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


 

Abrahadabra

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01 First (1985).

I’ve linked to so many publications at the Internet Archive I’m a little surprised it’s taken me this long to find something featuring my own work. Abrahadabra was a Dutch periodical covering subjects familiar to readers of the esoteric magazines of the 1980s (RE/Search, Rapid Eye, etc): Industrial music of the TG/Psychic TV/Coil variety, transgressive writers such as Burroughs, Ballard and Bataille, weird fiction of the Lovecraft/Machen school, and a heavy emphasis on occultism. My friend Ed was one of the contributors which is how my Pan drawing ended up in the Witches issue in 1987.

For a publication with minimal resources the production was often impressive, the drawing on the cover of the Austin Spare issue, for instance, being printed in silver ink on black paper. The contents were mostly in Dutch but each issue featured interesting and often original graphics. I also drew a small Horus head for issue 11 (which I’d forgotten about until I saw it again), whose title design was used on the cover of issue 12. Some of the other issues I hadn’t seen before so it’s good to find them scanned and easily available. The 1980s was the last time print was used as the primary medium for underground culture to talk to and disseminate itself. By the end of the decade many of the small magazines had either evolved—both RE/Search and Rapid Eye turned into books—or expired. The final Abrahadabra is dated 1990.

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02 Second (1985).

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03 Third (1985).

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04 Sex (1985).

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05 Derangement (1985).

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06 Morality (1986).

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07 Conspiracies (1986).

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08 Split (1986).

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09 Prose and Poetry (1986).

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10 Austin Osman Spare (1986).

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11 Witches (1987).

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12 Fantastique (1988).

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13 Technology (1988).

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14 Aleister Crowley (1990).

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Ed Jansen

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    Nice posting John, I wasn’t aware these were actually scanned and online.
    My involvement with Abrahadabra ended with issue 11. The covers of issue 10 and 11 were silkscreened, the previous ones were made with the aid of photocopiers, glue, ink and scissors.
    I remember Peter Christopherson’s grin when the Pan drawing was showed to him prior to an artist talk about his work with The The as a music video director.

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Hi Ed. I really ought to have sent Coil a copy of that drawing when I was corresponding with them.

 


 

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