{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for the ‘Barney Bubbles’ tag


Queer Noise and the Wolf Girl


Two recent pieces of work which were being created at the same time so they share some similarity of style (and the same baroque flourish). Queer Noise is a music-related event taking place in Manchester (UK) next month. Music journalist Jon Savage will be leading the discussion and some may recognise the event title as […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {gay}, {music}, {work} | 9 comments »


Barney ascendant


Poster by Barney Bubbles for Elvis Costello’s Get Happy!! (1980). Adelita, the publishers of Reasons To Be Cheerful: the life and work of Barney Bubbles, announced this week that Paul Gorman’s essential collection of BB graphics has been named Book of the Year in Mojo magazine: Reasons To Be Cheerful – the acclaimed study of […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {music}, {work} | 1 comment »


Album cover postage stamps


top row: The Division Bell by Pink Floyd; A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay. bottom row: London Calling by The Clash; Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. The Royal Mail follows its series of British Design Classics postage stamps with a series dedicated to what they call “classic” album covers. The design classics […]

Posted in {design}, {music} | 7 comments »


Design as virus 10: Victor Moscoso


Continuing an occasional series. A recent post at A Journey Round My Skull is a stylish series of Indian book jackets from 1964 to 1984. These impress partly for the way they rework western design approaches, and they consequently look very different from the florid visuals one might (lazily) expect of Indian cover design. Western […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »


Sleeve craft


Another authorless design: Vertigo #6360 616 (1973). Things we did (or didn’t) learn about album cover design this week. • The jury is still out as to whether Barney Bubbles designed the covers for the UK releases of Kraftwerk’s third and fourth albums, Ralf and Florian and Autobahn. BB experts Rebecca & Mike did clarify […]

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Who designed Vertigo #6360 620?


Autobahn by Kraftwerk; Vertigo #6360 620. Colin Buttimer was in touch last week to let me know he’d copied my Barney Bubbles post (with my permission) to his excellent new site, Hard Format, which is devoted to the art of music design. In the intro to that piece he repeats something he’d mentioned to me […]

Posted in {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {typography} | 20 comments »


Designing Booklife


I created a cover design recently for Jeff VanderMeer‘s new novel, Finch, and shortly after completing that Jeff asked if I could put together some cover ideas for his forthcoming writer’s guide, Booklife, which Tachyon will be publishing later this year. Jeff is known as a fantasy writer but this book was intended to have […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {technology}, {typography}, {work} | 24 comments »


Three today


Three Spheres II (1946) by MC Escher. Celebrating the third { feuilleton } anniversary and post number 1,438. It’s become customary now to list the most popular posts of the past year so here we go again: • The Underwater Sculpture Gallery. This has been surprisingly popular for several months now, despite pictures of the […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {miscellaneous}, {sculpture} | 3 comments »


Hawk things


The Barney Bubbles revival continues with news of Space Ritual 09, a concert dedicated to BB by ex-Hawkwind members at the Roundhouse, London on March 8th. The headline band is a new version of Hawklords, notably sans Dave Brock who controls the Hawkwind name and hasn’t been too happy recently with Nik Turner’s revisionist activities. […]

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




The HAL Project. January flew by in a blizzard of work so posting here tended to rely more on pictures than words. As usual the things I’ve been designing will be unveiled when they’re closer to being published or released but for now here’s some new or not-so-new items worthy of note. • The HAL […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {kubrick}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


Designs on Doctor Dee


Some work news. I finished this CD design last year but, as is often the case with these things, it’s taken a while to make its way into the world. This was the final piece of the Mindscape of Alan Moore project and it’s probably the last thing I’ll do which makes use of the […]

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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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Design as virus 7: eyes and triangles


Continuing this occasional series. The above motif is the Golden Dawn‘s Wedjat or Eye of Horus emblem as reproduced in the hardback edition of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, an “autohagiography”. Crowley was under discussion here a few days ago and the eye in a triangle symbol can also be seen on the sleeve of […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {work} | 9 comments »


The art of John Hurford


Oz #45, November 1972. This large-format issue of Oz magazine with John Hurford’s cover was one of the last published and is also one of the few issues I own. Hurford provided many interior illustrations for Oz and other magazines, as well as producing poster art and other graphics. Unlike many artists of the period […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {psychedelia} | 3 comments »


More Barney Bubbles


For those who’ve been eagerly awaiting Paul Gorman’s Barney Bubbles monograph, here’s the latest. Readers in the UK may also like to know there’s a feature about the book in the current issue of The Word. By coincidence, if you turn the page in the magazine there’s another feature about the Rob Gretton book I […]

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


Alan Aldridge: The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes


I’ve never been all that keen on Alan Aldridge‘s brand of psychedelic art but it’s worth noting here the (London) Design Museum retrospective which runs from 10 October to 25 January, 2009. Aldridge’s work as a designer and illustrator for Penguin Books in the Sixties impresses me more than his subsequent illustrated Beatles lyrics and […]

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


The faces of Parsifal


Parsifal by Jean Delville (1890). Continuing the occasional series of posts examining the evolution of a particular design or image, this one begins with a mystical charcoal drawing by Belgian Symbolist, Jean Delville (1867–1953), our object of concern being that entranced or dreaming face. My first encounter with Delville’s image wasn’t via the original but […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {symbolists} | 5 comments »







“feed your head”