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Hello dummy: That time Don Rickles was drawn by Jack Kirby for DC Comics, you hockey pucks!
11:23 am


DC Comics
Don Rickles

The late ‘60s/early ‘70s were a good period for Don Rickles, who passed away recently at the age of 90. After appearing in the Beach Party series of movies with Annette Funicello, a few things happened that cause Rickles’ status to change. He first appeared on The Tonight Show in 1965, and that national TV showcase, along with other talk shows and variety shows, would give him ample opportunity to inflict his caustic humor on the American people. He released a live album called Hello, Dummy! in 1968, and in 1970 he had a noncomedic role in Kelly’s Heroes, a war/heist movie with Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. (Actually, it was Sutherland who was the primary focus of mirth in that movie.)

By the time 1971 rolled around, Don Rickles was indisputably a household name, and as such, in a position to be claimed or appropriated by media entities of all descriptions. Which helps to explain an improbable episode in Rickles’ life occurred, when he was made the star of a two-issue story in Jimmy Olsen as for DC Comics authored by Jack Kirby. It really happened, and in a lot of ways the whole story had almost nothing to do with Rickles as such.

In addition to featuring Rickles in the story, Kirby invented a weird doppelgänger named Goody Rickels (that’s right, e before l), an underling in the employ of a slick media mogul named Morgan Edge. For no comprehensible reason, Goody wears a superhero costume with a cape, even though he has no super powers and is something of a weirdo lickspittle.

All of this stemmed from the spawn of an idea of DC Comics employees, whose original idea was to have Rickles appear for a couple of panels and zing Superman with one of his patented put-downs. An Kirby’s assistant Mark Evanier explained in The Collected Jack Kirby Collector Vol. 4 by John Morrow:

Steve [Sherman, another Kirby assistant] and I, at the time, were enormous fans of Don Rickles. Like many people at that time who were our age, we all went around doing Don Rickles, insulting each other. Rickles used to say, “I never picked on a little guy, I only pick on big guys.” Somehow, this gave us the idea that we should have Don Rickles make a cameo appearance in Jimmy Olsen to insult Superman. It was gonna be like a three-panel thing. So we wrote out a couple of pages of Don Rickles insults. One of them was, “Hey, big boy, where’re you from?” And Superman says, “I’m from the planet Krypton.” And Rickles says, “I got jokes for eight million nationalities and I’ve gotta run into a hockey puck from Krypton!”

As you can see, the idea of incorporating Rickles into the DC universe began as an idea for a quick gag, but they didn’t count on the kudzu-like nature of Kirby’s imagination:

Jack was a big fan of Rickles. And he says, “That’s great, that’s terrific.” And, of course, he used none of it. He said, “We’ve gotta get permission from Don Rickles for this.” So Steve contacted Rickles’s publicist, and they gave us permission to have Don Rickles do a cameo. Then Jack tells [DC Comics publisher] Carmine Infantino about it, and Infantino thinks this is great; this is something promotable; it’s gotta be a two-issue story arc. So instead of us writing two pages, it’s now Jack writing two issues.

In the story, Edge sends Goody to investigate a UFO, and he ends up beating up some “space baddies” through sheer luck. Eventually there is the inevitable encounter between Goody and Don, right before which we get a full page of Don insulting some of his many adoring fans, who basically treat him as if he’s the Beatles.

Much more after the jump…......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Voluptuous women sitting on subservient men: The erotic art of Namio Harukawa (VERY NSFW!)
10:27 am


Namio Harukawa

Art is mostly about the artist’s personal obsessions, isn’t it? With Japanese artist Namio Harukawa, it’s kinda obvious what he’s obsessed with.

Harukawa draws big-assed dominant women sitting on the faces of skinny subservient men. His drawings depict ye ancient art of “facesitting”—which probably doesn’t need any more explaining than that. Some of his erotic drawings (not included here) go beyond the smothering power games of facesitting, and its associated acts of cunnilingus and anilingus, into coprophilia and urolagnia.

His large, voluptuous women are amazonian, Robert Crumbesque goddesses. They are aloof, indifferent to the plight of the men (quite literally) beneath them. They smoke cigarettes, drink wine, talk on the phone, or read books. These women are utterly in control. The men only exist to service their needs. The men are weak, puny, almost asexual, but willing submit to their mistresses’ needs.

For an artist who produces such powerful and subversive art, it’s rather surprising to find there is only a small amount of biographical detail about him on the Internet. Some pages claim he is dead. Some that he is still alive. There is even a dispute over his age. One Wikipedia entry has him born in 1932, while another Wikipedia page claims he was born in January 1947, in the Osaka Prefecture. Whatever the facts about this elusive and mysterious artist, his work has grown from underground cult status in the 1960s to a small but reverential international market.
More of Namio’s artwork, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Explicitly perverse and provocative illustrations of Russian criminal underworld tattoos
10:07 am



“Satan and the Devil’s agent in Russia.” This illustration by Danzig Baldaev was copied from the chest of a criminal named “White” in 1991 who had recently completed a 32-year bid in prison.
During his time as a prison guard in Russia, and then later as the warden of the notorious Kresty Prison in Leningrad, Danzig Baldaev would become the curator and historian of tattoos worn by the convicts he watched over for nearly 40 years.

Baldaev’s illustrations, 3,000 or so in all, have been compiled into a popular series of books—the first of which was published in 2004 under the title Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume I. Had it not been at the urging of his father—who was no friend of the infamous NKVD (the politically repressive Stalin-era “secret” police group, The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs)—the stories behind the tattoos might never have been publicly chronicled. According to Baldaev, after he showed his father photographs of prisoners held in solitary confinement he advised him to start “collecting” images of the prisoner’s tattoos, for if he did not, the stories behind them would “all go to the grave with them.” The tattoos themselves served multiple purposes such as distinguishing a captive’s alignment within the prison population, what kind of crime they had committed or perhaps their affiliation with a specific Russian gang.

In 2009 the duo behind publishing house FUEL, Damon Murray, and Stephen Sorell purchased 750 illustrations done by Baldaev from his widow, which were then compiled in editions of the Russian Criminal Tattoo volumes. Here’s an example of the grim stories that would have gone undocumented by way of one heavily tattooed prisoner (who you can see here), who was photographed by Baldaev collaborator and fellow prison warden Sergei Vasiliev during a visit to the Strict Regime Forest Camp Vachel Settlement in the Penza Oblast Region of Russia.

This prisoner’s tattoos display his anger and bitterness towards Communist power; the tattoos on the face signify that he never expects to go free. He works as a stoker. Text under the eyes reads “Full / of Love;” on the chin “Danger of Death;” around the neck “To each his own;” above each head of the double-headed snake “Wife’ and ‘Mother-in-law;” on the chest “It is not for you whores, to dig in my soul;” on his arm “Communists, suck my dick for my ruined youth.”

Below is a selection of Baldaev’s illustrations, most of which, as you might have already figured out, are absolutely NSFW.

Top text reads “The Scary Dicks of the Land of Fools.” The text printed on the penises reads “Everything for the People!”

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Fixed It’: Portraits without a face
10:12 am


Henrietta Harris

When we look at portrait paintings, we tend to look first at the face to find a connection with the subject and glean some understanding of their life experience. Portraits were once a symbol of status and class. Nowadays, while there is still some status attached to such paintings they are more often portraiture which reflects the vision of the artist rather than just a record of the subject’s importance.

New Zealand artist Henrietta Harris paints portraits that make the viewer question the essence of what they are looking at. Her work ranges from the more traditional portraits to ones where the face is distorted by color and line or obscured by mist. These paintings suggest the world that is usually beyond the artist’s ken—the interior life of the subject, their flickering thoughts, and daydreams. In a way, they remind me of Francis Bacon who distorted his portraits to present “the brutality of fact”—a more authentic representation of the subject.

A graduate of the Auckland University of Technology, Henrietta’s most recent series of paintings Fix It present well-crafted portraits finished with a slather of pink or gold paint sprayed across the subject’s face. This small but telling act of vandalism inspires the questions: Who are we looking at? Is it important that we see their face? What can we understand from their position, their clothes, or even their hair? Why was this painting made? What do we learn from it?

There is also a bit fun going on here. The term “Fixed It” is reminiscent of some words used by Doña Cecilia Giménez, the woman who famously decided to fix Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century fresco of Jesus Christ, Ecce Homo, by painting a new face onto the wall. The resulting portrait looked more like Fozzie Bear or a deranged Bob Ross than the “Son of God.” Henrietta’s splash of vandalism asks what is the value of portraiture?

I’ve been drawn back time and again to Harris’ paintings over the past few days as I try to answer some of these questions.

Henrietta Harris has produced paintings for album covers, poster designs, and a whole catalog of commercial work, all of which you can see here.
More of Henrietta Harris’ portraits, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Amazing hand-painted movie posters by legendary Thai artist Tongdee Panumas

A hand-painted poster for ‘Apocalypse Now’ by legendary Thailand-based graphic designer and artist Tongdee Panumas. You can see the image above in more detail (and trust me, you want to), here.
Thailand-based artist Tongdee Panumas signs his posters using only his first name. Panumas is a legend when it comes to the world of hand-painted movie posters.

Until the late 1990s, film distribution companies in Thailand would routinely commission artists from their own country to hand-paint homegrown original movie posters using stills of memorable characters and scenes from the films as the basis for their renderings. During a span of three decades starting in the 1970s Tongdee churned out a seemingly impossible number of movie posters for classic American films such as Escape from New York, The Terminator, The Silence of the Lambs as well as a myriad of Thai movies, too.

Panumas’ posters are exuberant, appearing as though they could at any moment leap off the page thanks to Tongdee’s masterful use of color, composition, and realism. The artist is also adept at utilizing every inch of his canvas—such as his jaw-droppingly epic poster for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam war film masterpiece, Apocalypse Now which is pictured in all its hypnotic glory at the top of this post. In 2012, an exhibit called Eyegasm: The Art of Thai Movie Posters showcased Tongdee’s posters as well as those of another wildly talented Thai graphic artist, Somboonsuk Niyomsiri (aka “Piak Poster”) in order to help shine a light on the art form that has sadly experienced a huge decline over the last decade or so.

From what I was able to ascertain it appears that Tongdee is a rather private individual, as there is little to nothing written about him on the Internet.  According to the beautifully curated blog Film on Paper written by interaction designer Eddie Shannon, in 2016 he was able to commission Tongdee to create an exceptional poster based on the 1987 film Predator, giving nearly all creative control to the artist. The result is nothing short of fantastic. Of course, the admission for entry somewhat suggests that you too could perhaps engage the services of Tongdee to create the movie poster of your dreams. Some of the images that follow are awesomely NSFW.

The incredible ‘Predator’ commission done by Tongdee for Eddie Shannon in 2016.


More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Cum for Me: Intimate photographs of men and women at the point of orgasm
09:04 am


Alina Oswald

We reveal ourselves in unguarded moments. Those instances of joy, happiness, fear, and anger—when emotions burst forth uncontrollably. Photographer Alina Cara Oswald had been thinking about such times and thought of creating a photographic project that captured women and men at their most intimate, unfettered, and emotionally reflexive moment when reaching orgasm.

Oswald didn’t believe she would find any models willing to masturbate in front of her and the camera. However, after talking about the idea, she did photograph a good friend and then herself reaching climax.

I started talking to people about my project and asked them very open and directly if they want to take part. And more and more people said yes. So I started photographing them. The project became bigger and bigger. I put my whole energy and thoughts into it. I was organizing everything and made many appointments. Most of the time I went to the model’s home, I brought some wine and some relaxed energy with me. I talked a lot to the person and then I setup my equipment. Then it was time for a hand-job.  Mostly I was in the same room, sometimes I went out and just came in at the end to take the photo. Sometimes I had couples and they helped each other. Sometimes the people watched porn or looked at erotic pictures. Afterward, we laughed and talked about it.

What fascinated Alina was not the photograph of someone cumming but “the process of how it arises and how a content can be presented and communicated.”

How can a piece of paper, which has just two dimensions, influence the third dimension? Can I communicate emotions and content through pictures without you knowing what it is about?

Alina titled this series of portraits Moments.

Based in Munich, Germany, Oswald studied photography, screenprinting, digital animation and communication at the city’s art college. She graduated in 2016. You can see more of Alina’s work here and here.
See more forthcoming attractions, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Crowning Glory: Incredible vintage photographs of beautiful and intricate Nigerian hairstyles

‘Coiling Penny Penny’ (1974).
Each day photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere went out into the streets and photographed women’s hairstyles with his Brownie D camera. Ojeikere wasn’t just documenting the latest trends in hair fashion—he thought hairstyles were an “art form” that were created by “precise gestures” in the same way an artist sculpts the intricacies of a statue. Ojeikere was also aware these individual hairstyles reflected the major changes in Nigeria’s post-colonial politics and culture, together with the growth of personal freedom and the shift towards personal identity.

Ojeikere took thousands of photographs of women’s hairstyles from 1968 onwards. He captured the different weaves and braids on street corners, offices, bars, and at parties, He took his picture then noted down the name of each design. Ojeikere started his photographic career as a darkroom assistant at the Ministry of Information in 1954. In 1959, he was appointed staff photographer with the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Services. He then joined the Nigerian Arts Council in the 1960s when he began photographing and documenting Nigerian life and culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the world, including the 55th Venice Biennale d’arte in 2013, and his work is still exhibited and sold as prints today. J.D. Okhai Ojeikere died at the age of 83. in 2014.
‘Ojo Npeti’ or ‘Kiko’ (1968).
‘Pineapple’ (1969). 
‘Fro Fro’ (1970).
More of J.D. Okhai Ojeikere’s photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
John Thompson’s visionary artwork for Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Cosmic Trigger’
03:25 pm


Robert Anton Wilson
John Thompson

John Coulthart has done us all a service by reminding us of the wonderful art that appears in Robert Anton Wilson’s mind-bending follow-up (and companion) to his well-known Illuminatus! Trilogy, which bore the memorable title Cosmic Trigger with the subtitle Final Secret of the Illuminati.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy introduced readers to an incredible stew of ideas and influences that included Adam Weishaupt, UFOs, Wilhelm Reich, the number 23, John Dillinger’s penis, Carlos Castaneda, tarot, LSD—and did it via an enjoyable sci-fi/thriller plot—but Cosmic Trigger, while doing nothing to “rein in” the scope of Wilson’s occult interests, helped put some of the fictional trilogy’s meat on the bone in a semi-autobiographical context. Wilson not only told his readers how to get to the front door of Chapel Perilous, he also explained the secret “knock” required for entrance and what happened to you when you went inside.

As brilliant as he was, even Bob Wilson benefited greatly from having his ideas visualized in such a simpatico manner. John Thompson, a noted figure from the San Francisco comix scene, and someone very interested in mysticism and spirituality, was the ideal person to bring the visionary material to life.

Coulthart points out that not all editions of Cosmic Trigger included Thompson’s memorable cover (above), but most retained his internal illustrations. Here are some of those followed by a few of his other illustrations, which are just as creative and stimulating as the Cosmic Trigger material.

Daisy Eris Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger: The Play is currently being staged at The Cockpit in London. Buy tickets here.

Above, Thompson’s portrait of the author

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Monsters, mayhem & lots of nudity: The gory erotic horror of Italian comic ‘Wallestein il Mostro ’
12:24 pm


Wallestein il Mostro

One of the tamer covers of the vintage Italian fumetti series, ‘Wallestein il Mostro.’
Wallestein il Mostro was one of many horror-themed erotic comics put out by Renzo Barbieri and his publishing company Edifumetto. Known for their strikingly graphic covers, Edifumetto put out more than 140 issues of Wallestein il Mostro in five different runs over the course of nearly ten years.

If you’re a fan of Troma Films, you might notice that the monstrous vigilante Wallestein bears a distinct resemblance to Melvin, aka the Toxic Avenger—the deformed mop-wielding superhero who made his debut in the 1984 film The Toxic Avenger. Much like Toxie, Wallestein is always getting mixed up in some sort of caper gone wrong involving naked women with huge boobs. The “origin story” of how Wallestein came to be goes like this: after handsome Count Wallestein is killed, his identity is taken over by a vengeful swamp monster who dons a mask with human attributes covered in bulbous boils. In accordance with the style of Italian “fumetti,” the covers are stunningly lurid and over-the-top in every possible way, commonly featuring fun themes such as dismemberment, full-frontal nudity, and scenes involving sexual torture. As with other fumetti comics, the illustrations were designed by immensely talented artists such as Mario Cubbino and Giovanni Romanini who was a regular collaborator of Roberto Raviola—one of Italy’s most respected comic book artists who is better known under his singular moniker of Magnus. If you’re curious about what the comic looks like inside, you can flip through a few NSFW pages, here.

You’ve probably already surmised that the images I’ve posted below of the gloriously gory, sexually charged covers of Wallestein il Mostro are totally NSFW. Unless of course, you happen to work in an environment that endorses violence and explicit nudity like mine. If you are a fan of fumetti, it’s fairly easy to track down various copies of Wallestein il Mostro online.


More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Demons, Imps, and Fay Wray: William Mortensen’s incredible masks
10:49 am


William Mortensen

‘Salome’ (1924).
A chance encounter with big shot director Cecil B. DeMille gave photographer William Mortensen his first job in Hollywood. It was the kind of lucky break that would look hokey as a plot device in a B-movie. Mortensen was working as a gardener but was soon on the set of DeMille’s King of Kings (1927), then designing voodoo masks for Lon Chaney’s movie West of Zanzibar, and then ending-up taking publicity shots and portraits of stars like Marlene Dietrich, Rudolph Valentino, and the original “It girl” Clara Bow.

Before Hollywood, Mortensen had spent his time traveling around Europe in the early 1920s soaking up all that fancy art and culture. He got hep to all the Old Masters like Goya and Rembrandt. This together with his experience of working on films made Mortensen approach photography in a wholly original way.

It was a similar kind of thing that had once happened to writer James Joyce, who had opened the first cinema in Dublin in 1908. Joyce realized traditional story-telling could not compete with movies. Why write a page describing the looks of some lantern-jawed hero when a movie could transmit such information in an instant? Movies taught Joyce to rethink literature—and so he wrote Ulysses.

Mortensen made photographs that mixed painting, drawing, theater, and movies. He manipulated the image to create something more than just a straight photographic representation. His approach was anathema to the more traditionalist photographers like Ansell Adams, who called Mortensen the “anti-Christ” for what he did to photography.

Mortensen produced beautiful, strange, often dark and Gothic, sometimes brutal, though usually erotically charged pictures. While other photographers sought realism, Mortensen used props and gowns and his own vivid imagination to enhance each picture. He went on to have some success but fell out of step with the rise of photojournalism that came out of the Second World War and was (sadly) largely forgotten by the time of his death in 1965. In more recent years, Mortensen has been rightly praised for his photographic genius. What I am intrigued by in Mortensen’s work, is his design and use of masks (including one of “scream queen” Fay Wray) in his photographic work—from which a small selection of which can be seen below.
‘Masked Woman’ (1926).
‘Fay Wray.’
More of Mortensen’s masks, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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