE. When the pulp market began contracting, he began to paint covers for paperbacks from Popular Library and Ace. He also worked as an art instructor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Jerome Rozen preceded his twin brother, George, into the world of illustration. After working as an art instructor in Chicago, he moved to New York and began selling interior pen and ink story illustrations to Fawcett. His first covers appeared on BATTLE STORIES, COMPLETE STORIES, THE POPULAR MAGAZINE, WAR BIRDS, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and other pulps. In 1931 – 32, he painted the covers for four early issues of Street & Smith’s THE SHADOW DETECTIVE MONTHLY. Although he continued to work in the pulp industry throughout the thirties, contributing a number of classic covers for Popular’s THE MYSTERIOUS WU FANG, the bulk of Jerome’s work was increasingly done for the advertising and slick magazine markets.

Following a traffic accident in 1938, Jerome renewed his art career through the pulp market, selling covers to TEN DETECTIVE ACES, THRILLING ADVENTURES, WESTERN ACES, and other magazines. Soon thereafter, he was back in the advertising field and selling to slick magazines such as BOY’S LIFE and LOOK MAGAZINE. In 1978 he was rediscovered by pulp magazine fans and was commissioned to recreate several of his classic pulp paintings.

We’ll be turning more to these talented artists in the months ahead as we began to explore “Love in the Shadows,” the theme for PulpFest 2021. Our 49th convention will be held August 18 – 21 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. We’ll be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the debut of THE SHADOW: A DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and much more. To join our gathering, click the “Registration” button just below our homepage banner.

(George Rozen’s painting for the August 1, 1933 issue of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE is perhaps one of the most iconic paintings of Walter B. Gibson’s “Dark Avenger.” George’s twin brother Jerome’s cover art for THE MYSTERIOUS WU FANG is likewise legendary among pulp magazine enthusiasts. Pictured here is the December 1935 issue of the magazine’s brief run.

PulpFest seeks to draw attention to the profound effect that the pulps had on American popular culture, reverberating through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Planned as the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest honors pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways the magazines and their creators — people like George and Jerome Rozen — have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.)