Monday, September 15, 2014

A 1930s New York Guide

As you might imagine, being in Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town, for my birthday recently resulted in quite the pile of books in the back of the car and one of them was the New York City Guide from 1939. A really interesting book that doesn't shy away from the seamier side of life in the metropolis. It is illustrated not just with b/w photos but with some brilliant b/w artwork too which will be featuring here in the near future. For the time being though, what's not to like about a book that shows us both 1930s Art Deco skyscrapers but also young men in vintage swimwear about to throw themselves into a river!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mr Manhood and the art of Double Entendre

It may be that being named Mr Manhood is something that predisposes you to a life of double entendre and innuendo... which may explain why he called his only novel Gay Agony, which is a novel about none of the things you might imagine from the title, despite the fact that the action takes place in a small village called Thrust-on-the-Moor; I kid you not!. I've not read it but reviews online seem to suggest that you will either love it or dislike it, mainly on stylistic grounds. All agree that Mr Manhood is actually something of an overlooked talent in the world of the weird, supernatural story, his first collection of which he called... Nightseed!

And why am I telling you this? Because when away in Scotland recently I paid a visit to Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town and whilst there had occasion to see this fetching mug which, of course, I just had to have.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Letterpress postcards by Clare Melinsky

R and I have just returned from holiday. We have been staying in a gloriously isolated cottage in the Glenkens area of Galloway in South Western Scotland. It was a magical and beautiful holiday and you will all be subjected to much more about it here in the next few days I'm sure but for the time being I wanted to share these great letterpress printed postcards I found. I found them in the The Working Print Studio in Kirkcudbright (pron: Ker-Koo-Bree) but they were actually printed at Robert Smail's Printing Works in the Scottish Borders. They are brilliant linocut designs by the illustrator Clare Melinsky who first came to my attention in 2010 when she designed a series of covers for a new issue of the Harry Potter novels in paperback. These designs though were specifically for postcards and were commissioned for the Pollock's Toy Museum in London.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jan Parker Illustrates Witchcraft and Black Magic II

Back in May I posted a selection of these images by Jan Parker for the Hamlyn paperback edition of Peter Haining's Witchcraft and Black Magic and I said at the time there may be more at a later point. I'm prompted to make good on that promise now because a number of people have now commented on that original post most helpfully providing information sorely missing in the first one. Most of it comes from Parker's Saatchi Art page in which we learn not only that Parker is still painting but that he still paints with an interest in the other side of the veil as it were. At the bottom of the page is a link to this reasonably recent interview with Parker about his involvement as the on-set artist with Kubrick's, 2001.

I'm grateful to Odyzeus, Alexandre Fernandes and to anonymous for taking the trouble to comment on the original post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ian David Baker at The Photographer's Gallery

If you are in London at lunchtime on Friday then you might like to pop into The Photographer's Gallery for the second of their "My Favourite Photographs" ten minute talks. Photographer and friend of Callum James Books, Ian David Baker will be giving the short talk in the cafe at one o'clock, not about the photo above but about one of his 1980s images of MODs in Carnaby Street. 

A while ago Callum James Books published a catalogue of photographs and artwork by Ian. Although the catalogue has now sold out you can still browse through it by clicking here.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Australian Athlete

I don't normally post just a single image but this little gem I was pointed to recently by someone's Tumblr (I'm sorry I don't remember which), in it's home at the National Library of Australia and I think is well worth breaking with tradition and posting on his own.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

120 Postcards

I don't usually like to link posts on this blog directly to what I'm selling elsewhere on the Internet but on this occasion it seems appropriate. I have a collection of 120 postcards, some which are featured here. They are currently, for the next week, for sale on Ebay.

Communes: 1970s Journal of the Commune Movement

I don't think I would have coped very well living in a commune. From a brief experience of 'communal' living as a student I would have been fairly sure of this before this afternoon. But then these magazines came across my desk. Basically home published affairs from the early 1970s Communes is the Journal of The Commune Movement and having read through some of them today I think I can be doubly sure I wouldn't have coped very well with commune life: good to know! However, what I did enjoy was the artwork in these, some of it, particularly on the inside where it was very difficult to scan was exceptionally good and from numerous different contributors not just one in-house illustrator. Much as I don't want to do it myself, there's something quite refreshing reading about a form of life so idealistic and so alien to what most of us know.

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