Sad to learn from Jim Thirlwell that artist The Pizz has passed away. He was of the Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth school of custom cars and monsters, very much in the vein of Robert Williams, Savage Pencil and the whole ‘Lowbrow’ movement. I’ll always remember him best for the Steroid Maximus and Garage Monsters artwork he did for Jim.
Cliff Robinson has been knocking out some stunning Judge Dredd pieces for 2000ad over the years and the cover of The Mega Collection #15 (on sale now) is another – a similar riff to a Mike McMahon cover for 2000ad back in the late 70s. He’s also recreated another McMahon, complete with surrounding graphics, below for a commission some years back. Keeping with the homages he referenced the poster for Clint Eastwood vehicle ‘The Gauntlet’ for the Lille Comic Con poster recently too.
Love the psychedelic background, the way Brian has signed ‘Lewis’ bottom right and just look at that 3D op-art typeface on the book cover below. I found this book for £4 in the Notting Hill Book exchange last week after being alerted to it by members of the Brian Lewis fan page on Facebook.
A real oddity of a book, cobbled together under different themes with random images from artists as diverse as Giger, Achilleos, Burns and Foss etc. held together with a narrative from Harrison. Several Star Wars concept paintings by Ralph McQuarrie feature as well for some reason and Lewis illustrates several weapons from the film as well. Here’s another image by Brian that was posted on the group, taken from David Kyle‘s ‘The Illustrated book of Science Fiction Ideas & Dreams’, Hamlyn 1977.
I found this the other day, Vortex #2 from February 1976. Lovely Rodney Matthews cover and there’s a 5 page interview with him inside as well as short stories from Michael Moorcock and others. The pages are all watermarked and the cover was filthy with all sorts of grime stuck to it, I’d wager that it had been skinned up on many a time over the years. Still a thing of beauty and I love that Vortex typeface.
A very productive weekend of digging uncovered these sci-fi paperbacks among others including three with covers by Richard M. Powers to add to the collection (I’m not so interested in the content, just the covers). The SF-18 cover artist is uncredited but a quick web search reveals that it’s by Dean Ellis and the original art is actually available to buy from this site if you have $5.5k! I’ve screen-grabbed the original below.
UPDATE: It seems that the image used on both the Ellison and Elecktriktus albums was originally by Raymond Kirby Martin, entitled ‘Watch it’ and was printed as one of the first ever posters from the Big O Poster company.
I just made it in time to see the end of this exhibition at the 5th Base Gallery today, 12 classic scenes from the first three Star Wars films, each cut from a single sheet of A4 paper. The process is called Kirigami – rather than purely folding paper as in Origami it involves cutting as well – and artist Marc Hagan-Guirey has created these 12 dioramas over a period of three years.
Beautifully displayed in colour sensitive light boxes with mirrored surfaces they are quite simply stunning and are all apparently hand cut rather than laser cut. The circles are perfect the straight edges are perfect and the level of detail in such miniatures is nothing short of incredible. They are now going to be sold off to the highest bidders from the Kickstarter than Marc initiated to bring the exhibition to the public so this was probably the last time they’ll all be seen together.
Painted covers for the UK weekly magazine/comic Look-In from a huge online collection over at Comic Vine.
I used to get this in the late 70s and early 80s although I’m not sure I had many of these issues. The mag was full of tie-ins with TV, film and music with features, comic strips, interviews and posters. They sure had favourites as well, Steve Austin – The Six Million Dollar Man was on so many covers and DJ Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart seemed to rule for a period in the 70s (check for two of him inside the gallery below).
The fantastic Augustine Kofie released a book out of his work in June that totally passed me by. Via ZERO+ Publishing it’s a 164 pg hardcover with 100 colour plates in an edition of 1000 and you can get it here.
I’ve been away for the last four days at Camp Bestival with the family but it looks like biggest news of the weekend is this monster. The Rammellzee ‘Cosmic Flush’ project just gets better and better and is shaping up to be release of the year if it continues like this. Here’s the blurb: “Part 4 in Rammellzee‘s Cosmic Flush project brings together Doze Green and Edan, two heavyweights who need no introduction. Pre-orders are now live, limited to 500 copies with 250 signed print editions.”
(Above) A rare Brian Bolland image for Forbidden Planet sans the “People Like Us Shop At…” line. (Below) An even older advert when FP was in Denmark St.
UPDATE: Martin Ward just sent me several snaps of original bags he still has. The one of the old man in the circle is one of my favourites, would love to have that on a T-shirt. That bottom one of Zirk for Eternal Comics may well be Garry Leach actually, not Bolland.
Here’s a late 80s oddity that I was turned onto recently by Steve Cook – he of Secret Oranges fame. A 1988 Acid House 12″ made by the late, great Brett Ewins among others that comes with an 8pg B&W ‘lyric sheet’ featuring the art of Brendan McCarthy, Steve Dillon, Jamie Hewlett, Shaky Kane, Philip Bond, Jamie Hewlett and more.
The tracks themselves are primitive attempts to make Acid House (without the aid of the all-important Roland 303 by the sound of it) but have a period charm to them. Brett intones creepily over the top of the A side sounding like a riled up Timothy Leary on speed. The B side houses two instrumental cuts with ‘The Church of Acid’ coming on like Bam Bam with a sledgehammer and there IS a snatch of 303 but it sounds sampled and slightly out of time.
‘Dr. Microdot’ is a shorter version of same with the addition of an unidentified voice asking you to relax (we’ve all been there) and both tracks suffer from a lack of a decent arrangement, stumbling along with samples and effects being randomly thrown in and out of the mix. I’m being unkind but it’s fair to say they haven’t aged well although the fact that they were made in the middle of the second summer of love gives them a certain kudos. I’m wondering if the Ken Thomas credited with producing this fascinating artifact is the same one who has worked with everyone from Queen to the Cocteau‘s?
The artwork is the gold here and the free comic is basically of lot of the early gang of artists responsible for Deadline taking a page each and letting rip with whatever they feel is appropriate. Brendan, Philip and Shaky come up with some crackers but I’m not sure where Jamie’s contribution is exactly unless he collaborated with someone and isn’t credited. Ron Merlin, an early Deadline character, makes an appearance but it’s not clear if he is supposed to be the voice on the A side. There’s very little about it on the web but I love these musical comic crossovers (the Madness off-shoot ‘Mutants of Mega City One’ is another) even if the sounds often play second fiddle to the artwork.
Really chuffed for my friend Sarah J Coleman who has been lucky enough to illustrate the cover of a Korean edition of Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ which is released today. She also did the 50th edition of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ a few years back, read more about it and see her extensive working process on her blog.
A beautiful 2001 poster by Kilian Eng that I came across today whilst looking for something else. Two years old, long gone from Mondo like so many of his others, there are three variants and some unused versions that are just as nice. I also found a Heavy Metal one too that’s of a similar ilk – I don’t always like his images, usually down to the colour choices he makes, but these are superb.
RIP Shusei Nagaoka – not a name I was familiar with but all of us must know at least a handful of these album covers? ELO, Earth Wind & Fire, Maze, Deep Purple, Boston and more. Big respect.
I’ve spent most of the evening looking at the work of Kája Saudek – a Czech artist and designer who worked in comics and created film posters – after being tipped off about him by Markey Funk. Markey had just visited ‘Batalion’, a bar and museum in Prague dedicated to the man and thought I would like the work. He was right, check out all that amazing detail and hand drawn typography – what a find.
I’d seen the Barbarella poster before but never checked on the name, the rest was new to me, a mixture of Rockin’ Jellybean, Robert Williams with shades of Moebius in places. Sadly, upon checking the wikipedia entry it seems that Saudek died the same day that I discovered him after spending nine years in a coma at a hospital in Prague. Art like this can never die though, he left a huge body of work for us all to enjoy.
I found this Carl Oglesby album with a cover illustrated by Dave Sheridan, the comic artist who worked on titles like Dealer McDope, The Leather Nun and some of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Now sadly deceased, Dave’s work is always hyper detailed and tripped out, I featured another of his covers some years back, an Impulse Jazz compilation – I wonder if he ever did any more record sleeves?
I met Christian Ward last Friday when he signed copies of the new trade paperback of his and Matt Fraction‘s ‘ODY-C’, at Gosh! Comics, an epic psychedelic space take on The Odyssey with the roles reversed. If you like your female leads strong and ruthless, your Gods devious and wrathful and your art cosmic then this is the book for you, a gritty, multi-layered take on a classic with out of this world page layouts and colour.
(Photo © Gosh! Comics 2015)
He was kind enough to do me a quick Cyclops sketch and Gosh! are selling the lovely Spaceman print above for a very reasonable £20 which looks beautiful framed in my studio.
The Gamma Proforma label is on fire this year with the Divine Styler album, a new T-shirt series featuring Augustine Kofie and Will Barras plus retrospective books of Will’s work as well as graphic design legend Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift. Not only that, their ‘Cosmic Flush’ series of 12″s and prints based on The Rammellzee‘s last work now reaches it’s third installment. Delta is on the art and Mike Ladd on the remix and I’m starting to suspect Rob Swain from Gamma is mining some telepathic mind link with me as all the releases so far push all the right buttons for me. Pre-order the third part, ‘Crayzay’, here.
If you’re lucky there may still be some copies of the first and second releases with prints by Futura and Ian Kuali’i with remixes by Divine Styler which will form part of the full box set to the ‘Cosmic Flush’ album release. Check out Will’s Rammellzee graphic for the second T-shirt in the X99 series below too, in fact check out the whole site as there are loads of free mp3s, plus a selection of books, magazines, prints and T-shirts, they even have Syd Mead designs!. Gamma’s shaping up to be the label to watch in 2015.
Yes, it’s that time again, more from Mr Prolific, Dan Lish, in his on-going quest to document the musical heroes and influences that orbit the Hip Hop world for his Egostrip project. (Above) Jazzy Jay, (below) AhmadJamal, Ultramagnetic MCs, Beastie Boys (colour and inks), Robert Glasper’s Dillalude, Gang Starr and a 4Hero / Reinforced label piece for a compilation. As ever, he has prints for sale here or you can see more from the project plus a whole lot more on his website.