The War Correspondent Who Shaped What We Think Space Looks Like

io9’s comment of the day today comes from our own Ron Miller, space artist, who took to the comments of this post about the books we’ve owned the longest to share the story behind these 1950s-era space books.

Probably By Spaceship to the Moon and its companion book, Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Spaceships. They were published in 1952 and 1951, respectively, and I have owned them at least since then. It’s not an exaggeration to say that they were a seminal influence my career. I was pleased and honored to have met the artist, Jack Coggins, several times at his home before he passed away in 2006...and now have both books autographed.


Coggins spent years as a war correspondent during WWII, where he became particularly well known for the oil paintings he did of naval ships to accompany his accounts of the battles he saw. That painting style proved influential over his later work which often depicted astronauts in futuristic space scenarios.

You can see a full gallery right here.

Image: Jack Coggins / Random House

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