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

Archive for the ‘book covers’ tag


Roger Dean postage stamps


Roger Dean book covers last week; this week it’s postage stamps. These are exclusive to the Isle of Man Post Office, unfortunately, so there’s little chance of buying them over the counter in mainland Britain. First day covers, presentation packs and individual sheets may be ordered from the post office website, however. For those who […]

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Roger Dean book covers


The View Over Atlantis (1972). The covers in question are the handful that Roger Dean produced for paperbacks in the 1970s and 80s, rather than those for his own books and the ones he edited. Given the popularity of Dean’s work in the 1970s you’d expect there to be more than this although I’m not […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 320


Palm Night (2016) by Nick Liefhebber. • “Gortner includes reference to the little known Hollywood ‘sewing circles’ (code word for lesbian communities) of which Marlene became a part. This group included Ann Warner, Lili Damita, Claudette Colbert, and Dolores del Río.” Walter Holland reviewing Marlene, a “novelization” of the life of Marlene Dietrich by CW […]

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Essex House book covers


I’ve known the name of American publisher Essex House for many years but the books they published, all of which appeared in a frenzy of activity from 1968 to 1969, have never been easy to find in the UK. The company is chiefly of note today for having three original Philip José Farmer novels on […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 9 comments »


Vintage Mishima


Penguin reprinted several volumes of Mishima in their Vintage line in 2010 with covers designed by Anna Crone. Seven of the covers are shown here although there are one or two more, not all of them available as large images. (Not for the first time I wonder why major publishers don’t make their new covers […]

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Weekend links 286


One of Faig Ahmed‘s melted Azerbaijani rugs. • “I asked [William Burroughs] about the future of typography and he said that letterforms would go back to hieroglyphs, similar to the ancient Egyptians.” Jonathan Barnbrook discussing the thinking behind his design for blackstar, the new David Bowie album. • “…a thick, yellow fog fills the air, […]

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MC Escher book covers


1963. Art: Other World (1947). MC Escher’s prints have been touring the UK this year: a few months ago they were in Scotland, this month they can be seen at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. The renewed attention prompted the BBC to produce a documentary, The Art of the Impossible: MC Escher and Me, […]

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HPL in France


Les Autres Dieux et autres nouvelles (2002). In 2002, French publisher J’ai Lu used my perennially popular view of R’lyeh on the cover of a small collection of HP Lovecraft’s fiction. This replaced a Michael Whelan painting on an earlier edition which looks fine but which happens to be a detail from one of his […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 2 comments »


The Plutonian Drug


Cover art by Leo Morey. To HP Lovecraft, Pluto was the planet Yuggoth, home to the fungoid, brain-harvesting Mi-go whose exploits are detailed in The Whisperer in Darkness (1931). Clark Ashton Smith wasn’t averse to imagining the planets of the Solar System as exotic worlds but in his short story The Plutonian Drug, published in […]

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Invisible Cities: Miscellanea


Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting} | Comments Off


La Bibliothèque de Babel


It was perhaps inevitable that this small collection of works of fantastic fiction was named after its director’s most famous creation, the Library of Babel. Jorge Luis Borges chose the titles, and also wrote introductions for each of the books. The series was published in France by Retz–Ricci, with 4000 numbered copies of each title […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {design}, {fantasy} | 6 comments »


Prawdziwie magiczny sklep, a film by Mieczyslaw Waskowski


Another short film by Mieczyslaw Waskowski, this is very different to the abstraction of Somnabulists being a remarkably faithful adaptation of HG Wells’ short story, The Magic Shop. Waskowski wrote and directed Prawdziwie magiczny sklep for Polish television in 1969. The title translates as “Truly Magical Shop” although “Genuine Magic Shop” would be more accurate, a […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {television} | 2 comments »


Philippe Caza covers


As usual, one thing leads to another. Research for yesterday’s post turned up a Caza book cover I’d not seen before. Les Miférables was published by Éric Losfeld in 1971, a year after producing Caza’s eyeball-searing psychedelic comic book Kris Kool. The author sounds like a character, a friend of André Breton who wrote a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


More vapour trails


Those covers everyone likes. My designs for KW Jeter’s steampunk novels from Angry Robot and Tor Books. When I wrote a brief history of steampunk for Eye magazine last year I ended by somewhat provocatively declaring that until something better appeared this was the defining aesthetic of the moment. A year later, the movement (if […]

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Moravagine book covers


First publication, Grasset, 1926. I should have liked to open all cages, all zoos, all prisons, all lunatic asylums, see the great wild ones liberated and study the development of an unheard-of kind of human life… Recent reading was Moravagine (1926) by Blaise Cendrars, a novel that resists easy summary. It’s a Modernist work to […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {painting}, {photography} | 5 comments »


In Homage to Priapus


I’ve written a few things in the past about the covers of the gay pulps but decent source material—never mind the books themselves—has often been difficult to find. So it’s been good to stumble across the huge trove of covers at LibraryThing where diligent collectors have tagged and archived some very scarce publications. These are […]

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The Use and Abuse of Books


Savoy • Savoy • Savoy: The first wave of book covers pinned to the Beardsley wallpaper of the Deansgate office. I often feel I’m in a minority in never having been desperate to see my work in a gallery. We are, after all, living in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (thanks, Walter), and the idea […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {events}, {work} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 217


Le Petit Journal, June 16, 1912. Via Beautiful Century. • Occult art by Nicomi Nix Turner, Daniel Martin Diaz, Amy Earles and William Crisafi. Related: Illustrations by Ernest M. Jessop for The Witches Frolic by Thomas Ingoldsby. • “Our definition of ‘Industrial’ then was a very broad one, it’s definitely not so much now.” Chris […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 215


Julian House artwork for Other Voices, a new singles series on the Ghost Box label. Other Voices 01 is a collaboration between Sean O’Hagan of the High Llamas and Jon Brooks of The Advisory Circle. Last week I linked to a copy Zadie Smith’s new introduction for Crash by JG Ballard. That piece could only […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {science}, {television}, {work} | 1 comment »


Steampunk catalogued


Another month, another exhibition catalogue. Steampunk: The Art of Victorian Futurism is still running at Artcenter IDA in Seoul with a selection of my book covers on display among a great variety of mechanical sculptures, costumes and other creations. The catalogue is a suitably lavish affair, so much so that it puts to shame many […]

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