Ave Arthur!


The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon (detail, 1881–1898) by Edward Burne-Jones.

Arthur magazine announced its demise this week: “He died as he lived—free, high and a-dreaming of love, ’neath vultures’ terrible gaze.” The magazine lapsed for a while in 2007 then returned but this time it seems things are more permanent. Running a magazine of any kind is never easy, and they don’t always last long—the UK run of the legendary Oz only managed 48 issues to Arthur‘s 32—but it’s a dismal fact that certain tastes are rarely catered for or encouraged in this world. Supermarkets stock multiple titles devoted to women’s hair or tin boxes with wheels but you’ll have to hunt elsewhere for copies of Sight & Sound or The Wire. This isn’t a sign of any kind of new barbarism, if you look to history you’ll find The Savoy magazine publishing Aubrey Beardsley’s art and literature alongside contributions from future Nobel Prize winners yet it only managed eight issues; New Worlds magazine struggled during its run in the 1960s and 1970s, and while it may never have officially died (not while Michael Moorcock lives and breathes) it’s safe to say that it would struggle anew if re-launched today. If this is the end then let’s celebrate what’s been done, and hope it may inspire something new.


Issues #1–25.

The Arthur archives will be available online in the future. In the meantime, the favourites among my own contributions were MBV Arkestra (cover illustration), The Aeon of Horus, Out, Demons, Out (cover illustration), Brian Eno, and Sir Richard Bishop.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Savoy magazine
Dodgem Logic
The Realist
A wake for Arthur
Oz magazine, 1967-73

5 thoughts on “Ave Arthur!”

  1. Are you thinking of selling this one or “Out demons, out” on cafepress?

    I really like them, and if not I’ll have to get copies of the magazine shipped from the US and blow them up.

  2. The Out Demons pic might not be allowed on CafePress where they have strict rules about using copyrighted images. Some of the photos of the people pictured in the lower half will no doubt fall into that category. The Crowley photo is probably okay in this regard so I’ll see about sorting that out, I’ve been intending on uploading new things but haven’t got round to it. There is a small poster version already as the illustration was reworked for the AL CD compilation shortly after it appeared in the magazine. That was a limited edition so I’ve no idea whether you’d easily find a copy. It’s a nice package, a small box containing a booklet, poster and double-disc set.

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