New projects and new interview


The final post of an exceptionally productive year arrives with 2010 already shaping up to be just as busy and stimulating work-wise. In 2009 I designed at least 12 books (or was it 13? I’ve lost count…), 8 or 9 book covers, several CDs and many one-off commissions, as well as producing that calendar. If the precise details are vague it’s because the year has passed in something of a blur.

A number of the books I’ve been working on have yet to be published, among them The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer which will be appearing soon from Tachyon. This is a small hardback whose humorous nature should be self-explanatory but if you need further details, Jeff can tell you more. And one of the major tasks of next year will be work for another VanderProject, The Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, a sequel to the acclaimed Thackery T Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases. The new anthology will be a HarperCollins title due for publication in 2011; once again, Jeff has further details.

Finally, the good people at Innsmouth Free Press talked to me recently and their interview is now posted. Given the nature of the site, the discussion mostly concerns matters Lovecraftian but I also talk a little about how I ended up doing all this stuff in the first place. And if you read to the end you’ll discover which Lovecraft character I’d prefer to be. I decided to stick with the human cast; choosing from among the Great Old Ones seems far too presumptuous, even for an inflated ego like mine.

Autobahn animated


The Düsseldorf maestros are treated to some animated illustration in this 1979 film by Roger Mainwood which takes Kraftwerk’s Autobahn as its soundtrack. Mark at Strange Attractor provided the tip and he compares the animation style to René Laloux and Roland Topor’s Fantastic Planet (1973). The purple humanoid floating through surreal landscapes is certainly reminiscent of Laloux’s film, but Autobahn also reminds me of Bruno Bozzetto’s Allegro non troppo (1977) and, given that Mainwood’s animation comes a couple of years later, it may well have been inspired by it. Bozzetto’s film is a feature-length “adult” response to Walt Disney’s Fantasia which takes the Fantasia format—well-known classical themes illustrated by animated sequences—but does so in a slightly more grotesque or risqué fashion. Much of Bozzetto’s film seems less daring today than it was in 1977 but the best sequence still works well and happens to be as science fictional as Mainwood’s Autobahn, an entire cycle of planetary evolution set to Ravel’s Bolero. Follow the links below.

• Roger Mainwood’s Autobahn pt. 1 | pt. 2
Ravel’s Bolero from Allegro non troppo

Previously on { feuilleton }
Sleeve craft
Who designed Vertigo #6360 620?
Old music and old technology
Aerodynamik by Kraftwerk
The genius of Kraftwerk

Bruegel in winter


The Hunters in the Snow (1565).

Most of the snow here in Manchester melted over Christmas but it’s likely there’ll be more on the way given the unusually low temperatures. Whatever the complaints about the weather, the empty-handed hunters painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525–1569) had it worse. Of the two paintings, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap is the lesser composition but seems slightly more optimistic.


Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap (1565).

I upgraded WordPress a few hours ago with the result that the latest version of the software no longer works with a couple of the plug-ins I was using. I try to keep WP plug-ins to a minimum but fell foul on this occasion so there’s now no tag cloud at the foot of the page until I work out a way to restore it by other means. If anything here seems awry or broken over the next couple of days, that’s the explanation.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Winter panoramas
Winter music
Winter light
La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters

Winter panoramas


Staromestske Namesti (Old Town Square), Prague.

Continuing the winter theme with some views from my favourite panorama site, 360 Cities. These are all from the northern hemisphere, I was hoping for something from Antarctica but it’s not represented there. The view over the frozen tundra at Barrow, Alaska, can stand in for the continent’s absence, however, a white desert which quite chills the soul. Tromsø is about as far north as Barrow but looks a lot more welcoming.

I’ll be taking a welcome break for the next few days so I’m hoping the site will remain stable during that time as I take time out from staring at a computer screen. The continual outages this year have been very annoying but I’ve been too busy to look into changing the hosting, that’s something to sort out in the New Year. As usual, the archive facility will be in operation throwing up random posts from the past three-and-a-half years.

Have a good one.


Barrow, Alaska.


Naberezhnaya, Russia.


Aurora borealis, Lavangsdalen, Norway.


The Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø, Norway.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The panoramas archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Winter music
Winter light
Karel Plicka’s views of Prague