The Needful Thing

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Very fitting this one turning up today of all days, especially when the story takes place in the month of October. This time last year I was still working on the interior illustrations. It’s a heavyweight volume, bulked out to 730 pages by Richard Christian Matheson’s afterword and the sturdy slipcase; I designed the cover lettering but the rest of the book design is by Michael Smith. I also signed the main run of 1000 copies, with a smaller run (40 copies, I think) being signed by author and artist. Demand from collectors sold out the book very quickly but if you’re really needful you can find them on Abebooks and eBay for the inevitable high prices.

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Still to come is a post about the illustrations but before I can do that I need to create a new page for the main website. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Mr Gaunt making Polly Chalmers an offer she can’t refuse.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
All the Things
Needful Things

All the Things

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Over the weekend I braved repetitive strain injury and solvent delirium from the fumes emitted by metallic markers while autographing this stack of signing sheets. The weighty pile is now on its way back to PS Publishing which means that the forthcoming illustrated edition of Needful Things is closer to being with its needful purchasers.

Needful Things

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This is the first time I’ve mentioned this doorstop volume but it won’t be the last. I’ll be writing at greater length about last year’s heavy-duty illustration project once the book is in print. Needful Things is the latest in an ongoing series of reprints of Stephen King books from PS Publishing, each volume being limited to 1000 cased, hardback copies. Each book showcases the work of a different illustrator who also signs a tipped-in bookplate. There’s a thriving international market for deluxe reprints of King’s books so these things always sell out fast. This post serves as an alert to let interested purchasers know that the pre-ordering queue will open on the publisher’s website this Friday.

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It was just over a year ago when PS asked if I’d like to illustrate Needful Things. I agreed with some trepidation, having already started work on another major illustration/design project (still in progress). The request from PS was for a cover design and 30 full-page interior illustrations; that’s only a little more than the amount of work I had to do when illustrating Dracula a couple of years ago, but those illustrations were mostly digital collages which took two or three days each to complete. A full-page drawing with this level of accuracy and detail takes me the best part of a week so I could see nine months of frantic plate-spinning ahead. Everything worked out, anyway, and I’m very pleased with the end results. So is Stephen King, which is good to know.

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I’m afraid I don’t have price details for this one but the PS edition of Cujo was priced at £90. Anyone wanting to join the pre-order stampede is advised to first join the publisher’s mailing list. The most recent PS mail has some additional information about the ordering process. I’ll write a little more about the illustrations once the dust has settled.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Long Live the New Flesh: The Films of David Cronenberg
Berni Wrightson in The Mist

Weekend links 385

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• It won’t be out until late January—and then in the UK only—but the blu-ray premiere of The Mystery of Picasso (1956) by Henri-Georges Clouzot was announced this week. The initial run of the discs (there’s also a DVD) will include a booklet containing my essay about the film, something I was very pleased and honoured to be asked to write. Clouzot’s remarkable study of Picasso drawing and painting for the camera was made immediately after his masterwork, The Wages of Fear (also newly available on UK blu-ray), and this new edition will include two short extras, one of which, A Visit to Picasso (1949) by Paul Haesaerts, is an excellent precursor/companion to the main feature. More on this subject later.

• At the Internet Archive: an almost complete run of The Twilight Zone Magazine (1981–1989). While masquerading as a TV-series spin-off, TZ under the editorship of TED Klein was an excellent periodical devoted to horror and dark fantasy. In addition to running original fiction by major authors (Stephen King was a regular), the magazine contained features about older writers such as Lovecraft and Machen along with book reviews by Thomas Disch, film reviews by Gahan Wilson, interviews and more.

• “Bram Stoker was gay,” says Tom Cardamone in a review of Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J. Skal. I’ve not read Skal’s book so can’t comment on its claims but his earlier Hollywood Gothic (about Dracula on page and screen) includes some discussion of “sexual ambiguity” in Stoker’s work.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 625 by Elena Colombi, Secret Thirteen Mix 235 by Rhys Fulber, and XLR8R Podcast 514 by Tommaso Cappellato.

Help, Help, The Globolinks! is a previously unreleased electronic soundtrack by Suzanne Ciani, out next week.

La Région Centrale (1971), Michael Snow’s epic of landscape gyrations in two parts, here and here.

Alexander Calder and the Optimism of Modernism: Jed Perl in Conversation with Morgan Meis.

• Illustrations by Lynd Ward for The Haunted Omnibus (1935) edited by Alexander Laing.

Daniel Dylan Wray on the gay-porn music of disco pioneer Patrick Cowley.

• It’s that man again (and his drawings): Ernst Haeckel: the art of evolution.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Steve Erickson presents A Black Psychedelia Primer.

Bootsy Collins‘ favourite albums.

Picasso (1948) by Coleman Hawkins | Pablo Picasso (1976) by The Modern Lovers | Picasso Suite pt. 1 (1993) by David Murray Octet

Weekend links 378

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Outward Journeys, which will be released on November 3, is the second album on the Ghost Box label by The Belbury Circle (Belbury Poly with The Advisory Circle). As before, John Foxx is a guest vocalist, and as always, Julian House provides the graphic design.

• Music non-stop: Geeta Dayal in 2012 talking to Rebecca Allen about the challenges of turning Kraftwerk into computer animations.

• At the BFI: Jon Towlson on the sublimity of Close Encounters of the Third Kind; and Stephen King’s favourite films.

Bookogs is the Discogs concept applied to books. Stupid name (Bibliogs would be much better) but there it is.

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Julian House goes 8-bit. More artwork for The Belbury Circle.

Iain Sinclair‘s farewell to London. Sinclair talked to Alan Moore about his book earlier this month.

• At Dangerous Minds: Paul Gallagher on the occult art of Austin Osman Spare.

• The places where Cold War numbers stations broadcast spies’ secret codes.

• Rodney Brooks on the seven deadly sins of predicting the future of AI.

Nadja Spiegelman on the peculiar poetry of Paris’s Lost and Found.

• At Wormwoodiana: The rise of secondhand bookshops in Britain.

• RIP Grant Hart and Harry Dean Stanton. (And Dirge Magazine.)

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 618 by Tara Jane O’Neil.

• An introduction to Conny Plank in 10 records.

Reoccurring Dreams (1984) by Hüsker Dü | Canción Mixteca (1985) by Ry Cooder | You Don’t Miss Your Water (1993) by Harry Dean Stanton