In the 1950s, when magazines such as True Men Stories or Man’s Life needed a cover illustration about wild animals menacing manly men, their go-to artist was Wilbur Lee Hulsey. He went by “Wil Hulsey” and illustrated such stories as “Chewed to Bits by Giant Turtles,” “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” (a title Frank Zappa later lifted for an album), “The Island of Man-Eating Rats,” “Lizards from Hell,” “The River of Crawling Death” (snakes), “Flying Rodents Ripped My Flesh” (flying squirrels this time), “Twisted Horns Tore My Guts” (antelope), “Spider Monkeys Tore Me Apart,” “Strangled by a Giant Gorilla” and, with an alligator in the starring role, “Give Me Back My Arm.”




“And he sprang like a hungry panther. He had his long, corded arms cradling for the leader’s body when something flashed blue in the light and darted forward. The Spaniard held the long barrel jammed against his middle. McKeon checked in full career, with the muzzle pressing into his flesh, and his hands stayed. The other two had drawn knives…

“The leader smiled. ‘It is a pity you are not supplied with arms, señor,’ he purred throatily. ‘You are sudden.  José,’ he called. ‘To your post! Unloose the engine.'”

— From “McKeon’s Graft” by John Russell, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth in 1912