Exhibitionism

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Art by Enki Bilal.

My work is featured in two very different exhibitions over the next few weeks, so different, in fact, that they’re almost at opposite poles to each other.

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Hard Core Horror 5 (1990).

The first, Shoah et bande dessinée, takes place at Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, and opens on 19th January. This is an exhibition of comic-book art dealing with the Holocaust, and will include three of my pages from the death-camp scenes in the final issue of the Lord Horror series, Hard Core Horror (created with David Britton in 1990, and published by Savoy). This is one instance where the term “comic” is particularly inappropriate, unlike the more neutral French designation, bande dessinée. I haven’t yet seen a list of all the other artists being represented but I was very pleased to see a drawing by Enki Bilal being used to promote the event. Bilal was one of several French comic artists whose work I discovered in the pages of Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant in the 1970s, and it was the example of the artists there that kept me interested enough in the comics medium to attempt something of my own a few years later. The exhibition will run until 30th October, 2017, and will feature a printed catalogue.

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The second event, Alice’s Adventures in the Underground, has already been mentioned here, and takes place at the Horse Hospital, London, at the beginning of February:

“Feed your head…” An evening discourse on all things Wonderland, with John Coulthart, Andy Roberts, Nikki Wyrd and Jake Fior (facilitator).

This event marks the opening of a three day exhibition hosted by the Horse Hospital, featuring John Coulthart’s psychedelia-themed ‘Alice’ artwork, printed for the first time as (drug-free) blotter art. John’s depictions of the twelve chapters of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ view the 1860s through the iridescent lens of the 1960s; Victoriana refracted through a psychedelic prism. Come along for a discussion of the links between psychedelic art and music, and the persistent fascination of Lewis Carroll’s books. There will be talk of many things, not only cabbages and kings, but far more than you can possibly imagine before breakfast. Signed blotter prints will be on sale.

Psychedelic artists – particularly in the 60s – and many other outsider creative types (before and since that influential decade), have drawn their inspiration from the well of imagery found within the ‘Alice’ books. As well as John’s artwork, there will be Alice themed creations by other artists on show. In addition, the Psychedelic Museum will be holding its second pop-up museum display, with particular focus on the 60s counterculture.

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This show came about after an offer from Paul at Blotter Art to produce a series of blotter prints from my psychedelic Alice series. The first set of sheets are shown here, and I’m very pleased with the print quality after having been a little worried that the paper might not reproduce the colour and detail to the best effect. As noted above, signed sheets will be on sale (either as singles or a series of 12) during the event and afterwards via the Blotter Art website. People often ask about signed prints but most of my print sales are through CafePress which doesn’t allow this; so here’s a rare opportunity to get something spoiled by my signature. In addition to my work there should be Alice-themed art by other artists filling out the space. This exhibition will run to 4th February. I’m looking forward to it.

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Lovecraftiana calendar

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It may have been delayed by a week but the Coulthart calendar for 2016 arrives earlier in the year than some of its predecessors. A few months ago I had no idea what I was going to do for a calendar this year; I had a lot of work in progress, and more scheduled for the autumn, so creating all-new artwork wasn’t the best idea. Then on the plane back from Providence I thought, “Oh, yeah…Lovecraft…” So here’s a selection of Lovecraftian artwork old and new. The most recent pieces are from the front and back cover of the NecronomiCon convention booklet; among the older works there are two paintings which weren’t intended to be illustrative of The Weird but can be if you give them suitable labels, hence The Yellow King for February (see the pages at larger size here). The capitals on the cover are from the wonderful collaged set designed by Roman Cieslewicz, and which can be found in Dover’s Bizarre and Ornamental Alphabets.

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I’ve mentioned the problem caused by CafePress cancelling the line of portrait-oriented calendar templates that I’d been using for several years. The calendar templates at Zazzle didn’t quite match the old CafePress ones but with some fine-tuning of the options I’ve got as close as I could. There’s a slight disadvantage in the way the dates are overlaid on the artwork but then the artwork is already pierced by a hole at the top so this seems negligible. Zazzle’s template improves on CafePress by offering a range of coloured pages and coloured wire-binding so I’ve gone for a none-more-black interior. Zazzle also lets you design a back cover which means this is the first calendar where I’ve been able to provide credits and dates for all the pictures. Buyers also have the option of choosing their own regional holidays; CafePress is resolutely US-centric with all its products. The purchase page is here.

For the moment all the previous calendars, including the popular Psychedelic Alice ones, are unavailable although I’ll be moving them to Zazzle when I have a spare moment. Watch this space.

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Continue reading “Lovecraftiana calendar”

Of cards and calendars

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Ex-calendars.

Last weekend I was preparing to upload a set of new calendar pages to CafePress when I discovered that the wall calendar option I’ve been using there for years is no longer available. In place of the portrait calendar with square artwork pages there’s now a landscape-oriented calendar with artwork pages that are wider than they are tall. This is fine for people wanting to print their photos but it’s useless to anyone whose work is predominantly portrait-oriented. The square page was never ideal but with a little adjustment I could usually tailor a few things to fit the ratio; I also produced the two Alice in Wonderland calendars (above) especially for the square pages.

So that was the end of that. Suggestions from Twitter sent me to Zazzle where I’d forgotten I already had an account, required some years ago when I had to complain to the company about someone selling products featuring my artwork. Zazzle have a better range of calendars but none have square artwork pages. Zazzle does, however, offer more options for page layout than CafePress so after some playing around I’ve found a compromise which allows for square artwork to fit the portrait page (half of which is filled with the days of the month) with some slight overlap from the dates grid. This will be made more apparent when I’ve uploaded everything at the weekend. I may do the same with the older calendars but it’s a lot of work uploading these things, and at the moment I have more important things to do. One consequence of all this turmoil is that if you’ve ever bought one of my CafePress calendars you now have something of a collector’s item since these things are unlikely to be seen again in that form.

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Breaks the ice at eldritch parties.

So having set out a stall at Zazzle I can now start selling other things there, something I’m looking forward to since they have a different range of products, and the back-end is a lot better than CafePress. I’ve stuck with the latter since 2001 but their site has always been awkward to use, with things malfunctioning or not working at all. Earlier this year I tried putting playing cards on sale featuring one of my Cthulhu designs; this seemed to work at first, unlike attempts to make similar cards using other artwork, then the shop page vanished for some reason. As a test I’ve done the same thing at Zazzle with immediate success. Expect more announcements along these lines in the near future.

Cthulhu playing cards

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You know, there was a time when HP Lovecraft’s dreaming monster was a rare entity known only to aficionados. Cthulhu may not have achieved Hello Kitty-style ubiquity yet but it’s only a matter of time (or strange aeons).

Adding some new products to my CafePress pages recently I noticed that the ever-expanding product line there now includes playing cards, so here’s a new addition to the growing mountain of Cthulhuiana. I was going to add a playing card option to some of my recent designs (the Summerisle one in particular) but there seems to be a fault in the processing at the moment so the ones I’ve tried haven’t shown up. This design seems to have worked because it was a png rather than the usual jpg. If I can persuade the software to behave I’ll add more in future. As usual the price is relatively steep, a consequence of the high base price rather than my rapacity.

Update: After another CafePress malfunction (or something) my shop vanished. But you can now get a similar set of cards at Zazzle.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
More CthulhuPress
Cthulhu Calendar
Cthulhu for sale
Cthulhu God
CthulhuPress

Summerisle revisited

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I don’t buy many of my own things from CafePress but I had some credit in the account from recent sales so I had to get one of these. (I’m also not in the habit of carrying whisky around but it’s good to have the option.) When I have a spare moment I may add this design to more of the burgeoning range of products. For the moment, these are the available options. Happy Equinox and slàinte mhath!

Previously on { feuilleton }
Summerisle souvenirs
Wicker mania
Milbury souvenirs
Children of the Stones