{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for the ‘pirates’ tag


Robert Louis Stevenson’s Moral Emblems


Being the owner of half the volumes in the Tusitala Edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s collected works I’m not exactly unacquainted with the author’s books but this is one I hadn’t seen before. It is included in the Tusitala set (vol. 22) but this is one of the books I don’t own. The Moral Emblems […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


Tentacles #2: The Lost Continent


If William Hope Hodgson’s The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’ represents the Sublime of tentacular sea fiction then The Lost Continent, a 1968 Hammer film based on Dennis Wheatley’s 1938 novel Uncharted Seas, is the correspondingly Ridiculous end of the subgenre. The Lost Continent is an irritating film for Hodgson enthusiasts since it’s still the […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror} | 9 comments »


Tentacles #1: The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’


Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1945. Illustration by Lawrence (Sterne Stevens). Following last week’s revelation of Lovecraftian horror, I thought it might be worth demonstrating just how much the tentacle-menacing-a-ship scenario is owned by William Hope Hodgson. The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’ (1907) is one of Hodgson’s lesser novels, overshadowed by the cosmic horrors of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {painting} | 5 comments »


S. Latitude 47°9′, W. Longitude 126°43′


Then, driven ahead by curiosity in their captured yacht under Johansen’s command, the men sight a great stone pillar sticking out of the sea, and in S. Latitude 47°9′, W. Longitude 126°43′, come upon a coastline of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth’s […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 9 comments »


Gustave Doré’s Ancient Mariner


A final Coleridge post, also the oldest illustrated edition featured this week. Gustave Doré’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was first published in 1870, and the poet’s sombre, doom-laden tale was more suited to Doré’s Gothic proclivities than many of the lighter books he illustrated. Despite their age, these engravings have proved memorable enough […]

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


Weekend links 77


Art by Tessa Farmer. • An exhibition of Tessa Farmer’s art is running at Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London, until October 30th. On Saturday, October 1st, Strange Attractor hosts Good Neighbours: Faeries, Folklore and the Art of Tessa Farmer also at Viktor Wynd. • Unearthing The Psychedelic Harp: “David Moats talks to harpist and songwriter […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {surrealism}, {technology} | Comments Off


The art of Robert Lawson, 1892–1957


Sargasso Sea (no date). Did I say Sargasso Sea? Blame William Hope Hodgson some of whose sea stories I was re-reading over the weekend. An idle search for Sargasso images turned up this tremendous etching by American author and illustrator Robert Lawson, part of a collection of equally fine work at the Florida State University. […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 8 comments »


Weekend links 45


That essential journal of esoteric culture, Strange Attractor, announced a fourth number this week sporting a psychedelic cover which may be the work of Julian House (no credit is given on the SA site). As to the contents: From Haiti and Hong Kong to the fourth dimension and beyond: discover the secrets of madness in […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {science} | 2 comments »


More book design


Yes, it’s been a busy year. These are books three and four respectively of the titles I’ve been designing for Tachyon Publications, and there are more on the way. Kage Baker’s The Hotel Under the Sand is a charming fantasy for children concerning the hotel of the title and its curious inhabitants, which include a […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction}, {work} | 2 comments »


Buccaneers #2


Continuing from yesterday’s post, these nameless characters were sketches for a proposed comic strip that writer Jamie Delano and I were planning in the mid-Nineties. We had a feeling that the long-neglected pirate genre was due for a revival and talked about a revisionist take on buccaneering which would dispense with the Robert Newton antics […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {cormac}, {occult}, {work} | 3 comments »


Buccaneers #1


“For all the world I was led like a dancing bear” by NC Wyeth (1911). This year’s reading began with a desire to explore some of the Robert Louis Stevenson volumes in my collection which I’ve so far neglected. At the moment I’m thinking of maybe reading everything I have by RLS, having begun with […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »




The Mermaid by Howard Pyle (1910). A print of Howard Pyle’s wonderful mermaid painting adorns my bathroom and after looking at the Delaware Art Gallery page I’m surprised to discover that it was left unfinished. The Delaware gallery has more of Pyle’s work including his strikingly sparse pirate painting Marooned, which appeared on the cover […]

Posted in {art}, {painting} | 12 comments »


The illustrators archive


Previous posts about illustrators. • John Batten’s Indian Fairy Tales • The art of Erhard Amadeus Dier, 1893–1969 • Hugo Steiner-Prag’s Ghostly Ballads • The art of Alan Odle, 1888–1948 • Harry Clarke and others in The Studio • The art of Karel Thole, 1914–2000 • Célio’s Les Amis du Crime • Seeing Calvino: Invisible […]

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From LSD to OSX


A few servings of iTunes jelly. I’ve spent the past week or so enjoying the delights of Leopard, the 10.5 iteration of Apple’s OS X operating system, but have only just noticed the new Visualizer patterns in the latest version of iTunes. I don’t use the Visualizer much, especially since the introduction of Front Row, […]

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Cain’s son: the incarnations of Grendel


Beowulf wrestles with Grendel, Lynd Ward (1939). There’s nothing new in pointing out Hollywood’s crimes against literature, the film business has been screwing up book adaptation since the earliest days of silent cinema. But sometimes the wound is so grievous you can’t help but speak out, in this case against Roger Avary’s Beowulf which is […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {religion}, {science fiction} | 14 comments »


Zeppelin vs. Pterodactyls


An unmade high-concept from Hammer Films’ early Seventies dalliance with pulp adventure, if you must know. Via Boing Boing via Jess Nevins via Airminded where we learn: The story was along the lines of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, with a German Zeppelin being blown off-course during a bombing raid on London and winding up […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {typography} | 7 comments »


Howard Pyle’s pirates


The Buccaneer was a Picturesque Fellow by Howard Pyle (1905). Seeing as how Johnny Depp and co. are sailing the Spanish Main once more (to mixed reviews, unfortunately), now is perhaps a suitable moment to note the genesis of our popular conception of buccaneers. The famous characters of the Wild West were being mythologised while […]

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Coming soon: Sea Monsters and Cannibals!


No, not Pirates of the Caribbean III although that film will be with us soon and is certain to contain at least one of the above ingredients. The dubious delights of exploitation cinema have been put back on the map recently by Grindhouse, the double feature from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, but garish melodrama […]

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Druillet meets Hodgson


French comic artist and illustrator, Philippe Druillet, illustrates British horror novelist William Hope Hodgson. As anyone familiar with Hodgson’s work knows, this kind of imagery predates Pirates of the Caribbean by nearly a century. More pictures here. Previously on { feuilleton } • War of the Worlds book covers • The music of Igor Wakhévitch […]

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Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys


The great Hal Willner is doing his eclectic thing again. A marvellous collection of folk ballads. Nice cover as well, from Howard Pyle’s celebrated pirate paintings. Disc: 1 1. Cape Cod Girls—Baby Gramps 2. Mingulay Boat Song—Richard Thompson 3. My Son John—John C. Reilly 4. Fire Down Below—Nick Cave 5. Turkish Revelry—Loudon Wainwright III 6. […]

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