This is the cover illustration for the first edition of Fredric Brown’s story collection Space on My Hands, published in 1951. It’s an excellent drawing of a classic Postwar Nuclear Family with Two Baby Boomer Kids, with added great costumes and great guns (digging Nuclear Dad’s big ol’ atomic pump action there), and an interesting expression on Nuclear Mom’s face, like she is kinda wishing she had gone to Nuclear Grad School instead.
It’s also a great example of the more or less lost art of second color illustration, a formerly common money saving alternative to four color printing, the two colors here being a dark sepia for the keyline and a golden yellow for the second color. The limitations of second color technology force some pretty serious creativity out of whoever is doing the coloring, with sometimes spectacular results. I’ve been noticing a bit of a revival of second color work recently, particularly in webcomics, and I think it’s great.
But really, I’m just posting this because there is a fictional dog in a spacesuit in it and I am an absolute sucker for a fictional dog in a spacesuit. (A real world dog in a space suit is too sad.)
(PS: Does anybody else look at this image and see the Fantastic Four in their original baggy Kirby costumes? Reed in the center with the big gun, Sue in the dishwashing gloves, Johnny in the back, and Ben standing in front of him, somehow transformed into a chunky little kid. Now there’s an alternative universe FF comic we’re all dying to read. I’m not sure how the dog fits into it, except I’m pretty sure Dr. Strange is involved somehow.)