The psychedelic art of Nicole Claveloux

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The psychedelic quotient is emphasised here since Nicole Claveloux has had a long career in France as an illustrator and comic artist only part of which embraces a psychedelic style. This work is very much in the post-Yellow Submarine Heinz Edelmann style, of course, but Claveloux wasn’t the only artist to pastiche Edelmann, and the massive impact of The Beatles ensured that watered-down traces of Edelmann graphics could still be found in the mid-70s. The images here are from this post which features more Claveloux art in this style, together with some drawings from her own take on Alice in Wonderland, the style there being closer to Peter Blake. The picture below is a page from a rather stunning children’s book, Alala, Les Télémorphoses (1970) by Guy Montréal, more of which may be seen at Animalarium.

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Nicole Claveloux has an official website here (in French), and a related site here devoted to her wide-ranging and witty erotic art.

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Did You Get Your Pill Today? (1970).

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Romeo and Juliet (1971).

Update: Added two posters.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Elaine Hanelock’s Hollywood stars
The art of Marijke Koger
David Chestnutt’s psychedelic fairy tales
Yellow Submarine comic books
Heinz Edelmann

Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special

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Mr Lovecraft by JK Potter.

HP Lovecraft died seventy-five years ago on 15th March, 1937. Twenty-five years ago I was halfway through drawing my comic strip adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu, conscious at the time that, yes, it was fifty years ago today… I mentioned at the weekend the special Lovecraft edition of Heavy Metal that was published in October 1979; of the many stimuli that led to the drawing of CoC, this magazine was by far the most important. Given the date, now seems as good a time as any to say something about it.

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Illustration for the contents page by Stephen R. Bissette.

Heavy Metal was the US offshoot of Métal Hurlant, the sf/fantasy comics magazine founded by Jean Giraud (Moebius), Philippe Druillet and Jean-Pierre Dionnet in 1974. Copies of Métal Hurlant could be found in London but none ever made it further north. The advent of Heavy Metal provided an invaluable introduction to a generation of European artists whose work was otherwise difficult to find. Even better: their stories were being translated into English for the first time. The late 70s was a dizzying period for a Lovecraft reader: HR Giger appeared apparently out of nowhere in 1977 when Big O published the first UK collection of his art (which I couldn’t afford at the time), a book with Necronomicon in the title; a year later Thames & Hudson published Franz Rottensteiner‘s The Fantasy Book, an overview of the genre that devoted eight pages to Lovecraft and Arkham House, and which included many illustrations I’d never seen before; in 1979 Giger was all over the newspapers and magazines thanks to Alien; then in October the Lovecraft special dropped onto the shelves. I was stunned: this was that rare occasion when someone creates exactly the thing you want to see at precisely the right moment.

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The Dunwich Horror by Alberto Breccia. A superb adaptation.

Looking back, the issue isn’t quite as good as it seemed at the time: many of the stories are slight, a couple have nothing whatever to do with Lovecraft, and, Breccia aside, none of the artists tackle the major works. What counted in the end was the idea of the issue, the implication that Lovecraft’s imagery was there to be seized and reworked in visual form. There were better issues of the magazine, before and after, but for the next six years this one remained for me a tantalising possibility. They hadn’t got it quite right…what if someone else did? After searching comic shop shelves in vain I eventually decided to have a go myself.

Continue reading “Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special”

Weekend links 22

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Planet of the Apes Magazine #15 (1975), art by Bob Larkin.

I never read any of Marvel Comics’ Planet of the Apes titles but the painted covers of the American editions are evidence of a distinctly lurid imagination. An excess of drugs—this was the Seventies, after all—or mere enthusiasm? You decide. Related: “The Soft Intelligence”: 5 Underrated Literary Cephalopods by China Miéville. Kudos to him for mentioning The Sea Raiders (1896) by HG Wells, a favourite story of mine when I was 12.

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My ever-lovin’ octopussy (1970) by Jackie Black.

A Journey Round My Skull chooses selections from Ang Wyman’s flickr group Eye Candy (above), psychedelic illustration for children’s books by Nicole Claveloux, Peter Max, Heinz Edelmann and others.

• Watch out, there are “fancy gentlemen” about. It’s The Homosexual Menace!

• Design in opposition: Neville Brody announces the Anti-Design Festival.

• The Almias Rural Psychogeography Walk takes place on July 25th.

• Steven Heller on The Incredible Posters of Tadanori Yokoo.

Hipster Priest: Alan Moore interviewed at The Stool Pigeon.

FACT mix 167, a great selection by These New Puritans.

• The Orion Galaxy is a beautiful bespoke synthesizer.

• A radio portrait of Moondog at Speechification.

• RIP: Sugar Minott. RIP Tuli Kupferberg.

• Introducing Wizard’s Tower Press.

Octopus (1970) by Syd Barrett.