When Brundage took her portfolio to Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright he immediately put her to work as a cover artist and her first published cover was for the Summer 1932 issue of Oriental Stories.
|Oriental Stories, Summer 1932|
She painted her first Weird Tales cover for the September 1932 issue, and went on to illustrate sixty-six covers for the magazine, including all nine of the Conan covers.
|Weird Tales, September, 1932|
|Original painting used for September '32 cover|
Many of her covers featured sadistic scenes of nude women in bondage, often with lesbian overtures, that are provocative even by today's permissive standards, but must have been truly scandalous in the 1930's. The covers were, indeed, controversial, and many Weird Tales readers criticized them as trashy, misogynistic and lurid. But Farnsworth Wright noted that the covers featuring a Brundage nude made money, while issues with more modest covers lost money. So there is little doubt that despite the puritanical protests, the covers were a big draw. Indeed, one of her most provocative covers, featuring a nude blonde in bondage being whipped by a scantily-clad brunette, illustrating the Conan Story, "The Slithering Shadow," in September, 1933, was largely responsible for selling the issue out. Not only did sex sell then, as it does now, but sex has been inextricably linked to the heroic fantasy and horror genres at least as far back as the 19th century.
|Weird Tales, September, 1933|