Norm Saunders, Norman Saunders, Mars Attacks, Blaine, Pin-ups, Pulp Covers Norm Saunders, Norman Saunders, Mars Attacks, Blaine, Pin-ups, Pulp Covers

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Norm Saunders
(1907– 1989)

By David Saunders

Norman Blaine Saunders was born January 1, 1907 in the northern wilderness of Minnesota. His 35 year-old father, Clare, was a war veteran and his 18 year-old mother, Elvira, was one quarter Iroquois Indian. After graduating high school, Norm was trained in art by correspondence courses with The Federal Schools Inc. of Minneapolis. Along with his diploma in 1927, Norm also received a scholarship to the Chicago Art Institute, which he soon forfeited when offered a full-time job on the art staff at Fawcett Publications in Robbinsdale, MN. Norm worked there for six years along with future pulp artists Allen Anderson, Ralph Carlson, George Rozen, and Carl Buettner. Norm moved to NYC in 1934 and studied night classes with Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central School of Art. By 1938 Saunders was a top pulp magazine cover artist, and by 1940 he had moved into the slicks. He was drafted by the Army during World War II and served one year in the military police before being trained in camouflage and sent to paint gasoline storage tanks along the Burma Road in China for the duration. Saunders returned to NYC in November 1945. He married his model, Ellene Politis, in September 1946 and moved to a Harlem townhouse and raised four children. After two years of unsuccesful attempts to work within the confines of post-war slick magazines, Saunders left the slicks and returned to working for pulp magazines, where he was in constant demand for the remaining years of that industry. He painted his last pulp cover in 1960. Saunders found all of his subsequent clients in the subculture publishing world of paperbacks, comic books, men's adventure magazines, and trading cards. Norman Saunders retired to his wife's hometown and died of emphysema at age 82 in Columbus Nebraska on March 7, 1989.

A new biography of the artist by his son David is available through Illustration Press

Myterious Traveler (1952) Saunders - 001

as "James Blaine," Real, "The Epic Ride Of Portugee Phillips" (1957) Saunders - 002

Adventure (1962) Saunders - 003

Climax (1959) Saunders - 004

Real, "I Shot The President!" (1956) Saunders - 005

Unknown World (1952) Saunders - 006

True Adventures, "Sea Kill" (1960) Saunders - 007

Argosy, "$100 Million In Treasure!" (1962) Saunders - 008

Skypilot (1951) Saunders - 009

Mars Attacks (1962) Saunders - 010

SEE, "Charlie's Girls" (1957) Saunders - 011

Male (1958) Saunders - 012

Saucy Movie Tales (1936) Saunders - 013

Men, "John Doyle Lee: The Solider Who Took 20 Wives" (1958) Saunders - 014

Space Busters (1950) Saunders - 015

New Man, "My Fantastic Escape With The Wantons Of Warsaw" (1965) Saunders - 016

Saucy Movie Tales (1936) Saunders - 017

True Adventures, "Chambers Of Hell" (1960) Saunders - 018

Man's Life (1956) Saunders - 019

Adventures For Men, "Incredible Saga Of Kiss And Kill Island" (1959) Saunders - 020

Man's Book, "Bring Back The Bloody Angel Of Algiers"(1963) Saunders - 021

Space Busters (1952) Saunders - 022
Note: from David Saunders:
"The SPACE BUSTERS #2 FALL ISSUE is painted by Allen Anderson, and not Norm Saunders. This attribution to Norm is ubiquitous. It is listed as such in almost every comic guide, but nevertheless the listings are is incorrect. It s by Allen Anderson. I wrote his biography and I found a proof sheet of the comic in his personal collection, along with many other covers he did for Ziff Davis comic books at that same time, after my father was fired!"

Climax, "Texas Gunslinger" (1961) Saunders - 023

SEE, "Napoleon And The Jealous Husband" (1962) Saunders - 024

New Man (1964) Saunders - 025

Adventure, "The Beast Who Lived To Kill" (1962) Saunders - 026

Classics Illustrated, Frankenstein (1969) Saunders - 027

World of Men, two stories (1963) Saunders - 028

Explorer Joe (1951) Saunders - 029

Adventures, "The Bad One" (1959) Saunders - 030

Man's Conquest (1955) Saunders - 031
The magazine attributed this to Saunders, but here's a note from David Saunders:
"This cover resembles Will Hulsey, but I am almost positive it is not painted by Norman Saunders."

SEE, "Wagon Gun Solider" (1962) Saunders - 032

Saucy Movie Tales (1936) Saunders - 033

Saga, "Letters From A Hero" (1961) Saunders - 034

Cloak And Dagger (1951) Saunders - 035

Adventure, "Up Where Death Begins" (1963) Saunders - 036

True Adventures, "Kiss Me And Die" (1960) Saunders - 037