Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Just two examples, both from the 1950s, of work by my other favourite fantasy artist of the later 20th century, the great Virgil Finlay. With all that detail, subtle shading and fine pointilism, it's sobering to think that most of Finlay's work was printed less than A4 on rough-grained pulp paper in mags like Weird Tales. Despite the detail, most of his drawings were also less than A4 in size. These two illustrations both date from 1952. (I say 'later 20th century' to distinguish from artists like Sime and Rackham who began to publish in the 1900s or earlier; Finlay was getting known in the 1930s).
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Monday, 26 April 2010
I guess volcanos are still 'in' - or are they now firmly out because of all the hassle one particular troublemaker has caused? Anyway, here is just one of the many hugely likeable monsters created by Chris Leavens, otherwise known as Mr Chompins, whose work I happened upon on Flickr. It was impossible to choose a favourite, so I just went for this 'topical' one. It looks like Mr Chompins now has prints and a T-shirt available, too, so check him out - you will find yourself smiling a lot, I guarantee.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
"Superstition having made the discovery, science composes a lecture on the reason why, and claims the credit."
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Well. Has-this-ever-happened-to-you? You find yourself an interesting book full of striking illustrations by a celebrated artist, in this case Charles Keeping. It's an ex-library copy and well-thumbed but what the hell. So you take it home. You flick through the book, enjoying the many illustrations you've not previously seen. And then you come to the last illo in the book.
And you find some kid's drawn a big cock on it. In red felt tip pen. And he's added the word 'Wanker' just to finish it off. Bloody hell.
Oh well, it was only 50p. It's a book from 1973 called Weirdies, a collection of macabre tales (and a few H P Lovecraft poems) selected by one Helen Hoke as being suitable for young readers. Charles Keeping is in my opinion one of the very best book illustrators of the second half of the 20th century, and since I have presented him here defaced (or becocked), I think I'll put up another of his pictures on Monstrous Monday. Incidentally, the illustration with added nob was for Theodore Sturgeon's classic tale of the reanimated dead, 'It'.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Oh well. This time I bought nowt but DVDs - dodgy ones, of course. There's a Jethro Tull gig from 1976, bits of which the seller played and it does look very good indeed. The others are double packs of punk stuff taken off the telly, mainly Top of the Pops. I recorded loads of material like this off UK Gold some years ago but God knows when I'd get round to transferring it, so I thought - for what worked out at £2.50 a disc - what the hell.
I was a bit suspicious of volume 3 of the set because it featured fairly unusual Stranglers tracks which, if taken off TV appearances, I certainly wanted to see. I even checked with the bloke - but alas I was right. Most of this disc turns out to be promo videos, including the Stranglers'. Oh well, it didn't cost much and there's a fair amount of material I've not seen, including 'Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore' by the Buzzcocks, the suitably silly video to the preposterous 'Hersham Boys' by Sham 69 and the Ramones doing 'I Don't Wanna Grow Up' on Top of the Pops (the only 'off the telly' item of the lot).
But the highlight has been the Ramones' cover of the old Spiderman theme, together with a matching cartoony video. I've always loved that theme (and indeed the series) but had no idea this version existed. So here it is.
Friday, 9 April 2010
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Much better in my opinion (but hey, I'm the kind of guy who still writes 'Dr' Who), although I note that the chap who has done the mix, JamesPotter76, is perfectly happy with the new theme. I rather like the fact that he's rendered the title sequence in black-and-white, too. I'd still rather have a scary theme, though. There was something unnerving about the grinding bass lines and the spooky whoo-hoos over the top of it. Imagine watching the first episode of Web of Fear or an episode of Seeds of Doom with one of the new themes. Pah!
Still, at least it's an improvement on the previous closing titles version with its 'Hello Dolly' strings and fills, or the tinny Davison period theme.
This is very sad, isn't it? I'm in danger of becoming a Whocumudgeon, or as Russell T Davies offensively described fans who didn't like him - a 'ming-mong'.
Monday, 5 April 2010
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Tolkien’s Barrow-wights may have been inspired by traditions once prevalent in parts of South West England. Professor Leslie Grinsell collected an astonishing corpus of tales associated with Britain’s ancient monuments and in Dorset he learnt of the ‘Gabbygammies’, beings very similar to Tolkien’s. Referring to a Bronze Age round barrow at Ashmore (now destroyed), Grinsell writes:
‘It was formerly haunted by Gabbygammies or Gappergennies who made strange noises which ceased after the barrow was opened and human bones found in it removed to the churchyard and reburied there.’
In my home county of Flintshire, there is a story about a tumulus at Axton haunted by similar creatures. The barrow, near a house called Ty Gwyn, formerly had a 7-ft high stone standing on its summit. Due to the presence of a hole drilled through its upper part, this bore the name of Carreg-y-doll (the Holed Stone). The stone was given a wide berth in daylight and avoided altogether after dark, for it was believed the barrow on which it stood was the home of evil goblins – bwbachod – who guarded fiercely a valuable treasure hidden there. Their mindless gibbering could often be heard emanating from within.