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

Archive for the ‘François Schuiten’ tag




Spotted at Neatorama this week, Cédric Dequidt‘s Urbicande lamp, a cubic design which appears to be sinking into the table. The Neatorama people don’t seem aware that the name of the lamp refers to Fever in Urbicande (1985), a comic book by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, and the second volume in the masterful Cités Obscures […]

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Weekend links 111


The Fox (1968). Design by Bill Gold, art by Leo & Diane Dillon. Mark Rydell’s The Fox may be regarded unfavourably now for its retrograde idea of a lesbian relationship but that’s still a great poster by the Dillons. Equally retrograde (well it was 1957) is Anders als du und ich, a film about wayward […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »


The paper architecture of Brodsky and Utkin


A Hill with a Hole. Searching around for Kafka images yesterday turned up a reminder of the etchings of Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, a pair of Russian “Paper Architects” who channelled their frustration with the intransigence of Soviet authorities in the 1980s into a series of remarkable drawings. As with much architectural fantasy, these […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {fantasy} | 3 comments »


Morlocks, airships and curious cabinets


Things I was working on late last year continue to percolate or, if you prefer, build a head of steam. My cover for KW Jeter’s Morlock Night appears in a short piece by Rick Poynor in July’s Creative Review. That feature is prompted by the British Library’s Out of the World exhibition. Nice to see […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »


The Steampunk Bible


Cover and interior designs by Galen Smith. Arriving in your book emporia this week is The Steampunk Bible by Jeff VanderMeer & SJ Chambers, a comprehensive guide to the sub-genre which is now a thriving sub-culture. I contributed some bits of graphic design as well as a bespoke dirigible illustration (see below). The book also […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction}, {work} | 8 comments »


The Schönbrunn Palm House


Photo by Roberto Verzo. If the Schönbrunn Palm House, Vienna, lacks the elegance of Alphonse Balat’s beautiful Winter Garden in Brussels, the structure does have a distinct style of its own. Roberto Verzo’s Flickr views manage to hide the visitors and background details, giving the impression that the building might be larger than it is. […]

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


The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken


The Winter Garden, photo by William Helsen. My arcades fetish has been aired here a few times to which one might add a complementary fetish for iron-and-glass structures in general, especially railway stations, palm houses and winter gardens. The Royal Greenhouses at Laeken, Brussels, are an impressive example of the latter, even if they happen […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy} | 2 comments »


Steampunk Reloaded


Cover design by Ann Monn. Cover image by Dan Jones / Tinkerbots. Here at last is the steampunk anthology I mentioned back in September and whose interiors I designed. This is another Tachyon publication, and also another anthology edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. I went further with the design for this than I have […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {work} | 10 comments »


Steampunk overloaded!


Yes, it’s the “S” word again, and if there was any doubt that this has been the Year of Steampunk here at Coulthart Towers, look at these recent works. And this is by no means everything I’ve been doing in this area, there’ll be further announcements later on. The covers for KW Jeter’s novels are […]

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


Esquisses Décoratives by René Binet


The work of French architect and designer René Binet (1866–1911) has been featured here before with one of his most famous creations, the monumental gate he designed for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Philippe Jullian in his 1974 book about the exposition, The Triumph of Art Nouveau, calls the gate the “Porte Binet” and […]

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Weekend links 27


Annie Duels The Sun (2010) by Angie Wang. I’m interviewed again, this time by James at Cardboard Cutout Sundown. Covering familiar subjects for {feuilleton} readers: art history, design, Lovecraft, the genre/mainstream seesaw, etc. Related: Jeff VanderMeer previewed my design for the forthcoming Steampunk Reloaded. • Battle over legacy of father of Art Nouveau. Prague authorities […]

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Echoes of the Cities


Mysterieux retour du Capitaine Nemo. This week has been incredibly hectic work-wise but I’ve managed to keep these posts going, so here’s the last one devoted to an appreciation of the Cités Obscures of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. A week of posts barely scratches the surface of their vast and involved creation of alternate […]

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Further tales from the Obscure World


L’enfant penchée. We’re at the penultimate post in this week-long tribute to the Cités Obscures series of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, and there isn’t enough space left to cover some of the more recent volumes in detail. What follows is a quick skate through three more major works. L’enfant penchée. L’enfant penchée (1996), or […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Brüsel by Schuiten & Peeters


The Palace of Justice, Brussels. Brüsel (1992) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters follows La route d’Armilia as the next major work concerning the Cités Obscures. As with La Tour, this is a longer story where it isn’t immediately apparent that we’re in the Obscure World at all, although Brüsel is clearly an alternate version […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


La route d’Armilia by Schuiten & Peeters


Ferdinand and Hella look down on the skyscrapers of Brüsel. La route d’Armilia (1988) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the next substantial story in the Cités Obscures series after La Tour; there was also a book about transportation in the Obscure World, L’Encyclopédie des transports présents et à venir, published the same year. […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 5 comments »


La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters


La Tour (1987) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the third story in the Cités Obscures series, although it’s the fourth volume if you want to be strictly canon about things, L’archivist, a guide to places in the Obscure World, having preceded it. Carcere Oscura by Piranesi (1750). This is another book where Schuiten […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


La fièvre d’Urbicande by Schuiten & Peeters


La fièvre d’Urbicande (1985) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the second volume in the Cités Obscures series. This was the one which captured my attention the most when I first saw it. The book opens with a foreword by the central character, Robick, chief architect of the city of Urbicande, in which he […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {music} | 8 comments »


Les Murailles de Samaris by Schuiten & Peeters


The Obscure World. Les Murailles de Samaris (1983) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the first of the stories which explores the world of Les Cités Obscures, a “counter-Earth” on the opposite side of our Sun with a continent of separate city-states, each with their own distinct architectural style. Having discovered these stories first […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


The art of François Schuiten


Paris au XXieme Siecle by Jules Verne (1994). Following a comment I made last week in the post about the Temples of Future Religions by François Garas I’ve decided it’s time to give some proper attention to one of my favourite comic artists, François Schuiten, a Belgian whose obsession with imaginary architecture resembles the earlier […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 3 comments »


The fantastic art archive


Previous posts about fantastic, surreal or visionary artists. • Ernst Fuchs, 1977 • Ernst Fuchs, 1930–2015 • The art of Aleksandr Kosteckij • The art of Fabrizio Clerici, 1913–1993 • The art of Victor Linford, 1940–2002 • Heimkiller and High • The Man Who Paints Monsters In The Night • Hans by Sibylle • The […]

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