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

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The Righteous One

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Another week, another new book cover. Author Neil Perry Gordon was in touch earlier this year asking if I could create something for his latest novel set in New York City. Gordon’s previous novels have been historical narratives about the city’s Jewish community; The Righteous One (subtitled “A Cobbler’s Journey into the Dreamworld and Beyond”) […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {occult}, {work} | No comments »

 


The Fallen King’s Penitent Soldier

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Despite having been busy throughout this year I’ve not updated my website for a while so this is the first of several posts intended to remedy the situation. It’s also a dismaying entry since it not only sees the end of this series of gay romance titles by Megan Derr but also the end of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Folk Horror Revival: Urban Wyrd

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Cover art by Grey Malkin. The folk horror revival wasn’t really a revival as such, it was more an identifying of trends which hadn’t been noticed or named before, the grouping together and labelling of which created a sub-genre ripe for further exploration. Over the past few years I’ve done my share to promote this […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {cities}, {electronica}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {occult}, {surrealism}, {work} | 6 comments »

 


Weekend links 463

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Eye 98: Beatrice Display Black, Sharp Type, 2018, and a detail from an original drawing for Lexicon by Bram de Does, 1989. • Issue 98 of Eye, the international design journal, is out this month. The new issue is a typography special but also features my review of Mark Dery’s Born to be Posthumous: The […]

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The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga

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My latest cover for Angry Robot Books was unveiled this week on the Barnes & Noble blog. The Resurrectionist of Caligo is an atmospheric Gothic fantasy for which the cover art veers close to the illustration work I was doing recently for Editorial Alma, Frankenstein in particular: With a murderer on the loose, it’s up […]

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More detectives

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I was going to post these designs a couple of weeks ago but other things kept intervening. Gilded Age Detective Stories and Steam-Age Crime Stories follow my earlier design for the Joe Phenix Detective Series (below), with all three forming a colour-coded trilogy of books from Dark Lantern Tales reprinting late-Victorian crime fiction. My earlier […]

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The Ingenious by Darius Hinks

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My latest cover for Angry Robot Books was revealed this week at the Barnes & Noble blog (where I talk a little about the design aspects) so here it is. The Ingenious is an alchemy-themed fantasy by Darius Hinks, the brief for which required a depiction of the city of Athanor, the central character, Isten, […]

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Illustrating Lovecraft again

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The Dunwich Horror (1972). Art by Victor Valla. El horror de Dunwich y otros relatos is the last of the books I was working on earlier this year for Spanish publisher Editorial Alma. This was a more stimulating Lovecraft collection to work on than the previous two-story volume since three of the stories were ones […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Weekend links 429

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• Julia Holter’s next album, Aviary, will arrive next month with a cover design bearing astrological symbols (a cryptic message?) and what looks like a grimoire page in the background, although I may be reading too much into this. Whatever the esoterics signify, the album is a double, and going by the sound of new […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {politics}, {technology}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


A view over Yuggoth

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I mentioned in the post about the Sherlock Holmes illustrations that the next book from Editorial Alma featuring my work would be another Lovecraft collection. One of the illustrations in the new volume was of the planet Yuggoth, a world known to human beings as Pluto. In Lovecraft’s mythos Yuggoth has long been an outpost […]

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The Joe Phenix Detective Series

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After six months of black-and-white drawing it’s been good to return to colour book covers of which this is the first of a new crop of designs. Albert W. Aiken (c.1846–1894) was a prolific American author of pulp fiction, whether writing under his own name or pseudonymously (and sometimes as a woman) for Dime Library, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {pulp}, {typography}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Illustrating Sherlock Holmes

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Beeton’s Christmas Annual, 1887. The latest in the series of illustrated editions I’ve been working on for Spanish publisher Editorial Alma is a single-volume collection of two short Sherlock Holmes novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. Work on this book began immediately after I’d finished Dracula so maintaining the Victorian theme […]

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Weekend links 423

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The Miracle (Genet’s Dream) (2001) by Delmas Howe. • “Zachary Lipton, an assistant professor at the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon University, watched with frustration as this story transformed from ‘interesting-ish research’ to ‘sensationalized crap’.” Oscar Schwartz on how the media gets AI alarmingly wrong. • The Aesthetics of Science Fiction: what does SF […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {science}, {technology}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art

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The past year would have been busier than usual with the amount of illustration work I had to deal with, but it was made even busier with my having to design this book at the same time. James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art was originally intended to be a modest memorial by Maureen Cawthorn […]

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

 


The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon

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As promised last week, here’s my latest cover for Megan Derr’s gay fantasy series, Tales of the High Court. The first book wasn’t intended to have this many sequels so my initial cover design also wasn’t planned as something that might be a template for later volumes. The previous books (below) borrowed bits and pieces […]

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On the threshold

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I was intending to post a new book cover this week but I’m up against another deadline—the last pressing one of this half of the year—so good intentions have been felled by the urgent need to keep drawing. In place of the cover design, here’s a taster of some of the work of the past […]

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Illustrating Dracula

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Cover art by Edgar Alfred Holloway for the Rider edition of Bram Stoker’s novel, an edition reprinted many times during the early 20th century. Holloway’s Count is shown as Stoker describes him in the early chapters of the book, white-haired and bearded. Last year I illustrated a number of stories by Edgar Allan Poe, and […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {horror}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Daughters of Forgotten Light by Sean Grigsby

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I’ve spent most of the year so far working on more black-and-white illustrations for Editorial Alma—47 full-page pieces to date—so this cover design made a welcome break, especially since all the black-and-white art has a late-Victorian setting. More about that later. Sean Grigsby’s second novel for Angry Robot Books is previewed at the Barnes & […]

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Weekend links 410

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William Hope Hodgson’s final Carnacki mystery, The Hog, received its first magazine publication in January 1947. The cover art by AR Tilburne may not have been originally created for Hodgson’s tale but it complements the story’s atmosphere of febrile dread. • It’s still April so that means it’s still the month that saw the 100th anniversary […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {symbolists}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


The man who wasn’t Tesla

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Searching through old emails last week reminded me that a couple of years ago I’d supplied some art for use in a steampunk-themed bar in Gran Canaria. I would have mentioned this before now but, as is often the way with freelance commissions, once the negotiations were over I dispatched the art then heard nothing […]

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