Maldoror illustrated


Les Chants de Maldoror by Corominas (2007).

There seems to be no escaping from HP Lovecraft just now, the illustration above having been created for a PDF publication entitled CTHULHU, Cómics y relatos de ficción oscura, produced by these people. The Cthulhu-zine seems to be unavailable but you can see more of these splendid illustrations, based on Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror (1869), at Dorian Gray BD. The artist, Corominas, has an additional blog showcasing more commercial work.


Les Chants de Maldoror by Jacques Houplain (1947).

Lautréamont’s delirious masterpiece isn’t exactly the easiest book to illustrate but the Corominas drawings certainly capture some of its ferocious energy. The Surrealists were big Maldoror enthusiasts, of course, and did much to establish Lautréamont’s current reputation. Salvador Dalí produced a series of engravings for a Skira edition in 1934 although his drawings look less like illustrations of the text than a rifling of the artist’s usual preoccupations. The picture above by Jacques Houplain is one of a series of twenty-seven engravings produced for a French edition in the 1940s. More recently, Jean Benoît created (among other things) a Maldororian dog and there’s even been an attempt at a comic-strip adaptation from Hernandez Palacios. On the whole I prefer the Corominas pictures but then I’m biased towards that style of drawing which owes something to all the comic artists and illustrators influenced by Franklin Booth.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive
The etching and engraving archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Franklin Booth’s Flying Islands
Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal
The art of Jean Benoît

6 thoughts on “Maldoror illustrated”

  1. This is a work that I’d always thought, amongst the contemporary pen & ink artists, Tom Fuckin’ Crites would have one of the most interesting takes.

    Maldoror, for all of its insanity, diabolism, and intensity, is filled to the brim with humor, of the most lawless variety that is. So it is no surprise it is never remembered as being humorous.

    In most of Crites work, it is hard to determine how much he really means of it, which is great, since there is no shortage of depravity, desecration, and esoteric madness- layers upon complex layers of it until it becomes tongue-in-cheek. Also the creatures, especially in the faces, often have a whimsical, darkly so but whimsical nonetheless, look about them.

  2. Maldoror would probably suit a multi-artist approach, that why you’d catch some of its multi-faceted nature. Crites would be good, yeah. I like that centipede icon he has there, he’s like Alex Grey’s evil twin.

  3. True. I find that interesting, Alex Grey’s evil twin, interesting way to think of it. Alex Grey’s work is very impressive, for anyone, including black metal hayseeds like me.

    I do get sick and tired of hearing new agers, whose minds are so very open and not discerning that their brains have long since fallen out of their heads, rave about how he is the most important artist of today, as though you can decide such a thing. Its good to hear nonsense, or at least what one thinks is nonsense, from time to time though.

  4. I suspect people who make definitive claims like that haven’t looked around very much. Alex Grey is good but for that kind of hyper-real psychedelia I’ve always preferred the work of Mati Klarwein. His work was far stranger and more personal, even when working commercially. I keep intending to do a post about him but still haven’t got round to it.

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