Weekend links 486

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Magma concert poster, 2017. Art by Jofre Conjota.

The Dream Foundry is a new venture with a mission “to bolster and sustain the nascent careers of professionals working in the field of speculative literature.” This includes artists as well as writers, and to this end I was asked to answer a few questions about my work as a creator of book covers. I also offer some advice about visibility as an artist which I tried not to hedge with too many caveats. Related: my cover for The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga was one of the covers of the month at Muddy Colors.

• “…for a band that were so compositionally advanced, they were adept at producing primordially insistent and hypnotic rhythms.” John Doran on Magma (again), appraising the band’s music and history before presenting Christian and Stella Vander with questions from appreciative musicians.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 731 by Meemo Comma, mr.K’s Soundstripe vol 2 by radioShirley, The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XIX by David Colohan, and The Pumpkin Tide by Haunted Air.

• At Dangerous Minds: Roddy McDowall reads HP Lovecraft’s The Outsider and The Hound. Related: David McCallum reads HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror and The Haunter of the Dark.

• “Mathematics is not unique in drawing out charlatans and kooks, of course…” David S. Richeson on cranks, past and present.

• “I plan to take psychedelics again…” Helen Joyce, the finance editor of The Economist, takes a trip.

• The City of Light and its shadows: Brassaï’s Paris.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Dennis Hopper Day.

Paris (1958) by Perez Prado And His Orchestra | Paris 1919 (1973) by John Cale | Paris 1971 (1971) by Suzanne Ciani

Occult gestures

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Dean Stockwell freaks out: The Dunwich Horror (1970).

I’m off to the NecronomiCon later this month so HP Lovecraft and all his works will be a predominant theme for the next couple of weeks. I’m also extremely busy right now so posts may tend to be brief.

One of the films showing in Providence for the convention is Daniel Haller’s 1970 production of The Dunwich Horror. I have a low tolerance for bad horror films, and this is a bad one despite being closer to its source than other AIP quickies. Dean Stockwell plays Wilbur Whateley whose goatish qualities are here reduced to a gesture which even the filmmakers may not have known as “the Horns of Pan”, a borrowing from the famous photo of Aleister Crowley in his magician’s robes. I noted an earlier borrowing of this gesture some time ago after stumbling upon an obscure silent film serial, The Mysteries of Myra. The use in The Dunwich Horror provides another odd link between Lovecraft and Crowley, and makes me wonder whether any other films have nodded to Crowley in this way.

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Aleister Crowley in 1912.

Another stray connection worth noting: Dean Stockwell was good friends with Dennis Hopper, and the pair are described in a number of sources as living for a while in a house run by Marjorie Cameron, an artist with a direct connection to Crowley via her husband, Jack Parsons. This may be rumour but Hopper and Cameron did appear together in Curtis Harrington’s beguiling Night Tide in 1961.

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Finally, the gesture appears again on the cover of the soundtrack album which AIP smartly titled Music of the Devil God Cult: Strange Sounds from Dunwich. The title was too much for easy-listening maestro Les Baxter to live up to but he does have the distinction of being the first composer to record a piece of music entitled Necronomicon.

Previously on { feuilleton }
NecronomiCon Providence 2015
The horror
Die Farbe and The Colour Out of Space
The Mysteries of Myra

Tentacles #4: Cthulhu in Poland

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Several months ago Polish publisher Vesper asked to use some of my Lovecraft art for a Polish collection of the author’s work. Their weighty paperback just happened to arrive during this tentacle-themed week, an event which also gives me an opportunity to mention again (how could I not?) that two of these pieces can be found in the new Cthulhu Calendar. An ideal Halloween gift! Breaks the ice at eldritch parties! Etc. By coincidence I also received a book this week about vampire squid but I’ll say more about that after I’ve had a chance to read it.

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Despite Cthulhu being on the cover, the title of the book is (according to Google) The Dunwich Horror and Other Scary Stories which is no doubt a better sell with “horror” being up front. There are only fifteen stories but the page count runs to 792 since most of them are the later, longer works, including the entirety of At the Mountains of Madness and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. A number of my illustrations are used within, one of which—the drawing of Advocates’ Close in Edinburgh which first appeared in The Haunter of the Dark—gets repurposed as an illustration for The Music of Erich Zann (above). Quite a fitting use, I think.

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In addition you also get my widescreen view of R’lyeh as a spread on the inside of the French flaps. And my copy came with a nice R’lyeh bookmark. Those interested can order the book here.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Tentacles #3: Dwellers in the Mirage
Tentacles #2: The Lost Continent
Tentacles #1: The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’
Cthulhu Calendar
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special
The monstrous tome

Weekend links 79

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Neville Brody creates a cover design for an issue of the V&A magazine tied to the museum’s current exhibition, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990. Brody’s comment amused me for the way he smartly explained the thinking behind the design whilst also distancing himself from its theme:

For me, Post Modernism felt like a kind of facade built to cover over the cracks of a divided world, a surface of plucked effects and stylistic devices emptied of meaning, an extrusion of hollow traces and flat outlines forcing 2D into apparent depth. I was never a Post Modernist, rather a Modernist exploring humanist lines of enquiry in the collapsing world behind a wall of decoration.

• It’s a common thing today to give images from the past a queer reappraisal, finding homoerotic qualities in pictures which, when they were made, would have seemed free of any sexual subtext. This post finds such a subtext in recruitment posters for US armed forces although none of the examples are as overt as this wartime magazine ad. Over at Front Free Endpaper Callum notes that many vintage photos which people regard today as evidence of gay relationships are unlikely to be quite that. The photo he posts, however, really does appear to show a pair of men who were more than just good friends.

• A play by Ororo Productions of HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror will be staged at the London Horror Festival from October 25th. Related: Horror Made Delightful: The Strange Stories of Sheridan Le Fanu, MR James, and Robert Aickman. “Aickman never spells out his meaning,” says Greer Mansfield, “His stories end abruptly and inconclusively, and in fact the ‘meaning’ is less important than the utter mysteriousness of what happens.” Which is just what some of us enjoy.

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Black Beauty, a decorated horse skull by Julia deVille.

• “Jackpot is a comedic short film about a 14-year-old gay boy in 1994 who sets off on a quest to find a stash of gay porn and get it home before anyone finds out.” Director Adam Baran is requesting completion funds at Kickstarter.

Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu (The Complete Commercial Artist), published in Tokyo from 1927 to 1930.

Ishac Bertran tries some analogue sampling by chopping up vinyl discs with a laser cutter.

Steve Jobs does LSD and The Residents pay tribute to Steve Jobs.

• A rare post at Ballardian: Outpost 13: The Atrocity Exhibition.

• It’s all fun and games until Charles Manson turns up…again.

The Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio (1976) by Berni Wrightson.

• RIP David Bedford and Bert Jansch.

John Waters: Roles of a Lifetime.

Octopi Wall Street!

Homocomix.

Poison (1969) by Bert Jansch | Pentangle at the BBC (1970): Train Song | House Carpenter | Hunting Song | Light Flight

A Love Craft: Art Inspired by Monsters, Madness and Mythos

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Painting by Matthew Buck.

I’ve linked in the past to previous shows at Observatory, an arts and events space in Brooklyn, NY, so I’m very pleased to be contributing to their forthcoming exhibition, A Love Craft: Art Inspired by Monsters, Madness and Mythos, which takes HP Lovecraft’s work as its theme. Other participants will include Aeron Alfrey, Esao Andrews, Matt Buck, Paul Carrick, Melita Curphy, Mike Dubisch, Bob Eggleton, FuFu Frauenwahl, Cyril van der Haegen, Dan Harding, Stephen Hickman, Joshua Hoffine, Kurt Komoda, Dieter Van der Ougstraete, Greg Ruth, Johnny Ryan, Andrew Scott, Allison Sommers, and AJ Wagar.

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Wilbur Whateley from The Dunwich Horror (1989).

Prints of four of my Lovecraft-related works will be on display including everyone’s favourite rendering of Wilbur Whateley’s terminal moment from The Dunwich Horror. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see my ink drawing of R’lyeh at a large size. I’m also told that prints of various works will be available for purchase but you’ll have to either visit the exhibition or contact Observatory for further details.

A Love Craft opens on Friday, June 11th at 7:00pm and runs to July 23rd, 2010.

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