Dodgem Logic #4


The magazine isn’t out for another couple of weeks but my cover art has been posted to various websites so I can finally show this here. Alan Moore was in touch at the beginning of February asking for a wraparound cover design, the only brief being that he liked my Alice in Wonderland calendar and asked for something equally florid or—for want of a better term—psychedelic. Alan’s magazine owes something to the underground mags of the 1960s and a common feature of those, especially Oz magazine, was a degree of provocation in the choice of cover art. A picture of two boys kissing is nothing more than a show of affection yet to many people the sight still inspires enormous outrage. This was demonstrated a week or so after I’d finished the cover when the Washington Post was deluged by angry letters and emails after they showed a photo of two newly-weds outside the Washington DC Superior Court. People used to have a similar reaction to the sight of a black man kissing a white woman; the only way attitudes change is when something becomes so commonplace it’s no longer worthy of note.


Aside from the politics, this was also an excuse to run riot with more Art Nouveau motifs, especially peacocks and butterflies. The butterfly-winged boys are a nod to the paintings of Yannis Tsarouchis, and this in turn gave me an excuse to borrow from another magazine cover, Frank X Leyendecker’s 1922 painting of The Flapper for Life. Frank X was the brother of the more renowned illustrator JC Leyendecker. Joseph C was known to have been discreetly homosexual; so too was brother Frank according to this article in which case his butterfly woman has an additional resonance.


Having written a lengthy polemic about Roger Dean’s work in January I had the idea of doing the magazine title in his lettering style. I spent the best part of two days working on these as I wanted the result to be as accurate as possible. All the gold parts of the cover shown here are gradients but I made a slightly different version for print which will render those areas in gold ink. I’m looking forward to seeing this printed.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Roger Dean: artist and designer
The art of Yannis Tsarouchis, 1910–1989
Dodgem Logic
Psychedelic Wonderland: the 2010 calendar
Butterfly women

Butterfly women

The Flapper by Frank X Leyendecker, Life magazine (1922).

When I posted this splendid cover last July I said that I ought to make a post of Butterfly Women, so here is one. Don’t expect this to be at all comprehensive, women with butterfly wings are as legion as mermaids, these are merely a couple of favourites.


Loïe Fuller by Koloman Moser (1901).

The ultimate butterfly woman must be Loïe Fuller (1862–1928) whose Serpentine Dance inspired a host of fin de siècle paintings and sculptures and was also filmed by the Lumière brothers in 1896. The Internet Archive has a tinted copy of the latter while Europa Film Treasures has an Italian short from 1907, Farfale (Butterflies) with a troupe of dancers (also hand-tinted) imitating the Fuller style.


Life magazine cover by Wladyslaw Benda (1923).

These two pictures were discovered via the wonderful Golden Age Comic Book Stories who always has the best scans of vintage art. The Life covers are from the humour periodical which expired in 1936, not the later photojournalism magazine. For more Life covers, look here.


Dragonfly by Alberto Vargas (1922).

Okay, so it’s called Dragonfly but those look more like butterfly wings to me. A delicate piece of Vargas cheesecake which echoes the flapper theme of the Leyendecker picture. This Flickr user has a whole set of butterfly girl cigarette cards but we don’t get to see them properly without paying. If anyone has seen them elsewhere, please leave a comment.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Wladyslaw Benda
Vintage magazine art II
Vintage magazine art

New things for July


The Flapper by Frank X Leyendecker, Life magazine (1922).

• 2008 is turning out to be a great year for Lovecraft aficionados. As well as the stupendous Lovecraft Retrospective: Artists Inspired by HP Lovecraft, we’re also awaiting Frank Woodford’s feature length documentary, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. I’m lucky to have my work included in Frank’s film which is easily the best documentary to date concerning the life and work of HPL. Among the interviewees are Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter, Guillermo Del Toro, Caitlin R Kiernan, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell and Lovecraft scholar ST Joshi. The film will receive its first (?) public screening later this month at the San Diego Comic Con:

Thursday, July 24
Room 26AB

• Over the weekend Arthur Magazine cleared the $20,000 it needed to keep running before the three-day deadline elapsed. A stunning piece of fund-raising which shows how much people value Jay and company’s efforts.

• The gorgeous cover above is the work of Frank X Leyendecker (1876–1924), brother of the more well-known (and gay) Joseph C Leyendecker. Makes me think I should make a post of Butterfly Women if only as an excuse to track down more pictures of Loie Fuller.

• Last but not least: happy birthday Lorraine!