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

Archive for the ‘obituaries’ tag


Ernst Fuchs, 1930–2015


It was a surprise to see the death of Austrian artist Ernst Fuchs mentioned on the BBC website since I’d never seen him mentioned in the British media during his lifetime. Fuchs was one of those artists who would have been a natural Surrealist if he’d been born a few years earlier, and his work […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 5 comments »


Dracula and I by Christopher Lee


Impossible, not to say foolish, to attempt a brief summary of Christopher Lee’s incredible life and career. Rather than compete with the obituaries, here’s something you won’t find elsewhere, a short piece by Lee himself about his relationship to the role that made him famous. This is taken from The Dracula Scrapbook, a collection of […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror} | 7 comments »


Edgar Froese, 1944–2015


“I was a big fan of Kraftwerk, Cluster and Harmonia, and I thought the first Neu! album, in particular, was just gigantically wonderful,” admits Bowie. “Looking at that against punk, I had absolutely no doubts where the future of music was going, and for me it was coming out of Germany at that time. I […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {television} | 2 comments »


Igor Mitoraj, 1944–2014


Testa Addormentata (photo by Dave Miles). The first I saw of the work of Polish artist Igor Mitoraj was the serene bronze face, Light of the Moon, sitting outside the British Museum in the late 1990s. I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of his other sculptures ever since so it was dismaying to read of his death […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 216


Why Do The Heathen Rage? (2014) by The Soft Pink Truth. Cover art by Mavado Charon. Drew Daniel’s latest release as The Soft Pink Truth is Why Do The Heathen Rage?, a witty electronic riposte to the often reactionary attitudes of black metal music and the people who create it. (The album is dedicated to […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {symbolists}, {technology}, {television}, {work} | Comments Off


Martin Sharp, 1942–2013


Oz magazine no. 15, October 1968. The psychedelic art of Australian artist Martin Sharp has featured here on several occasions. Unlike his British and American contemporaries who maintained a single graphic style, Sharp was a versatile artist whose work could range from loose, often cartoony drawing and painting to very detailed collage designs; he was […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {film}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia} | Comments Off


Richard Matheson, 1926–2013


The Incredible Shrinking Man. Of Richard Matheson’s many books I’ve only read I Am Legend so can’t say much about his fiction other than to confirm (as everyone else does) that none of the three adaptations so far have managed to do it justice. Of his work for film and television there’s too much to […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {television} | 4 comments »


Ray Harryhausen, 1920–2013


Concept art for Jason and the Argonauts (1963). He could also draw, something the obituaries won’t necessarily mention. I wasn’t aware of Ray Harryhausen’s many detailed preliminary drawings until I had the good fortune to see him give a talk at the Preston SF Group in the early 1990s. I recall mention being made of […]

Posted in {animation}, {fantasy}, {film}, {music} | 4 comments »


Storm Thorgerson, 1944–2013


Wish You Were Here (outer and inner sleeve, 1975) by Pink Floyd. Whenever people ask questions about your work at some point the subject of influences always turns up. Influences for me are usually few, they’re those things which skew your perception to such a degree—or which enlarge the range of possibilities—that they make you […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {music} | 5 comments »


Paolo Soleri, 1919–2013


Hexahedron, The City in the Image of Man (1969). “We must build up, not out,” said Soleri. “The problem is the present design of cities are only a few storeys high, stretching outward in unwieldy sprawl for miles…turning farms into parking lots, and waste enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods and services […]

Posted in {architecture}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


Jon Finch, 1941–2012


Macbeth (1971). There are few actors I’ve ever felt sufficiently cultish about who could make me watch films or TV dramas I wouldn’t otherwise be interested in. Orson Welles would be one (up to a point, he was in a lot of crap in later years), Patrick McGoohan another and Jon Finch most definitely a […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {science fiction}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Gore Vidal, 1925–2012


You could spend all day picking out choice quotes. So much is still pertinent. From ‘Women’s Liberation: Feminism and Its Discontents’: Those who have been treated cruelly will treat others cruelly. This seems to be a fact of our condition. The Patriarchs have every reason to be fearful of woman’s revenge should she achieve equality. […]

Posted in {books}, {gay}, {politics} | 1 comment »


Chris Marker, 1921–2012


“A recurrent rumour says that Chris Marker and the cat Guillaume-en-Egypt sank with the Titanic.” Photo credited to Wim Wenders. In our moments of megalomaniacal reverie, we tend to see our memory as a kind of history book: we have won and lost battles, discovered empires and abandoned them. At the very least we are […]

Posted in {film}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 1 comment »


Ray Bradbury, 1920–2012


I always liked these paperback covers, a very of-their-time series published by Corgi Books in the UK from 1969 to 1970. A sea of metallic silver ink surrounded the paintings by Bruce Pennington. Seeing them together makes me wish I had the full set. Mr. Electrico was a beautiful man, see, because he knew that […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 6 comments »


Leo Dillon, 1933–2012


Illustrations for Dangerous Visions (1967) by Leo & Diane Dillon. top left: Lord Randy, My Son by Joe L. Hensley; top right: Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber; bottom left: The Happy Breed by John Sladek; bottom right: Shall the Dust Praise Thee? by Damon Knight Beyond my love for them and my understanding […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


Summer of Love


RIP Donna. People who know me well are usually surprised when I tell them I used to go disco dancing. It didn’t happen a lot but in the summer of 1977 I was 15 and used to get taken out by my mother and her new husband to a cabaret spot called the Planet Room […]

Posted in {electronica}, {music} | 7 comments »


Maurice Sendak, 1928–2012


From Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (1966) by Isaac Bashevis Singer. All the obituaries of the late Maurice Sendak have focused inevitably on Where the Wild Things Are. That gives me a chance to draw attention to some less familiar Sendak drawings whose finer crosshatching naturally appeals to an inveterate crosshatcher such as myself. […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 6 comments »


Weekend links 99


From the Crystal Saga portfolio (1986) by Moebius. Via Quenched Consciousness. Moebius: A while ago, [science fiction] was filled with monstrous rocket ships and planets; it was a naive and materialistic vision, which confused external space with internal space, which saw the future as an extrapolation of the present. It was a victim of an […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Dorothea Tanning, 1910–2012


Birthday (1942) by Dorothea Tanning. In pre-internet days it always used to surprise me to read that Dorothea Tanning was still alive when one seldom heard much about her; Leonora Carrington seemed positively hyperactive by comparison. In the end Dorothea outlasted all her Surrealist contemporaries, and the announcement of her death this week sees the […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 7 comments »


The art of Ronald Searle, 1920–2012


Undertakers. From Punch magazine (undated). I started trying to draw like Ronald Searle when I was about eight. So there was Jabberwocky and Ronald Searle I was turning into by the time I was thirteen. You know, I was determined to be Lewis Carroll (giggles) with a hint of Ronald Searle. John Lennon, 1968 Does […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {work} | 4 comments »



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