Weekend links 453

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The Moon photographed by Andrew McCarthy.

• Top twenties of the week: Anne Billson on 20 of the best (recent) Japanese horror films, and Britt Brown‘s suggestions for 20 of the best New Age albums. (I’d recommend Journey To The Edge Of The Universe as the best from Upper Astral.) Related to the latter: Jack Needham on lullabies for air conditioners: the corporate bliss of Japanese ambient.

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis talks with writer and ultraculture wizard Jason Louv about occult history, reality tunnels, his John Dee and the Empire of Angels book, Aleister Crowley’s secret Christianity, and the apocalyptic RPG the West can’t seem to escape.

• “It’s like someone looked at the vinyl revival and said: what this needs is lower sound quality and even less convenience.” Cassette tapes are back…again. But is anyone playing them?

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 280 by O Yuki Conjugate, Bleep Mix #53 by Pye Corner Audio, and 1980 by The Ephemeral Man.

• The fifth edition of Wyrd Daze—”The multimedia zine of speculative fiction + extra-ordinary music, art & writing”—is out now.

Midian Books has a new website for its stock of occult publications and related esoterica.

Mark Sinker on three decades of cross-cultural Utopianism in British music writing.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Nastassja Kinski Day.

Utopia No. 1 (1973) by Utopia | Utopia (2000) by Goldfrapp | Utopian Facade (2016) by John Carpenter

Weekend links 384

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Sultans of Swing by Samantha Muljat.

• Pain & Pleasure, Indivisible: Mat Colegate talks to Stephen Thrower (Coil, Cyclobe) about the meeting between Coil and Clive Barker that would have led to Coil scoring Barker’s Hellraiser if the studio hadn’t rejected the music.

• “From Arsedestroyer to Zoogz Rift: 50 underground albums you’ve never heard of” The usual presumption—I’ve been listening to The Groundhogs since the mid-1980s—but it’s a good list.

• More magazines at the Internet Archive: an incomplete run of British science-fiction monthly Interzone; and a complete (?) run of the film magazine for horror (and gore) obsessives, Fangoria.

• “…it’s background music, is what it is. But there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m very proud of it.” John Carpenter discussing his soundtrack music and his new album, Anthology.

• Mixes of the week: Aral Mix 05 by Ellen Arkbro, Secret Thirteen Mix 234 by FOQL, and Samhain Séance Six: Triffid Witch by The Ephemeral Man.

• Dallas Killers Club: Nicholson Baker reads a stack of books about the Kennedy assassinations then draws his own conclusions.

Michael Flanagan on searching for LGBT histories of Neopaganism, the paranormal and the occult in San Francisco.

• At Lounge Books: author Amelia Mangan on horror, old and new, and her favourite things.

• At Monoskop: the (almost) complete works of James Joyce in one convenient epub.

Jillian Steinhauer on Duchamp’s last riddle.

Hell Raiser (1973) by Sweet | Hell’s Bells (1989) by Rhythm Devils | Hell’s Winter (2011) by Earth

The Thing: Artbook

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It was just over a year ago that I was asked to contribute to The Thing: Artbook, and the thing itself (so to speak) turned up in the post a few days ago. This is a large, heavyweight volume of 400 colour pages, stuffed to the slavering gills with fanged abominations (and more than a few Kurt Russells), a suitably excessive tribute to an excessive film.

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Publishers Printed In Blood have previewed a fair amount of the artwork over the past year but the variety of interpretations of John Carpenter’s (and, lest we forget, John W. Campbell’s) monsters is quite overwhelming. After wondering how (or if) they were going to order contributions from 375 different artists, the book turns out to be divided into sections based on lines of dialogue from the film, a clever idea when much of the imagery reprises the same scenes or characters. My piece, which you can see below the fold, is in the “Nobody trusts anybody now” section.

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One surprise was the dedication to Bernie Wrightson who died earlier this year. As for Mike Ploog’s original designs for the film’s creatures, I was hoping there might be more of these but the book does open with a couple of Ploog’s drawings.

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I’ve resisted the temptation to post favourites by other artists aside from this piece by Steve Thomas. This one stood out for me since it’s a riff on the same lettering designs from fire insurance maps that I pastiched myself a few years ago for Lavie Tidhar’s The Bookman Histories. Not all the artists produced monster art, there are quite a few contributions like this which present the film via infographics or pastiche.

Continue reading “The Thing: Artbook”

The Thing Group Art Show

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People or, indeed, things in the Los Angeles area may be interested in the Thing Group Art Show which opens this Saturday at Creature Features in Burbank. The gallery will be displaying prints and original artwork from the forthcoming The Thing: Artbook including a print of my own contribution. Some of the prints are for sale, as mine will be, so Coulthart collectors (I know there’s one or two out there) should head to Magnolia Boulevard.

The publishers of The Thing: Artbook, Printed In Blood, have requested that the artists refrain from showing their contributions until the book is launched in July. I can show this Thing head, however, a manifestation that I couldn’t fit into my final composition. Even before I began work on my piece I suspected that many of the other artists would be doing their own versions of favourite moments from the film, an accurate prediction as it turns out. So my intention was to try and show some of the nastiness that might be occurring between the filmed scenes, to which end I produced a number of sketches of fanged heads. The one below would have worked better attached to a body (or at least some limbs) but I was running out of time so it was left aside. The Thing: Artbook may be pre-ordered here.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Things

The Song of the Dead by Carrie Patel

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Presenting my latest cover for Angry Robot books, and the third cover I’ve done for Carrie Patel. The Song of the Dead is a sequel to Carrie’s two previous novels in the Recoletta series, The Buried Life and Cities and Thrones. For the new volume I maintained continuity by keeping the architectural frame while changing some of the details; the use of green after doing the previous covers in blue and red means that this is now the second series I’ve done for Angry Robot (KW Jeter’s being the first) using a red/green/blue colour scheme. This wasn’t intentional but was the result of choosing colours that differ from each other as much as possible. (Or almost as much: red, blue and yellow are primary colours, green is a secondary colour.) The requirement for the pictorial content was to show a city of disparate architecture but with less of an antique style than that seen on The Buried Life. Almost all the buildings in my palimpsest creation are taken from renderings of unbuilt skyscrapers or views from the early 20th century showing New York “as it will be in the future”. The airship is my own invention, based on the French model of dirigible which favoured pointed ends. The Song of the Dead will be published at the beginning of May.

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And while I’m writing about recent work, it’s worth mentioning that The Thing: Artbook is now available for pre-order from Printed In Blood. This is a 400-page tribute to John Carpenter’s horror masterwork laden with responses and interpretations of Thingery from a wide range of international artists, myself included. The book will be out in July, and copies pre-ordered from the publisher will come with two bonus prints. More about this later.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Things
Two covers