The Eternal Lover - Roy G. Krenkel - ACE Books 1963
My Favorite Artist: the Great Roy G. Krenkel

Roy Gerald Krenkel (AKA RGK) was born July 11, 1918 in the Bronx, NY. His father was Frederick Krenkel,
a second generation German immigrant, who worked as a cutter at a clothing factory. His mother was
Louise Kuppenhoffer. She was also a child of German immigrants. At the time of his birth his father was 41
and his mother was 34. He was an only child. They lived at 4692 Park Avenue, Bronx, NY.

In 1938 he studied at the Art Students League with George Bridgman. He served as a Private in the U.S.
Army in the Philippines during WW2. His enlistment papers of January 23, 1942 record him as living in
Queens, and having graduated high school, single, without dependents, and employed as an actor.

After the war, Krenkel returned to NYC, where he attended classes with Burne Hogarth at the Cartoonists
and Illustrators School, which later became the School of Visual Arts. In the 1950s he worked in the comic
book industry for publishers, such as ACG, Atlas, Eastern, EC, and Harvey. He also worked for pulp
magazines like, Fantastic Science Fiction, Marvel Science Fiction, Space Stories, and Science Fiction

In 1962 Donald Wolheim, the editor of ACE Books in the late '50s through the sixties, hired Krenkel to be
the lead artist for the
1962-5 revival of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ works.  Wolheim had seen Krenkel's work in
fanzines such as Amra, a fan produced magazine devoted to the works of Burroughs and Conan creator
Robert E. Howard.  Wolheim chose him, because to the ACE editor Krenkel's style resembled that of J.
Allen St. John, the illustrator of many Burroughs first editions and magazine covers.   Roy's first Edgar
Rice Burroughs covers for ACE were for
At The Earth's Core (F-156 SF 1962) and The Moon Maid (F-157 SF
1962).  Both were instant successes with the buying public, establishing a visual style for future ACE
editions and for ERB paperback and hardback reprints that publishers can't completely escape to this day.  
For an example, take a look at the Fall River Press editions of Burroughs in book stores at this moment
and you will see Roy's influence guiding the art direction of those editions.  The ACE editor always tried to
pressure Krenkel to imitate St. John.  However, Krenkel's style simply couldn't be sublimated.   RGK's
clear and fluid line drawings and paintings are distinctively original and have become iconic in the world of
Burroughs illustration, particularly to baby-boomers, like myself, discovering his work for the first time in
the early sixties.  

Even though Roy was a brilliant draftsman, very often he did not do well meeting deadlines.  He also
professed to having problems handling color in his work.   Sometime in 1962 or '63, he asked his friend
Frank Frazetta, out of work at the time, to help him when deadlines pressed or when he felt he needed
support with color.  Occasionally, the two artists would work together on ACE Books commissions.  The
cover of
Tarzan Triumphant is an example of this collaboration.  When Roy found himself unable to meet
the demands of the ACE editor, the ever-generous Krenkel asked Wolheim to hire his friend Frank to do
the cover illustration.  Against his own preferences, the desperate editor asked Frank to do the cover art
Tarzan and the Lost Empire.  And, as they say, the rest is history, because Frazetta went on to become
the most popular fantasy artist of the 20th or any other century.  According to Frazetta, "Roy Krenkel has
never ceased to be a constant source of inspiration to me. . ."  To the last, Frazetta, the acknowledged
master of fantasy illustration, told everyone of his appreciation for the leg-up his friend had provided at a
critical juncture in his brilliant career.

Roy spent his last decades illustrating the works of Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs for a
variety of publishers of hardcover, paperbacks, and fanzines.

Roy Krenkel died of cancer at age 64 on February 24, 1983.

Few art critics will ever call Krenkel a great illustrator, but to the fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert
E. Howard, creator of Conan, he ranks among the highest.  He was generous with his work, often giving
away drawings and paintings, knowing he would receive nothing but the accolade of fans.  He will always
be my own personal favorite in the pantheon of great Burroughs artists.
The Eternal Lover - Roy G. Krenkel variant for G&D Editions                                                                                                                                                                             $11.99
Once purchased, your dust jacket will be wrapped in a mylar dust cover, packed flat, and mailed within twenty-four hours of
payment, even on weekends --- It won't go out until the next workday, but it will be dropped off at the post office within
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eMail if there is a problem with fitting your DJ. I'll pre-fit it on my book just to be as sure as possible that all is correct.
However, anything is possible. So contact me immediately if you have a problem.
Variant created for The Eternal Lover.  Roy G. Krenkel did
this cover illustration for the  October 1963 ACE Books
release of the novel.  However, Donald Wollheim, the
editor of ACE, did not like ERB’s original title and
changed it to
The Eternal Savage.  For this variant, I have
restored it to the correct title, but still using Krenkel’s
painting as the variant’s cover.  I’ve always thought this
to be one of Krenkel’s better efforts, and I hope you’ll also
like it and can use it in your collection.
ACE Books Edition,
October, 1963