{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for December, 2008


Celestial trifecta


I was going to post something about jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard who died this week (yes, another one). But enough people have been doing that elsewhere and I wrote about the album of his that I know best, Sing Me a Song of Songmy, back in April. Better, then, to leave a gloomy year with […]

Posted in {music}, {photography}, {science} | 4 comments »


British Design Classics


The Royal Mail issues this splendid set of stamps next month, celebrating their choice of “the greatest achievements of British design”. The set was designed by HGV with photography by Jason Tozer and regular readers will note two { feuilleton } cult items among the selection, the Penguin book jacket and Harry Beck’s London Underground […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {photography} | 3 comments »


Speak & Spell


Before speech synthesis became a standard feature of home computing there was this crude device for teaching children spelling, now emulated in Flash by Kevin St. Onge. Anyone who’s heard Kraftwerk’s later music will recognise the tones generated by the top row of buttons which Ralf and Florian used on the track Home Computer for […]

Posted in {electronica}, {music}, {technology} | 1 comment »


Further farewells


Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt. 2008: the year that keeps on taking. The Guardian has a copious collection of Pinter pieces including Michael Billington’s lengthy obituary. Eartha Kitt was just as unique in her own way, prompting Orson Welles in the 1950s to call her “the most exciting woman in the world”. For my sister […]

Posted in {film}, {music}, {politics}, {television}, {theatre} | 3 comments »




It was forty years ago this week that Apollo 8 astronaut William A Anders took this famous photograph of the Earth appearing over the Moon’s horizon. I was six years old at the time but remember the considerable interest caused by the mission, the first to leave the Earth and orbit the Moon, and I […]

Posted in {photography}, {science}, {technology} | 2 comments »




Given the time of year it’s a temptation to vent spleen and post something by the great Charles Addams. But rather than burden you with churlishness I’ll point instead to Colorscreen, a piece of web abstraction inspired by Olafur Eliasson. By the same programmer, there’s also the Random Color Generator. Previously on { feuilleton } […]

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The recurrent pose 24


Ryan 3. A lubricated example of the Flandrin pose by Flickr user Trey Paul. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The recurrent pose archive

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »



Books-A-Million | The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel.

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {borges}, {noted}, {science} | Comments Off


The art of Claude Fayette Bragdon, 1866–1946


The Juggler Sun (1895). On the shortest day of the year it seems fitting to post a picture of the sun and hope that in 2009 the clouds clear long enough for us Brits to see more than a month of it. Claude Fayette Bragdon’s poster is a remarkably stylised work for 1895 and might […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 5 comments »


Weird, but wonderful

Weird, but wonderful | Harrison reviews Lovecraft.

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Ernst Haeckel, Christmas card artist


Okay, not really, but we can dream. From A Very Haeckel Christmas at Flickr. Haeckel’s original plates are now at Flickr also. Via DO. Previously on { feuilleton } • The art of Ying-Yueh Chuang • The art of Jennifer Maestre • Kirsten Hassenfeld’s paper sculptures • Darwin Day • The glass menagerie

Posted in {design}, {illustrators}, {science} | 7 comments »


New things for December


Lord Horror (1997). Time for an end of year news round up. • As mentioned earlier, issue 11 of US horror magazine Penny Blood features a look at Savoy Books and David Britton’s Lord Horror mythos. The magazine is now on sale and includes comments from Savoy’s Michael Butterworth and myself. • I was interviewed […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {design}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {work} | 1 comment »


Blake retrospective: Tate stages 1809 show

Blake retrospective: Tate stages 1809 show

Posted in {art}, {noted}, {painting} | Comments Off


Ruth St Denis


The Peacock (no date). Dancer Ruth St Denis (1879–1968) strikes Art Nouveau poses in the New York Public Library’s Denishawn Collection, now at Flickr. Radha (1904). Previously on { feuilleton } • Peacocks • Rene Beauclair • Elizabetes Iela 10b, Riga • The Maison Lavirotte • Whistler’s Peacock Room • Beardsley’s Salomé • The art […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {dance}, {photography} | 4 comments »


The art of Peter Gric


Wrong Awakening (1999). Paintings by Austrian artist Peter Gric which really need to be seen at larger size. Gric’s website has an extensive catalogue of work. Thanks to Stefan for the tip. Metropolis Triptychon (2005–2006). Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The fantastic art archive

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {painting} | 5 comments »


Exposition cornucopia


Poster by Glen C Sheffer (1933). The image galleries at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library have been garnering justifiable attention recently for the quality of their collection. Among the groupings, the World’s Fairs and the Landscapes of the Modern Metropolis section immediately caught the attention of this exposition and world’s fair fan. […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {cities}, {design}, {illustrators} | 4 comments »




Parsifal by deviantArt user Divadlo. From the Mutual Friendly Opera Project, a series illustrating various operas. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The men with swords archive Previously on { feuilleton } • The faces of Parsifal • Willy Pogány’s Parsifal

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {music}, {photography} | 1 comment »


The beast within

The beast within | The many faces of Jekyll & Hyde.

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {noted} | Comments Off


Mixed blessings


Arthur #32 is now out with a great cover. As usual you can download it from the Arthur site. Unfortunately that’s the only way you’ll be able to get hold of this issue since the paper copy won’t be printing. Arthur still needs your support, however, via subscriptions, donations and/or advertising if you haven’t wasted […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {magazines}, {work} | Comments Off


Who is Heeps Willard?


In which Christmas arrives two weeks early… It was nearly two years ago that I wrote “We’re overdue a decent book-length examination of his work and his influence” at the end of the epic Barney Bubbles post. Today I finally got to sit down with a copy of Paul Gorman’s wonderful monograph about the man […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {music} | 5 comments »


‘Howard, it’s your last chance to be venerable’

‘Howard, it’s your last chance to be venerable’ | Devoto, that is… Post-punk band Magazine reform.

Posted in {music}, {noted} | Comments Off


50s pin-up queen Bettie Page dies

50s pin-up queen Bettie Page dies

Posted in {noted}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Jewel beetle


A 40X close-up of Chrysochroa fulgens, the iridescent Jewel Beetle, showing part of the insect’s eye. A stereomicroscopy photo by Charles Krebs, and one of the winners in the 2008 Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition. Scientific American has larger images. Previously on { feuilleton } • How many leaf beetles can dance on the head […]

Posted in {photography}, {science} | Comments Off


The art of Dugald Stewart Walker, 1883–1937


A posting of Dugald Stewart Walker’s work this week at the always excellent Golden Age Comic Book Stories sent me back again to the Internet Archive to see if there might be further examples among their collection of scanned library books. Sure enough there’s not only a copy of the book which GACBS sampled from, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 8 comments »


Oliver Postgate, 1925–2008


The Clangers (and a Froglet). Lots of eulogies for Oliver Postgate doing the rounds just now, somewhat inevitable when his Smallfilms productions for the BBC furnished the imaginations of generations of British children in the Sixties and Seventies. Smallfilms’ films matched their name, being short animations created on minimal budgets by a trio of Postgate […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {television} | 2 comments »


Darkness visible


Pandemonium by John Martin (1841). Happy birthday to John Milton, 400-years-old today. “High on a throne of a royal state, which far / Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind” by Gustave Doré (1866). Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The etching and engraving archive Previously on { feuilleton } • Chiaroscuro II: Joseph […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {painting} | 7 comments »


Wilde’s earliest letter to Bosie found after 50 years

Wilde’s earliest letter to Bosie found after 50 years

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Tad Bennett (1970s). Pictures by Mel Roberts (1923–2007), compulsive photographer of Californian men. Johan Larsen (1967). Previously on { feuilleton } • Mikel Marton • Exterface • California boys by Mel Roberts

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 3 comments »


Letters and Lettering


Pages from Letters and Lettering (1902), “A Treatise with 200 Examples” by Frank Chouteau Brown. A free book scan at the Internet Archive. Previously on { feuilleton } • Studies in Pen Art

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 1 comment »


Oscar Wilde, bookworm

Oscar Wilde, bookworm

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From your eyes only

From your eyes only | Rouben Mamoulian’s Jekyll & Hyde.

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {noted} | Comments Off


Baroque snowflakes


I haven’t done a seasonal card design for a couple of years, I often feel too enervated by the whole idea or else lack sufficient inspiration. But after seeing recent snowflake designs by the wonderful Marian Bantjes I thought I’d try some similar ones of my own. Looking back at her work just now I’m […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {design}, {work} | 5 comments »


The Sonic Assassins


Searching through discs for scans of Jim Cawthorn art turned up this comic strip curio from a November 29th, 1971 issue of UK underground magazine Frendz. Cawthorn and writer Michael Moorcock present rock band Hawkwind as musical superheroes and although this is done largely as a promotional piece for that year’s new album, In Search […]

Posted in {art}, {comics}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


Jim Cawthorn, 1929–2008


“Jim Cawthorn and I have been inseparable for over twenty-five years, sometimes to the point where I can’t remember which came first—the drawing or the story. It is his drawings of my characters which remain for me the most accurate, both in detail and in atmosphere. His interpretations in strip form will always be, for […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 15 comments »


Reasons To Be Cheerful, part 3: A Barney Bubbles exclusive


Or why Barney Bubbles rules… The Rumour were a Seventies band I never had any interest in, being part of the Stiff Records’ pub rock axis along with Nick Lowe and others; not weird or noisy enough for petulant moi. This is a shame since the Barney Bubbles design for their albums shows him at […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {music}, {photography} | 4 comments »


Fizeek Art


Baccant (1956) by George Quaintance. Fizeek Art Quarterly was an American magazine of gay art and erotica which ran for 26 issues from 1961 to 1969. Artists included Tom of Finland and—as can be seen above—George Quaintance. The Fizeek Art Weblog continues the tradition of the magazine by posting extracts from old issues as well […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {painting} | 6 comments »


December and Vernon Hill


Who was Vernon Hill? A good question since he’s another of those illustrators about whom detailed information is in short supply. He was born in Halifax, England, which makes him a Yorkshireman, and this page gives his birth date as 1887. A biographical note here states that: Hill was primarily a wood-carver, most of whose […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »







“feed your head”