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

Archive for the {pulp} category


Copying Clarke


“On to the brocken the witches are flocking.” From Faust (1925) by Harry Clarke. Spotted earlier this week, a rather blatant swipe from Harry Clarke’s Faust by an unknown cover artist for the Avon Fantasy Reader. Such borrowings weren’t uncommon in the pulp magazines—the pressure of deadlines no doubt encouraged them—and I’ve logged a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {pulp} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 254


Gatefold sleeve for Love, Death and the Lady (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins. Photo by Allan Willmoth. No designer credited. • “When you look at a lot of modern album covers, the art school obsession with the Helvetica kind of undermines it. So instead of looking at an artefact that comes from another place […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {cormac}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {technology} | Comments Off


In the Key of Yellow


My Easter weekend was profitably spent watching True Detective again, a series I enjoyed even more the second time around. For the past year I’ve been pondering off and on the connections the series makes with the suite of weird tales that Robert Chambers published in 1895 as The King in Yellow, and also the […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {design}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {pulp}, {television} | 4 comments »


Crystal balls


The Crystal Ball (c. 1900) by Robert Anning Bell. Crystal balls in art, film and the pulp magazines. The Crystal Ball (1902) by John William Waterhouse. Alexander, Crystal Seer (1910).

Posted in {art}, {film}, {magazines}, {occult}, {painting}, {pulp} | Comments Off


Weekend links 243


Genesia (2011) by Bette Burgoyne. • “…so I started buying these old gay porn novels, just for the covers and kept on collecting them.” Maitland McDonagh on the underexamined world of gay pulp. McDonagh’s 120 Days Books is reprinting some of these scarce titles. More gay erotica: Plans are afoot to republish Des Grieux, the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {pulp}, {science}, {technology} | Comments Off


Weekend links 216


Why Do The Heathen Rage? (2014) by The Soft Pink Truth. Cover art by Mavado Charon. Drew Daniel’s latest release as The Soft Pink Truth is Why Do The Heathen Rage?, a witty electronic riposte to the often reactionary attitudes of black metal music and the people who create it. (The album is dedicated to […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {symbolists}, {technology}, {television}, {work} | Comments Off


Weekend links 162


Untitled drawing by Sophie Penrose. • “…many arts producers – much more so than the artists themselves – were over-fearful of the prospect of prosecution, when in nearly all incidents there were no reasonable grounds for bringing charges.” Julia Farrington of Index on Censorship on self-censorship by artists and art institutions in the UK. • […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {politics}, {pulp}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


Weekend links 145


Weird Tales, October 1933. Cover art by Margaret Brundage. • Michael Moorcock’s novels are being republished this year by Gollancz in a range of print and digital editions. Publishing Perspectives asks Is Now a Perfect Time for a Michael Moorcock Revival? • Related: Dangerous Minds posted The Chronicle of the Black Sword: A Sword & Sorcery […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {pulp}, {television} | Comments Off


Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks


Yes, it’s that Ed Wood, Mr Plan 9 from Outer Space, who apparently supplemented his erratic film career by penning dubious porn novels and exposés of the erotic underworld. Most of what I know about him is culled from Tim Burton’s biopic so this was news to me. Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks is an exhibition […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {pulp} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 36


Mervyn Peake’s Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland finds itself used to promote High Society, an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection devoted to the long history of human drug-taking. There’s more about the exhibition here and also an accompanying book by Mike Jay from Thames & Hudson. Related: The Most Dangerous Drug: A group of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {television} | 2 comments »


Steampunk overloaded!


Yes, it’s the “S” word again, and if there was any doubt that this has been the Year of Steampunk here at Coulthart Towers, look at these recent works. And this is by no means everything I’ve been doing in this area, there’ll be further announcements later on. The covers for KW Jeter’s novels are […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {fantasy}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {typography}, {work} | 7 comments »


Weekend links 22


Planet of the Apes Magazine #15 (1975), art by Bob Larkin. I never read any of Marvel Comics’ Planet of the Apes titles but the painted covers of the American editions are evidence of a distinctly lurid imagination. An excess of drugs—this was the Seventies, after all—or mere enthusiasm? You decide. Related: “The Soft Intelligence”: […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {pulp}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Monsieur Fantômas by Ernst Moerman


Jean Michel as Fantômas. Ernst Moerman’s Belgian short from 1937 is available for viewing at Ubuweb and is described on its title card as “Un film Surrealiste”. One might equally describe it as “un film amateur” since it’s very much in the home movie mould as was much of the independent cinema of this time. […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {painting}, {pulp}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 5


A poster design by Yusaku Kamekura. More here, via A Journey Round My Skull. First of all this week, there’s a new interview posted which I gave last year to Crows ’n’ Bones magazine. The replies skate around the usual subjects (Cthulhu et al) and you also find out why I don’t think design and […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {comics}, {cormac}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {music}, {pulp}, {surrealism}, {work} | Comments Off


Sherbet and Sodomy


Cover art by Coker. We had Shock Headed Peters walking through Sodom yesterday so this novel from 1971 seems like a fitting follow-up. The eye-catching title is no doubt an allusion to Byron’s description of Turkish baths as “marble palaces of sherbet and sodomy”, an epithet which one imagines sent generations of sweet-toothed Uranians trekking […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {pulp} | 5 comments »


The Mask of Fu Manchu


Myrna Loy, Charles Starrett and Boris Karloff. Los Alamos ranch school where they later made the atom bomb and couldn’t wait to drop it on the yellow peril. The boys are sittin’ on logs and rocks eating some sort of food there’s a stream at the end of a slope. The counsellor was a southerner […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {burroughs}, {film}, {pulp} | 7 comments »


The Dark Ledger


The boundless depths of Chris Mullen’s VTS site continue to yield treasures. The documentation for these pictures is somewhat vague but they seem to be illustrations for Fantômas stories which Mullen has grouped under the title The Dark Ledger, part of a larger selection of pages devoted to the Lord of Evil. The depiction of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {illustrators}, {pulp} | 2 comments »


Design as virus 11: Burne Hogarth


Mighty Baby (1969). Illustration by Martin Sharp. Yet another album cover prompts this post, part of an occasional series. Mighty Baby were a British rock band who formed out of psychedelic group The Action in the late Sixties, and their music is fairly typical of the period, being “heavy” without any of the psych trappings […]

Posted in {art}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {pulp}, {work} | 23 comments »


Peake’s Pan


Another charity shop book-raid this week netted me a copy of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in its 1965 Pan Books edition, one of the Bond series with great covers designed by Richard Hawkey. The sight of the tiny Pan silhouette above reminded me that this logo was based on drawings commissioned from […]

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


Vintage movie posters


An example from this Flickr set. Hell is a City is a Hammer melodrama from 1960 directed by Val Guest, mentioned here recently for his earlier The Day the Earth Caught Fire. This one doesn’t succeed quite as well, being a misguided attempt to do a film noir in Manchester. The poster tries to disguise […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {pulp} | 6 comments »



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