NecronomiCon Providence 2015

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Next month I’ll be in Providence, Rhode Island, where I’m the Artist Guest of Honour for NecronomiCon Providence 2015. This is an honour for me in more ways than one: the city of Providence, or its representation in the spectral prose of HP Lovecraft, has occupied a fair amount of my creative life, especially in the comic-strip adaptations I was drawing in the 1980s. I just hope the citizens of Providence can forgive the liberties I took with the city’s architecture in The Haunter of the Dark where the buildings owe far more to the architecture of Scotland than they do to New England.

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A nameless entity from Lovecraft’s Monsters (2014).

The main event where I’m concerned will be the Ars Necronomica art show at the Providence Art Club on Thomas Street. This is a few doors away from the beautiful Fleur-De-Lys Studios, a building that Lovecraft mentions in The Call of Cthulhu, and which (having done some research this time) filled a panel in my adaptation. In the story the building is the home of eccentric artist Henry Wilcox so it’s a dizzying prospect to find my own art being exhibited a few doors away. Among my works there will be print enlargements of some of the illustrations from last year’s Lovecraft’s Monsters, Ellen Datlow’s expertly edited collection of recent Lovecraftiana; and the piece I created in 2007 for the Exhibition of Unspeakable Things at Maison d’Ailleurs, Switzerland, has been refashioned especially for this show. My work isn’t the only art on display, there’ll be contributions from 50 other artists which I think must make the event one of the largest Lovecraftian art shows staged anywhere. The show opens on August 11th but the official opening will be on the 20th which happens to be Lovecraft’s 125th birthday. Big thanks to Joe Shea, Niels Hobbs et al for arranging everything.

The convention begins on the 21st, and rather than attempt to summarise the astonishing range of events it’s easier to provide links to the main schedule and the additional programming. For anyone interested in attending, there are still day passes available, while many of the additional events are open to the public. Oh, and I’ve also designed the cover for the convention booklet so attendees will be able to get their copy defaced by my signature. (I’m probably making work for myself here, aren’t I?) And I’ve just noticed that there’s a preview of the booklet cover on the convention Facebook page.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Yuggoth details
A Mountain Walked
Lovecraft’s Monsters unleashed
Lovecraft’s Monsters
JK Potter and HP Lovecraft
Cthulhu Labyrinth
Tentacles #4: Cthulhu in Poland
Cthulhu Calendar
S. Latitude 47°9, W. Longitude 126°43
Resurgam variations
De Profundis
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special
Cthulhoid and Artflakes
Cthulhu for sale
Cthulhu God
Cthulhu under glass
CthulhuPress
The monstrous tome
Cubist Cthulhu

Weekend links 6

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Shades of Toho: the city of San Francisco encounters its octopoid nemesis on this gig poster from DKNG. Via OMG Posters!

• Related to the above: Godzilla Haiku.

View from Another Shore: a fantastic (so to speak) and overdue interview with Franz Rottensteiner, writer and editor of landmark studies of fantasy and science fiction.

Ronald Searle: a life in pictures: an appreciation by Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell.

• 832 masks: The Maskatorium at Flickr.

The Cult of the Theremin: lots of theremin links including this page of scans from a beautiful Art Deco theremin brochure. (Thanks to Kara for the tip!) Related: the DIY IKEA lamp theremin.

Music & Science Fiction, an exhibition at Maison d’Ailleurs.

• Nathalie found a stoned angel in Rome.

• EVB’s Boy of the Week is a Spanish guy in his underwear drawn by Jacobo Labella.

• Film of the month: Sally Potter’s Orlando on DVD, featuring the luminous enigma of Tilda Swinton.

Mervyn Peake at Maison d’Ailleurs

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I should have mentioned this a lot sooner considering the museum sent me a copy of the exhibition prospectus. Maison d’Ailleurs is the Museum of Science Fiction, Utopia and Extraordinary Journeys in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, and their current exhibition is Lines of Flight—Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work. Yverdon-les-Bains is too out of the way for most of us but the event gives me another excuse to draw attention to Peake’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll; some of the drawings from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and The Hunting of the Snark are among the works on display until February 14, 2010.

Mervyn Peake (1911–1968) is celebrated today as the writer of the extraordinary series of novels about Titus Groan (often referred to as the Gormenghast books). Yet, during his lifetime he was more known for his graphic work.

From 1939 and for almost two decades, Peake produced illustrations both for his own work (Captain Slaughterboard; Rhymes without Reason) and for classics (Household Tales by the brothers Grimm; Alice in Wonderland; Treasure Island). His mastery of the pen and the pencil were unrivalled. Visually, his style could be disarmingly economical, using very pure and clean single lines to create a striking sense of volume. But with cross-hatching and dots Peake could also make his drawings look like engravings, providing the characters and objects he depicted, or the background to them, with rich and varied textures and a wide range of shades. (More.)

For more of Peake’s illustration work, see Mervynpeake.org.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Charles Robinson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Humpty Dumpty variations
Alice in Wonderland by Jonathan Miller
The art of Charles Robinson, 1870–1937
Lovecraftian horror at Maison d’Ailleurs
The Illustrators of Alice

At the Mountains of Madness

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Going through stacks of old artwork today turned up a photocopy of a drawing I did in 1990, my sole attempt to illustrate HP Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. By the time I did this I was pretty exhausted by Lovecraft’s world and was already at work on the first phase of the Lord Horror comics for Savoy which explains why this is a bit half-hearted, the architecture owing more to Piranesi than anything particularly alien. I forget why I did this now, I think it was at someone’s request, and I’ve also no idea where the original drawing is. The sprawling organic cityscape/landscape I created last year for the Maison d’Ailleurs exhibition is probably closer to the kind of thing this story requires.

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At the Mountains of Madness was rejected by Lovecraft’s usual publisher, Weird Tales, for not being enough of a horror story. This is true, the novella is more of a fictional travelogue, especially in its later half where a million-year-old alien city is discovered in the heart of Antarctica. Science fiction magazine Astounding took it instead where it made the cover of the February 1936 issue, the climactic shoggoth attack being painted by Howard V Brown. Poor old Lovecraft had nearly all his most famous stories published in Weird Tales, and helped give the magazine its lasting reputation, yet he was never given a cover feature during his lifetime. Astounding gave him the honour again in June of the same year for another novella, The Shadow Out of Time, also illustrated by Howard Brown.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Lovecraftian horror at Maison d’Ailleurs

New things for November II

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It’s always nice when something you’ve worked on turns up in the post and there’s been a double helping of that this week with the arrival of the Chaoticum CD and the catalogue for the Maison D’Ailleurs exhibition. Since both of these are either partly or wholly connected to HP Lovecraft, their simultaneous arrival is fitting.

The CD is a digipak on textured art paper and another quality production from Horus CyclicDaemon. The exhibition catalogue manifested as a small hardback book which was a pleasant surprise, with the skull maze design blocked in silver on the cover. Each artist is allotted a single page and the book also includes some original fiction based on Lovecraft’s story notes by a number of well-known writers. My picture is rather shrunken the way it’s positioned across the centre of a page (would have been better running vertically) but then it was my decision to make it so wide in the first place.

The Chaoticum CD is limited to 500 copies and can be ordered here. The catalogue is available from Maison D’Ailleurs or the Payot Libraire bookstore for CHF 37.00 + p&p (or 38, depending on which page you look at).

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Also arriving this week is my illustration of ex-Sun City Girls guitarist Sir Richard Bishop for an Arthur Magazine interview by Erik Davis. Arthur #27 will be hitting the stands in the US and Canada shortly but for now you can download it in PDF form here.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Lovecraftian horror at Maison d’Ailleurs
New things for October