To The Editors:
Having long admired (among other things) the restrained yet suggestive tone of your graphics, and your willingness to give credit for them to antique, forgotten, and public-domained cartoonists, I am distressed to note your non-acknowledgement to Virgil Finlay for your latest cover [NYR, February 1].
The robot picture appeared, if I am not mistaken, as an illustration for Robert Sheckley’s story “The Still Waters,” an affecting tale of a mechanical servant that buries its master, in Amazing Stories (or possibly the other Ziff-Davis SF mag, Fantastic) round about 1953 or 4.
I make such a point of this because, while I pored over such matter in my youth, to the scorn and derision of adults, old science-fiction artists turn up more and more these days, mostly uncredited.
Finlay was particularly famed for a laborious ink-dot on scratchboard technique, involving the application of hundreds of drops of ink without touching the surface with his pen; work for which he was generally ill-paid and still, it seems, ignored by the general public.
March 15, 1990