Saturday, 25 December 2010
Friday, 24 December 2010
And finally a real antique (no, not you Alan!). This dates from the mid-80s when I was still well into The Stranglers. I think Jet Black, on the left, looks espcially creepy. This is a shop-bought card with cut outs of photocopies from Strangled magazine and then laminated. Although Alan's not an artist per se - he's a BBC producer - he's very good at creating witty and pertinent one-off cards using cutting and pasting of images, now of course on computer. Actual cutting out and real paste would have been used here!
A selection of Christmas cards by my friend Anne (who also created the rather different winged monster I posted on Monday). Most of Anne's cards are printed in modest numbers and sold through local (to North Wales) craft shops, and also in Ireland somewhere, I think. Two of those at the bottom are multilayered with polythene overlays, applied sequins etc. I think the two at top, inspired by Anne's favourite artist Kay Nielsen, are particularly lovely; they're part of a larger set.
These are going back more than a few years, too. Two appealing designs by someone who is set - at long last - for artist superstardom thanks to the critically acclaimed Psychiatric Tales and, I'm sure, the forthcoming Uncle Bob adventures.
I always look forward to my Christmas card off Jonathan (and Louise aka Felt Mistress) every year. Here is a selection. The top two date from the mid 90s, 'the Christmas sound' from the late 90s (I think) and the rest from the 2000s. It's interesting to see how the increasing use of a Mac has altered Jonathan's style. I quite like the felt-tip shading on the earlier cards! Pen and ink doesn't affect the wit - I love the Mint Spies. The Christmas sound card was designed as an LP sleeve, with the message pulling out like the inner bag. They're all great but there's something about that monkey catching snow flakes that especially appeals to me. Some of these cards should definitely be made available commercially!
First of a selection of Crimbo cards from the past, the first lot by my old friend Damian Smyth. The one above dates from 1995 and his art college days; above that is front and back of a card done while he was still at school; and above that a Christmas doodle dating from about the same time. But what happened to the card he did bearing the legend 'Set Phasers on Cake'? I must go in search of it!
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Now that Paranormal Mag has come to an end I thought it would be good to revisit some of the monstrous illustrations I used in the publication. First off this superb 'birdman' drawn by my friend Anne Elizabeth Robinson for issue 33 in support of articles on Owlman and other Winged Humanoids by Janet Bord and Jon Downes. We also used it on the cover.You'll need to click on the image to get the full effect.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
'Body of a boy... mind of a monster... soul of an unearthly thing' - ie a typical teenager! Two schlock classics. The 'Frankenstein' make-up was based on Hammer's Curse of... which had shocked audiences with its unflinching technicolor gore so much that they went to see it in droves, making it the most profitable film of the 1950s.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
The Gnoles drag away screaming the unlucky Tonker from a story by Lord Dunsany. 'And where they took him it is not good to ask, and what they did with him I shall not say.' The illustration is by Dunsany's regular, Sidney Sime (1912).
Sunday, 12 December 2010
The latest article to be posted on Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com) is by Mark Greener, a science jourmalist who contributed a lot to Paranormal Magazine. Here he points out how easy it is for us to let our imaginations run away with us, especially out in the dark countryside. He offers cautionary tales involving screeching owls, distressed hares and a damp badger. The article has been posted in the More Uncanny section, which is for members only, so if you'd like to read it, you'll have to register.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Two Dr Who-related doodles from my biology textbook when I was 16. The top one must have been finished off at home: I can't imagine I'd have felt tips in school [although I would have done, given the chance - ho ho!]. The usual Tom Baker, Harry and Sarah-Jane group - Sarah is only visible by her enormous breast appearing round the side of the Tardis. I quite like the little biroed Tardis being menaced by a giant spider.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
A jolly illustration by the 15-year-old Dick Doyle who, just a couple of years later was working for Punch and shortly became their most popular illustrator. On January 1 1840 Doyle dad gave him a journal and commanded him to write in it every day - being Doyle he also filled it full of pictures. This picture - intended to indictate all the ideas that were crowding into his head, preventing him from sleeping - is expressive but doesn't convey the absolute brilliance of some of his sketches taken from life, such as the state carriage which rolled past with the young Victoria and Albert aboard. They are extraordinary enough for a boy of 15, never mind that they were basically just scribbled into a diary. Many others already show fully formed the grotesque style for which he would become famous.
This is fun though - dig the emo hair! -and it also shows his interest in fairylore, an enthusiasm he drew on for his few paintings in later life. As well as the illos, the facsimile Journal is written with great brio and shines a light on early Victorian society of the time, intriguingly from the perspective of such a young person - scuffles at the National Gallery, riots at the opera, and rambles in the countryside though places like Willesden, now very much part of London's suburban sprawl.