picasso1.jpgJessica Helfand at Design Observer draws attention to Mr Picassohead, a site which allows you to create your own Picasso-style portraits. The interface doesn’t have as much choice of elements as the Simpsonizer did but messing around with it this afternoon yielded a passable rendering of David Britton’s Lord Horror.

This idling reminded me that I’ve yet to finish reworking the Lord Horror series Reverbstorm which I’ve been engaged with on and off for the past year. The handful of people actually waiting for this magnum opus should know that other work and new Savoy projects keep intervening at the moment. Anyone who saw the original comics will be aware that pastiching Picasso was a consistent theme from issue five onwards. For those who haven’t seen the comics (and few people have…) I’ve posted a couple of the original Picasso-esque Horrors below, beginning with a more representational view of his Lordship for those unfamiliar with the appearance of the man.


A 1997 portrait which owes much to the style of Burne Hogarth‘s later Tarzan illustrations.


Reverbstorm 5

Many of the Horror portraits in Reverbstorm were less Picasso-esque than Expressionist or Vorticist. The latter style was very apt for a fascist character like Lord Horror since the Vorticists included among their number fascist apologist Ezra Pound, who gave the group their name, and Wyndham Lewis, who later recanted an early sympathy for Hitler. The figures in the background of this panel and the one below are from Picasso’s Guernica, a persistent reference in the series as a whole.


Reverbstorm 5


Reverbstorm 6

The face on the left above was probably the most Picasso-esque of the Horror faces. I think I applied more of a consistent Picasso style throughout the series to the characters of James Joyce and Jessie Matthews.


This is a vector rendering based on a small notebook sketch done after I’d finished most of the work on Reverbstorm. I’m not sure what style you’d class it as; it comes out of the Picasso extrapolations but what began as a process of copying with many of these drawings soon evolved into a style of its own. This piece and the big portrait above are available as designs on a range CafePress products.

As I’ve said before, any further news about the development of the book edition of Reverbstorm will be posted here. Reverbstorm is some 270 pages of my best artwork so I’m naturally keen to see it published in what will be a definitive edition.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Finnegan begin again
My pastiches
Guernica, seventy years on
Cubist Cthulhu

9 thoughts on “Picasso-esque”

  1. hello
    i for one would like to see a wonderfully produced book version of it, did it even get finished in the comic book form?

  2. Hi Mark. No we never got issue eight finished although I did a number of paintings which were the beginnings of the art and Dave wrote a piece of fiction for it. The single volume will be all eight issues plus some additional artwork.

  3. I really do look forward to the complete Reverbstorm: issue seven ended with a cliff hanger I have been dying to DYING reading. Still though, more Savoy stuff is definitely good. I really can’t wait for the new Engelbrecht, since I found Savoy after the first printing was already gone. Will there be many new illustrations for that, and will the design differ greatly? I really liked the last cover.

  4. oh dude you are good, I mean REALLY good
    you riff off SO many cool influences in your drawings, and indeed your “blog” (can someone hurry up and invent a better word for it)
    so yeah colour me your new zealand fanboy, you are definately on my “list of people id like to have dinner with before i die”
    gush gush etc
    Ill seat you, Mr H, and Jim Thirwell all together in my dinner-party from heaven/hell…

  5. Troy: thanks, I just hope the thing isn’t a disappointment after such a long wait!

    Re: Engelbrecht. There were plans to include a non-Engelbrecht science fiction story of Richardson’s in the new edition but that idea has been scrapped in favour of simply getting the book out again. There’s a couple of new Kris Guidio illustrations on the opening pages and also some endpapers showing the covers of Lilliput where the stories ran originally. Aside from that and the new jacket design the book is the same as before.

    thanks again and if someone wants to organise a Coulthart world tour then it’s a date. Yes, blog is a crap term, hence my preference for journal which is probably too pretentious but remains for want of anything better.

    And as it happens I was listening to Wiseblood last week, especially Motorslug which I hadn’t heard for years. Used to love playing that at punishingly loud volume; I’m sure Mr Thirlwell would approve.

  6. Wiseblood?!
    omg that takes me back, to such an early period that it was a girlfriend who introuced me to it, we are talking many many years ago.
    My fav track was “stumbo”

  7. “introDuced” I meant

    you need a delete post feature for early morning fridays when you have just got home from a hard night out and someone on the interweb gives you an intellectual hardon and you get all alturistic on it…

    a small button lower right mabey?

  8. Intellectual hardon…my second favourite kind of boner.

    Yes, Stumbo was on the first album, Dirtdish. Good stuff, all of it.

    I’ve tried a couple of things with the comments here but not found a plugin yet which is satisfactory. Preview options seem a bit pointless for comments, they make more sense on forums where you might be posting at length and including images. Edit or delete options are (as far as I know) problematic for the strain they place on the database which would have to store an extra condition for every comment and commenter. It’s a tough one.

  9. I just need to stop driving my comp when im all drugged out

    and yeah, its the six inches between my ears you consistently get all erect.

    thanks for this.

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