Dodgem Logic

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You need this, boys and girls, yes you do. Dodgem Logic is the first worthwhile independent culture mag this country has produced since the sorely-missed Strange Things Are Happening. Perhaps significantly, both those titles featured Mr Alan Moore, being interviewed in Strange Things and presiding over the new title as resident magus and eminence gris-gris.

“…we’ve tried to resurrect a spirit of the 60s underground papers, but without the look or ambience or some of the oversights. There were a lot of very good ideas that emerged from the 60s underground. It was the first place I heard about women’s liberation – as we used to call it then – or gay liberation. They were fanatically anti-war. Many of their most extreme political statements, such as the fact that sometimes the police kill people, or that sometimes we make deals with dictators and criminal governments that we keep quiet about – these things are pretty much standard stuff of conversation these days and not reserved purely for bearded wild-eyed burbling radicals (chuckles).” (More.)

Among other delights, there’s a page of Alan’s where he returns to cartooning (below) with a paean to my favourite drawing pen, the Rotring Rapidograph, Melinda Gebbie writing on feminism, Kevin O’Neill with a WTF of cosmic proportions, and much more, including a smart feature on how to reclaim local land which the council won’t use. All this and a free CD! Who says we can’t have good things?

Update: I should have noted that Americans can order Dodgem Logic through Top Shelf.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
International Times archive
The Realist
Revenant volumes: Bob Haberfield, New Worlds and others
Oz magazine, 1967-73
Alan Moore interview, 1988
Strange Things Are Happening, 1988-1990

Eduardo Paolozzi’s Jet Age Compendium

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Detail from the cover of Ambit # 40, 1969.

A teenage enthusiasm for Pop Art meant I was familiar with the paintings and collages of Eduardo Paolozzi (1924–2005) long before I became aware of his association with sf magazine New Worlds, and his friendship with JG Ballard. Paolozzi was famously credited on the masthead of New Worlds as “Aeronautics Advisor”, a listing which impressed the relevant authorities when Brian Aldiss petitioned for an Arts Council grant and saved the magazine from collapse. Paolozzi’s work was featured in New Worlds now and then, and he provided a cover for issue 174, but it was to Ambit magazine one had to turn to see regular work by the artist.

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New Worlds #174, Aug 1967.

My favouritism towards New Worlds has always led me to see Ambit as NW-lite; frequent NW contributor JG Ballard was Ambit‘s fiction editor, and both stood to the side of the British literary scene, although Ambit editor Martin Bax didn’t share Michael Moorcock’s preference for pursuing generic or experimental means to Romantic or visionary ends. Quibbles aside, it’s good to see Paolozzi’s work for the magazine is now the subject of an exhibition, The Jet Age Compendium, at Raven Row, London, and also a book, The Jet Age Compendium: Paolozzi at Ambit from Four Corners Books. If you can’t see the former, the latter is priced £12.95 which strikes me as very reasonable.

The Jet Age Compendium runs until 1 November 2009. For an insight into the artist’s interests and attitudes, there’s a great Studio International interview here from 1971 with Paolozzi and Ballard talking to art critic Frank Whitford.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Sculptural collage: Eduardo Paolozzi
Revenant volumes: Bob Haberfield, New Worlds and others

Science fiction and fantasy covers

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Two samples from a great Flickr set of science fiction and fantasy paperback covers. Both these titles were first published in 1976 and, unlike many Flickr postings, this set gives credit to the cover artists where known. The Moorcock book is one of his Elric volumes and while it isn’t a favourite of mine, the painting by Michael Whelan certainly is. Whelan produced several Elric covers in the 1970s of which this is easily the most successful, and one of the few works by any artist after Jim Cawthorn to capture the weird inhumanity of the Melnibonéan.

The Ellison collection, on the other hand is one of his finest, with a wraparound cover by the author’s favourite artists Leo & Diane Dillon. Just last week I completed the interior design for Tachyon’s forthcoming The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction which included among a host of great stories The Deathbird by Harlan Ellison, a remarkable piece of writing and one of the best pieces in the entire book. That’s now gone off to the printer so I’ll be posting samples of the pages here shortly.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Groovy book covers
Jim Cawthorn, 1929–2008
Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth
Revenant volumes: Bob Haberfield, New Worlds and others

The art of Ed Emshwiller, 1925–1990

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Another item brought to light during the Great Shelf Re-ordering and Spring Clean is this 1950 Lancer paperback of The Dying Earth by Jack Vance, a slim collection of six short connected stories, and another favourite book. Despite the sf label this is far more a work of fantasy (science fantasy, if you must), being tales of the bizarre and occasionally grotesque inhabitants of the last days of the earth. Magic is the order of the day, not advanced technology, although Vance hints that the book’s elaborate spells may be a higher ordering of mathematics capable of manipulating reality. I like the simple cover layout of this edition, and Ed Emshwiller’s illustration manages to be sparing yet fully representative of a key scene.

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French sf portal Noosfere has recently revamped its artwork showcase and has a substantial collection of Emshwiller’s cover paintings. I’d prefer to see more of his earlier style but the collection includes some striking designs.

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Sunstone (1979).

Emshwiller was a very prolific illustrator but from the 1960s on also developed his own style of experimental filmmaking, some examples of which can be found at YouTube. I’d actually seen Sunstone—a very early piece of computer animation—years ago without registering the credit. In addition there’s also Thanatopsis, a strange b&w short which is remarkably similar in tone to some of the films which William Burroughs and Antony Balch were making at around the same time.

The genre artist | Jack Vance profiled in the NYT

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The King in Yellow
Ballantine Adult Fantasy covers
Clark Ashton Smith book covers
Revenant volumes: Bob Haberfield, New Worlds and others
The World in 2030
The art of Virgil Finlay, 1914–1971
Towers Open Fire

International Times archive

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The entire run of Britain’s first underground/alternative newspaper. Incredible. IT was never as flashy as Oz but ran for longer and arguably had the better contributors, among them William Burroughs. One notable feature was an avant garde comic strip, The Adventures of Jerry Cornelius, written by Michael Moorcock and M John Harrison with artwork by Mal Dean and Richard Glyn Jones. Heavyweight contributions to magazines tend to get reprinted, however, what I enjoy seeing in archives such as this is the ephemera which can’t be found elsewhere: adverts, reviews and illustrations like the one below. The site is a bit slow and it would have been good to have individual issues as PDFs but it feels churlish to complain. More archives like this, please.

Via Jahsonic.

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Illustration by Stanley Mouse (1969).

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Realist
Revenant volumes: Bob Haberfield, New Worlds and others
Oz magazine, 1967-73