Monday, 29 March 2010

Monstrous Monday

Mondays are often monstrous and therefore each deserves at least one monster to go with it.

This is The Prapsnot, drawn by Sidney Sime for a book of Bogey Beasts published in 1923 (many years before Ricky Gervais's Flanimals). Sime is one of my favourite illustrators, as well-known as Arthur Rackham in his day but now sadly neglected. In my opinion he was the most influential of the Victorian/Edwardian fantasy artists, his work certainly inspiring the great pulp illustrators like Virgil Finlay as well as the psychedelic imagery of the late 1960s.

Bogey Beasts was a bit of fun, however. It contained 15 monsters made-up by Sime, who also contributed some lines of doggerel verse ('jingles' he called them) to accompany each one, with a muscial score for each composed by one Josef Holbrooke (about whom I know nothing). It was published in very small numbers and is jolly rare: a facsimile reprint was made in 1975 by a small press, and I had to pay a bit just for that, and send off to Amercia for it.

No doubt I shall shove up a few more Bogey Beasts on forthcoming Monstrous Mondays, and definitely some more work by Sime from time to time. Meanwhile, here are the first few lines of the Prapsnot jingle:

'They have no Prapsnot


The Zoo,

And if you ask

The Keeper

The reason


He'll look askew,

And slowly

Wink his peeper.'

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