Monday, October 26, 2009

Remington Schuyler and his Wild West Weekly Covers

I was trying to catch up on my scanning early this morning - one of those procrastinating tools that I excel in when I don't want to go to work. I have a LOT of pulps that I haven't scanned. As I was going through some WILD WEST WEEKLY issues from the early 1930s, it hit me how much I really liked one particular artist of that time period - Remington Schuyler. I started to do a little bit of research on him - what I could do in between a boatload of real-job work - and found that there's quite a bit of information on him. David Saunders has a biography of him on his web site, along with several Schuyler pulp covers. All of the WILD WEST WEEKLY covers here are from my collection and my aunt's; you will see that many of these covers were reinforced with cardboard and masking tape by some very earnest but very misguided early collector. Still, they have my grandfather's stories in them and that's what we were after when we acquired them.

Schuyler was born in 1884 and was named after Frederick Remington, who was related to his mother. It seems that young Remington was shown to have talent from early on, (which would make sense considering who he was related to), as he studied art at Washington Unviersity in St. Louis, Missouri and then received several grants to study art in Rome and Paris. He also studied with Howard Pyle, which according to Saunders led him to win several jobs illustrating covers for SATURDAY EVENING POST, PEARSONS, and MUNSEYS.

After the Great War, Schuyler, by this time married and living in New Rochelle, worked steadily doing interior illustrations for Life, St. Nicholas and the Century magazines. He was also doing many pulp covers for FRONTIER STORIES, WEST, and SHORT STORIES.

He also started to work for Wild West Weekly almost as soon as Street & Smith acquired it as a magazine. These 1928 covers are his.

In 1929, the format of the magazine had changed. Here's one of my favorite covers from that year.

This cover advertises a story that was indicative of many of the stories in the magazine at that point; a rather bucolic setting, with a simple plot and a lot less violence than in the later stories.

This cover, one of the best in my collection I think, is from 1930:

And here are a few more from that period.

Schuyler was also known to be an expert on Native American life. He also was very involved with the Boy Scouts and wrote some of their early rules on earning merit badges. Along those lines, he was a frequent illustrator for BOY'S LIFE and worked for the WPA during the Depression as a muralist in Conneticut. He also did a great deal of personal work, especially on Native Americans, and you can find many representations of his work online with art and antique collectors.

It appears that Schuyler's work with WILD WEST WEEKLY tapered off after 1931. Maybe Schuyler's work fell out of favor because the publisher wanted a grittier, more realistic style to the covers. Or maybe he was too busy working for other magazines. Either way, many WWW covers from 1932-35 lack the artistic flair of Remington Schuyler and I don't think it was until artists like Norman Saunders and H.W. Scott started showing up that WILD WEST WEEKLY began to have interesting and quality artwork on its covers.

And as I looked through my issues, I was particularly proud to find out that at least three of my grandfather's WWW heroes were subjects of Schuyler's: Sonny Tabor, Kid Wolf, and Freckles Malone. Here are the covers of those.

This first one is for a Freckles Malone story.

This next one is an iconic one of a Sonny Tabor story; this story ended up being the title story for the "Wanted - Sonny Tabor" book.

This next one is of Kid Wolf with a very 1930s look to him.

After the end of the pulp era, Schuyler moved back to his birth state, Missouri, and taught art at Missouri Valley College. He died in 1955 at the age of 71.

You can find more resources on Remington Schuyler at

And a book, Remington Schuyler's West: Artistic Visions of Cowboys and Indians
by Henry W. and Jean Tyree Hamilton was published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press in 2004.


nbalike said...
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Evan Lewis said...

Great stuff! When I click on that Kid Wolf cover to blow it up big he looks like Gary Cooper.

Richard Prosch said...

Schuyler's covers are fantastic. Working in the tradition, Shannon Stirnweis did a western cover for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Mag. His web site has a couple pieces that could've come straight off a pulp cover.


Charles Gramlich said...

I like those a lot. something primal about them. He also does horses very well.

Melissa Marsh said...

Great art! I've always been fascinated with cover art for books (and back then, magazines). Amazing how the artist interprets the story.

Laurie Powers said...

I' glad that everyone's liking it. I've had these issues for years and unfortunately, after awhile I just take them for granted. I'm happy that I took them out so they can be re-appreciated (if that's a word).