follow us in feedly
The expensive new David Hockney coffee table book is so big that you can use it as a coffee table
11:28 am


David Hockney

At the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, David Hockney, who is currently 79 years old, unveiled a new collection of his work published by Taschen called A Bigger Book that definitely lives up to its name. The book is more than two feet tall and weighs a whopping 77 pounds. If you placed it on a little stool, it would definitely be able to support the weight of a tea service, say.

Hockney is one of the most renowned British painters of the 20th century, and A Bigger Book is a limited-edition volume costing $2,500 that covers his career of more than 60 years.

Fans of Hockney’s work will recognize in the book’s title an echo of some of the artist’s earlier works and book releases. One of Hockney’s most famous paintings is of a swimming pool, the title of which is “A Bigger Splash.”
David Hockney, “A Bigger Splash” (1967)
Similarly, the major retrospective of Hockney’s work that landed at the Tate Modern in 2013 bore the title “A Bigger Exhibition,” and there is a volume with his work called A Bigger Picture (the title has also been used for a documentary about Hockney) as well as a book containing interviews with Hockney called A Bigger Message. You can even purchase a lithograph of one of America’s most famous landmarks that is called “A Bigger Grand Canyon.”

Taschen has a tradition of bestowing upon artists of a certain caliber mega-sized volumes in a line called SUMO. Taschen’s first SUMO edition was for Helmut Newton in 1999. In 2003 Taschen released a SUMO volume dedicated to Muhammad Ali under the title GOAT, which presumably stands for “Greatest of All Time,” and the company has also released “SUMO-sized” volumes for H.R. Giger, Sebastião Salgado, and Annie Leibovitz. In 2014 Taschen published a SUMO volume about the Rolling Stones.
More after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Behold the wonders of ‘The Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book’
01:50 pm



Seventy-one years ago today, Harris Glenn Milstead was born at the (appropriately named?) Women’s Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Decades later, after a potent handful of John Waters movies and who knows how many disco singles, we celebrate perhaps the greatest diva the world has ever known—as Divine.

It’s amazing to think that Divine appeared in only thirteen movies in all those years. Thirteen! At least that’s how IMDb has it. I find that absolutely amazing. You could easily argue that on a per-minute basis, Divine had the biggest impact on audiences in movie history. Who would rate higher, Rob Reiner’s mother?

Much like Groucho Marx, Divine’s characters always had the best names, from Francine Fishpaw (Polyester) and Dawn Davenport (Female Trouble) to Babs Johnson (Pink Flamingos) and Edna Turnblad (Hairspray).

In 1983 Van Smith, who did make-up and costume design for most of Waters’ movies, released The Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book. Today it’s out of print, and is listed on Amazon for more than $300, although a typical asking price is closer to $125. However, you don’t need the book to soak in the bumptious appeal of Divine, we’ve got several pics from it right on this page.

More pics after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The vivid erotic psychedelia of Essex House book covers
10:30 am


Essex House

Essex House only existed for a couple of years, namely 1968-1969, but in that time they released over 40 books by the likes of Philip José Farmer, Charles Bukowski, and David Meltzer. They specialized in an odd mix of higbhbrow erotica and dystopian sci-fi, and although a publisher in the ‘60s hardly needed quality art to sell fuckbooks, the imprint’s owner, Milton Luros, was a former illustrator who clearly valued a strong visual identity. (Mr. Luros would also find himself defending his possession of a trove of sexy pictures in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.)

Sadly, the illustrators who did the imprint’s most distinctive covers were uncredited, so the name of the psychedelic artists responsible for Essex’s visual vibe may remain forever obscure. Their covers weren’t ALL of this type—there were some where the standard stick-a-photo-of-a-naked-woman-on-it approach held sway—but the majority of them were in line with the company’s eye-bleedy visual identity.

If none of the foregoing tipped you off that some of this might be NSFW, I don’t know what else to tell you.


More sexy Essex House covers after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Reagan’s Raiders’: INSANE ‘80s ultra-patriot superhero comics

People who claim that Barack Obama is the most divisive president ever may lack either any sense of historical perspective or any idea that beliefs other than their own have existed before the 21st Century [see also: racism]. Ronald Reagan divided 80s USA into two bitterly opposing camps—a significant minority saw him as a reckless destroyer of the Social Contract between government and populace, who trafficked in simplistic homilies and racist dog-whistles, and who exploited the decoupling of left politics from the labor movement, securing near-fatal hits on both entities in the name of a lite-fascist union of the state with the corporate sector. But a majority of Americans at the time believed him a messianic redeemer of the Goldwater ethos in American conservatism, arisen to rescue us all from the brink of New-Left disaster and to renew American optimism after years of economic turbulence, post-Vietnam malaise, and the troubled Carter era. He remains something like a Christ figure to American Movement Conservatives who’ve moved so far to the right that Reagan himself wouldn’t recognize them as conservative—or even sane.

And in re-reading my old Reagan’s Raiders comic books, I’m finding it pretty funny how extremely difficult it is to tell whether the writer thought Reagan was America’s salvation or whether he thought the man was fucking preposterous. Poe’s Law has some mighty long arms.

Reagan’s Raiders was a 1986 ultra-patriotic superhero parody comic book that cast Ronnie and his cabinet as a red, white, and blue spandex clad machine-gun totin’ team of superheroic globo-cops—imagine Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, but all dressed like Captain America. In fact, the origin story is 100% derived from Captain America, with a silly twist. A super-strength process has been developed, and it works perfectly, but only on old dudes. Reagan and several cabinet officials, for the good of the country, of course, submit to the procedure, becoming buffed-out supersoldiers with the strength of 20 men. Each. Also they seem to be bulletproof. Take THAT, John Hinckley, Jr.!


More Reagan’s Raiders after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The man who painted trolls, monsters, sea serpents, witches and the Black Death
09:57 am


Theodor Kittelsen

‘Skogstroll,’ 1890.
Theodor Kittelsen was the man who painted trolls. He spent his life drawing and painting pictures of these beastly supernatural giants.

According to Scandinavian folklore trolls live in caves, woods or mountains far from the plague of humankind. Trolls eat humans. They especially like young humans whose flesh is juicy, sweet and soft.

Understandably, humans don’t like trolls—that’s why they steer clear of these slow-witted beasts—or if need be hunt them down in packs.

Kittelsen was born in Kragerø, Norway in 1857. He was one of eight children. When his father died, Kittelsen was apprenticed to a watchmaker. He was just eleven years old. He wanted to be an artist but the family’s desperate need for money meant he had to work. In his spare time, he sketched and painted. His drawings brought him to the attention of a patron who paid for Kittelsen, now aged seventeen, to attend art school in Oslo and later one in Germany. When his patron’s money ran out in 1879, Kittelsen eventually returned home to work as a draftsman for newspapers.

But fortune was still on his side and Kittelsen won a scholarship to study painting in Paris in 1882. Five years later, he returned once again to Norway where he started his career as an artist. Originally he was painted landscapes and romantic rustic scenes. But through time and by commission, Kittelsen was hired to illustrate Norwegian folktales. So began his career painting and drawing trolls, monsters, witches and supernatural creatures.

Sadly, Kittelsen never made much money out of his troll artwork during his lifetime. Today, he is a star in Norway. Everywhere else—not so much. There is a museum dedicated to his life and work and his paintings and drawings of trolls and the Black Death have featured on numerous album covers by Death Metal and Heavy Metal bands—all of which can be seen here.
‘Skogtroll’ (‘Forest Troll’) 1906.
‘Trolløye,’ 1891.
‘The Water Troll Who Eats Only Young Girls,’ 1881.
More hellish trolls, beasts and plague, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
At last, Salvador Dali’s insane sex-cookbook is getting republished
11:17 am


Salvador Dali

In 1973, French publisher Felicie published a singular cookbook by Salvador Dalí. The volume was pure Dalí. First off, it was hardly a cookbook, it was closer to a visual mindfuck on the subject of fine dining that had little advice as to how the reader should prepare his or her repasts. It had visual flair, ribald humor, a contempt for “accepted” manners, no shortage of libido, and a heightened feeling for the absurd. The book was called Les Diners de Gala—Dalí‘s wife was named Gala, so the title means “Gala’s dinners” but I think there’s also a pun on the idea of a “gala dinner.” A companion volume, the comparatively little-known Wines of Gala was published in 1977.

Only a few hundred copies of the cookbook were ever printed—exact numbers are difficult to come by—but it’s been bouncing around eBay for years, almost always going for hundreds of dollars. We wrote about the book in 2014. Now, however, thanks to the venerable art publishing house Taschen, you’ll be able to own a copy for yourself, and not break your bank account any. Taschen is publishing Dalí: Les Diner de Gala on November 20, 2016, and pre-orders are available.

Here’s a look at the table of contents, which I’ll leave untranslated:

1. Les caprices pincés princiers (Exotic Dishes)
2. Les cannibalismes de l’automne (Eggs - Seafood)
3. Les suprêmes de malaises lilliputiens (Entrées)
4. Les entre-plats sodomisés (Meats)
5. Les spoutniks astiqués d’asticots statistiques (Snails - Frogs)
6. Les panaches panachés (Fish - Shellfish)
7. Les chairs monarchiques (Game - Poultry)
8. Les montres molles 1/2 sommeil (Pork)
9. L’atavisme désoxyribonucléique (Vegetables)
10. Les “je mange GALA” (Aphrodisiacs)
11. Les pios nonoches (Sweets - Desserts)
12. Les délices petits martyrs (Hors-d’oeuvres)

My French isn’t up to most of that, but, as an example of Dalí‘s humor, chapter 10, dedicated to “Aphrodisiacs,” means “I eat GALA,” so he’s got a reference to oral sex right in the table of contents.

In 2011, two noted Minnesota dance troupes, Ballet of the Dolls and Zorongo Flamenco, put on a staged piece in Minneapolis called “Dali’s Cookbook: A Gastronomical Inquisition” that was inspired by the cookbook.


More great images from this bizarre book after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘1001 Ways to Live Without Working,’ Tuli Kupferberg’s prescient pre-hippie book of mindfuckery
02:40 pm


Tuli Kupferberg

Several years before the Fugs formed, Tuli Kupferberg was running around Greenwich Village as a poet and pamphleteer. His most successful effort was a 1961 book published by “Birth Press” called 1001 Ways to Live Without Working, a scurrilous F-U to establishment culture that showed an uncanny ability to anticipate what young people would be thinking about five years later.

On the front cover, to announce the book’s intentions, was a striking image of a man’s face with the words “A STANDARD OF LAZINESS” written across his forehead. The back cover featured “Visualized Prayer for the American God #6,” a typographical poem by the Cleveland poet d.a. levy, which is a swastika made out of dollar signs.

True to its name, 1001 Ways to Live Without Working really is a list of a thousand items, and as such, draws material from as many rhetorical registers as it can. The book is a mixture of a long numbered list and photos of odd archival material, many of them classified ads or pertinent news reports, to add spice. Scant thought was given to layout, which lends the book a refreshing carefree style.

Here are the first 10 entries:

Someone else die
Find a million dollar in a toilet bowl you the only one dares to fish it out
Beg & quit after $1.00 a day
Go into business
Marry a rich homosexual
Marry a rich sexuall
Marry a rich asexual
Marry rich

What the book reminds me of more than anything is a kind of spindly foretaste of John Hodgman’s 2005 book Areas of My Expertise, the difference being, of course, that whereas Hodgman’s book is a kind of hipster’s celebration of trivia and esoterica, Kupferberg’s work is something akin to a political weapon.

In 1967 Grove Press, sensing the currents in the air, reprinted the book, the same year that Kupferberg published the follow-up 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft.

Here are a few pages from the book.
More after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Evil little F*ckers: Hilarious spoof covers for ‘Bad Little Children’s Books’

This is something every home should have Bad Little Children’s Books—-a hilarious anthology of 120 fake kids’ book covers features such devilish titles as Polly Paints a Penis, Don’t Lick the Stripper Pole, Even Girls Fart, Rockets and Missiles of the Islamic State and Uncle Creepy. Those of a certain age may recognize the original source material for these parodies which come from more innocent times—I certainly owned a few of ‘em when I was a tot.

The covers are credited to the fictional artist Arthur C. Gackley who was supposedly born in 1923 and was “the creator of many children’s books, none of which were ever actually published.”

Mysterious and hermetic by nature, he spent his life living and working in a small New England village, but was likely washed out to sea or fell penniless into an abandoned wishing well shaft in the winter of 1978. No body was ever found, but unfortunately his book parodies were.

You can order your copy of Bad Little Children’s Books here and follow the life of evil genius Arthur C. Gackley on Facebook.
More of Arthur C. Gackley’s hilarious book covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu gets the anime treatment
01:07 pm


H.P. Lovecraft

The year 2018 will see the release of an omnibus anime feature film based on Force of Will, a fantasy trading card game first launched in 2012 in Japan—the project sounds vaguely similar to 2003’s The Animatrix based on the Matrix universe. Excitingly, one of the six movies is called “Cthulhu” and is based on H.P. Lovecraft‘s famous monster. Other narratives in the movie are called “Pinocchio,” “Monkey King,” and “Zombie.”

In his 1926 story “The Call of Cthulhu,” Lovecraft described his most famous creation, Cthulhu, as “a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.”

See the trailer after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘A List of the Gay Houses and Ladies of Pleasure’: Vintage brothel guide to Philadelphia from 1849
10:54 am


guide to brothels

A Guide to the Stranger or Pocket Companion for the Fancy was a “correct list and description of the greater portion of the Houses of Ill-Fame in Philadelphia” published in 1849. The book reviewed both the brothels and bed houses—those rooms rented by the hour. It listed the names and addresses of the landlady or madams and the quality of services on offer.

In his introduction, the anonymous author assured his readers:

With this book in his hand a man will be enabled to shun those low dens of infamy and disease with which this city abounds, as a true and authentic description of each house is here briefly given.

Among the best madams and working girls were:

Miss Josephine Somers of 4 Wood Street, near Eleventh Street, who was described as “an accomplished lady” and her brothel a “Temple of Venus.”

You can spend an evening here with great pleasure; the young ladies are all beautiful, accomplished and bewitching—they are Elizabeth Moore, Louisa Garrett, &c. Go one, go all, and you will be pleased.

Miss Sarah Turner of 2 Wood Street, above Eleventh, who is a “perfect Queen” her house situated “in one of the most respectable parts of the city.”

At this house you will hear no disgusting language to annoy your ear; everything connected with this establishment is calculated to make a man happy. The young ladies are beautiful and accomplished; they will at any time amuse you with a fine tune on the piano, or use their melodious voices to drive dull care away. Stranger, do not neglect to pay a visit to this house before you leave our quiet city of sisterly affection.

Miss Mary Blessington of 3 Wood Street, a “young and beautiful creature” who “is as snug a lump of flesh and blood as ever man pressed upon his bosom. Her bed and house and first class.

Miss Emma Jacobs of Bryan’s Court, Cherry Street:

This lady is the Queen of Trumps, tall and majestic, and noble in appearance. She is a lady in manners and conversation. She lives well and her house is comfortable and safe. One glance will satisfy a person of that fact.

The author also gave the following caveat:

To every man the author of this statistical warning says, avoid each and every place that is marked with a woeful X, as a single visit might be the cause of utter ruin and disgrace.

Examples of such places include:

X—Madam Vincent of Lombard Street, who runs “a low house”. cautious when you visit this place, or you may rue it all your lifetime.

X—Mrs Hamilton of 152 Locust Street who has “grown bald and toothless in the service.”

Beware this house, stranger, as you would the sting of a viper.

X—Sarah Ross, Passyunk Road:

This is one of the worst conducted houses in the city. The girls, though few in number, are ugly, vulgar and drunken. We would not advise any body of common sense to stay there.

The guide’s author(s) estimates there are some 10,000 prostitutes working in Philadelphia. This figure was based on an estimate of the number of working girls in New York. These women serviced the numerous businessmen, travelers and rural workers who came to the city for business and pleasure. How our author(s) managed to find out so much about these brothels and bed houses suggests some firsthand experience. The whole A Guide to the Stranger or Pocket Companion for the Fancy can be read below.
More from the guide to ‘Gay Houses” and ‘Ladies of Pleasure,’ after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Page 1 of 69  1 2 3 >  Last ›