follow us in feedly
The annual Dangerous Minds last-minute shopping guide for rock snobs & culture vultures
12.21.2016
08:50 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Movies
Music

Tags:


 
Each year around this time, I put together a “last minute” list of cool things meant to aid the friends and loved ones of rock snobs and especially hard-to-buy-for people-who-have-everything during the holiday season. I would imagine that I’m probably in the top 1% of the top 1% of the infuriatingly difficult to gift—trust me, I already own it and I probably got it for free from a record label—so I feel uniquely qualified to be of assistance here.
 

 
The mammoth, slick, classy, near definitive career-spanning 10-CD Marc Almond package, Trials of Eyeliner: The Anthology 1979-2016, is easily the very best box set of the year. Hell, it’s one of the best box sets ever released, period, if you ask me. From Soft Cell’s greatest hits to each and every one of Almond’s single releases, some hidden gems, collaborations and demos, this is the ultimate Marc Almond collection. Why would this make a good gift and for whom? For a gay uncle or brother who loves music, it’s a solid choice, but it’s a great pick for anyone who loves music, really. Marc Almond is a genius, one of our greatest living vocalists and this is a box set to lose yourself in, a true musical journey and an exceeding rare pleasure to discover for the very first time. For someone whose musical tastes would intersect favorably in a Venn diagram triangulated by Nick Cave, Scott Walker and Maria Callas. It’s also not that expensive for a 10-CD set, often selling on Amazon for around $60. It would be a bargain at ten times the price. Here’s a longer review.

Action Time Vision, a new 111-track “story of independent punk 1976-79” from Cherry Red Records is the sole obscure punk box set that anyone will care about in the future. Let’s face it, once you get much beyond the Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Clash—and precious few others—there wasn’t really a whole lot of truly great punk rock music that was produced during the punk rock era. What came after punk was a deluge of amazement and creativity, whereas the vast majority of “classic” punk bands, well the essential “A list” stuff could be rounded up into one good box set. Action Time Vision is the onion layer beyond that one good box set, boasting material not from all the usual suspects. Some of this stuff is truly thrilling and will send your rock snob giftee (or you yourself, if that’s who you’re buying for) spanning out to look for more from below-the-radar groups like the Hollywood Brats, Poison Girls, Swell Maps, Rezillos and others.
 

 
For someone who you are fond of, but not so fond of them that they merit a freakin’ box set, may I (strongly) suggest Beyond the Bloodhounds, the debut album by the incredible new talent, Adia Victoria? Earlier this year I described her music as “an authentic 21st century Southern gothic blues” and asked “Would you press play if I described Adia Victoria as ‘Jeffrey Lee Pierce reincarnated as Ronnie Spector’?” before answering my own question: “You’d be a fucking idiot if you didn’t, now wouldn’t you?” When a new artist arrives this fully formed, you should pay attention. This one has the makings of a future icon. She’s gorgeous and she plays a mean guitar. By a narrow margin, I rank Beyond the Bloodhounds as my top favorite album of 2016. A+.

Just one half-notch below Adia Victoria’s debut comes Häxan, the new longplayer from Dungen. I was nuts—absolutely crazy—about last year’s Dungen alum, Allas Sak, and I pretty enthusiastic about this one too. Dungen can do no wrong in my eyes, each and every one of their albums is a thing of finely crafted beauty, something I hope they themselves are fiercely proud of, because they should be. Dungen make beautiful music for a world that needs more beautiful things. Häxan is their soundtrack to the Russian silent animated feature film from 1926 The Adventures of Prince Achmed. It’s pure magic from the first note to the last. Note that this would be something especially good to get on vinyl.

Then there’s the latest from Luke Haines, Smash the System. This album fucking rocks and contains the very best song of 2016: “Black Bunny (I’m Not Vince Taylor).” In fact, let me offer you the best musical advice I could possibly offer you: Buy every album by The Auteurs and every solo album by Haines (and his books). Start with After Murder Park, then get New Wave or How I Learned to Love the Bootboys. Don’t miss out on the oddball terrorist punk funk of the Baader-Meinhof album. But get ALL of Luke Haines’ output, first for yourself, and only then should you worry about other people. You’re welcome.
 

 
The three CD Momus collection, Pubic Intellectual: An Anthology 1986-2016 is another sure-thing, cast miss, all-killer, no-filler that will delight just about any rock snob. The smarter they are, the better they’ll appreciate what the eyepatch wearing Scotsman has on offer culled from the past 30 years of his output. Momus is not a household name, although he should be. If I didn’t already own this and someone gave it to me, I would not only be super happy, I would think that it reflected well on the giver’s musical tastes. (More on Momus here)

Rhino recently released an “elevated edition” of Jethro Tull’s mighty Stand Up album remixed for 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson. If you have someone on your shopping list who is an aficionado of 5.1 music (or happen to be one yourself) this is another must-hear effort from Wilson’s audio lab. I was already a big fan of Stand Up, but in surround, it’s simply sublime. Even better the edition—which comes packaged like a hardback book—includes a 5.1 mix of their classic “Living in the Past” single and DVD footage of the group playing live in Sweden in 1969
 

 
In terms of books, there’s only one that I’m going to recommend this year and that is The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell edited by Douglas Walla. This is the best art book of 2016, and to my mind there can no other competition. How could anything else possibly outweigh it? Nothing can. A stunning compendium of beautiful art and ideas by the late visionary artist. There’s no one with a brain who wouldn’t be thrilled to get this for Christmas.

Movie posters make awesome gifts and they show that you’ve really thought about the person you’re giving it to (provided of course, that you did really think about them and didn’t just buy a ratty Home Alone 2 poster on your way home from work from a homeless guy.) My favorite poster store on the entire Internet, the Los Angeles-based Westgate Gallery is currently running a big 40% off sale (that’s almost half off) which continues into the new year so you can spend your “Christmas money” on exquisite poster art curated by someone with a particularly good eye. If you know a movie, or a particular actor or actress that your intended giftee is into, something from Westgate Gallery during their 40% off sale would make a fantastic gift. Hundreds upon hundreds of amazing images there, you can surf around for hours. Featuring a large selection of Italian Giallo, “golden age of XXX” and cult film favorites.
 

 
Which brings me to DVDs. This year if I had to pick the sort of offbeat film that I would be happy to get on DVD, I’d chose Candy, the star-studded adaptation of the Terry Southern-Mason Hoffenberg farce—yes it’s a terrible movie but the cast includes Ringo Starr, James Coburn, John Astin, Richard Burton, Walter Matthau and Marlon Brando as the horny guru Grindl. And then there’s Otto Preminger’s Skidoo, a Hollywood attempt at a counterculture comedy where Jackie Gleason plays a retired mod hitman who accidentally takes LSD and Groucho Marx is “God.” It costars Carol Channing and most of the unemployed villains from TV’s Batman. Nilsson did the soundtrack and—get this—sings the credits. But I had you at Jackie Gleason dropping acid, didn’t I?
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Website plays William S Burroughs reading random snippets from ‘Naked Lunch’ every time you refresh
12.21.2016
08:44 pm

Topics:
Books
Literature
Science/Tech

Tags:


 
It’s axiomatic that William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch is one of the landmark accomplishments of 20th-century American literature. All the more striking its author’s commitment to stochasticity: He insisted that its 25 chapters could be read in any order. (A later Burroughs novel Dead Fingers Talk from 1963 took random bits from Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Ticket That Exploded and combined them into a new work with a semi-coherent plot.)

Possibly related was Burroughs’ disavowal of any fixed memory of composing the work. In his 1960 preface to the book, titled “Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness,” Burroughs wrote that “I have no precise memory of writing the notes which have now been published under the title Naked Lunch.”

In a most Burroughs-ian gesture, this year a “single-serving” website calling itself 23Skidoo came into being, with the promise of supplying readers with “23 random paragraphs from Naked Lunch” every time the refresh button is activated. The reader is invited to take in the newly forged juxtapositions while the inimitably phlegmatic voice of Burroughs reads from the work.

Curiously, in keeping with the general air of experimental mindfuckery, the Burroughs audio never matches the passages reproduced on the page, at least as far as I could discern. I believe that there does not exist any recording of the full novel read aloud in Burroughs’ voice—sometime during the 1990s, Hal Willner and James Grauerholz persuaded Burroughs to record portions of the book. So that might explain the discrepancy—the visual texts draw from the entire novel, but there are limitations as to how much of the book can be presented in Burroughs’ voice, so no attempt was made to match them up.

At the top of the page one sees the instruction “the ticket explodes again each time you load the page.”

At any rate, a fun, bracing project, perfect for distracting oneself from the holiday bullshit, or indeed any form of bullshit. Enjoy.
 

 
via {feuilleton}
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Classic, intimate photos of The Misfits by Eerie Von
12.21.2016
08:48 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
Eric “Eerie Von” Stellmann may be the ultimate ascended fan. A high school student in Lodi, NJ in the ‘70s, he was pals with one Paul Caiafa, whose older brother Jerry was the bass player in a fledgling punk band called The Misfits, and so it was that Stellmann’s immediate social circle was ground zero for all horror-punk to follow. Caiafa eventually joined his brother in the band, under the name “Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein,” and eventually, Von himself would play bass on some Misfits recordings, moving on in 1983 with singer Glenn Danzig after that band’s breakup to form the similarly themed but darker and more metallic Samhain, and then Danzig’s eponymous metal band, who did very well indeed. (Small world: Von left Danzig in the mid ‘90s, and his vacated bass slot was eventually filled by Dangerous Minds’ own Howie Pyro.)

Like a lot of creatively inclined kids, the young Eerie Von was an avid photographer, and he amply documented The Misfits. As it was with all of the great punk rock photography, Von recorded images of great future significance just by dint of having been in the right place with a camera, but to say so is no slight to his talent—as you’ll see below, Von’s superb eye for composition and drama is undeniable, whether the band was posing or performing, and even in candids. Some of his images are very familiar to Misfits/Samhain/Danzig fans, and some have gone largely unseen, but they were collected several years ago in the book Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009), which has recently been reprinted in a deluxe hardcover by Bazillion Points. It’s an altogether nicer edition—sturdier stock, recalibrated color, and forewords by Killswitch Engage’s Mike D’Antonio and Minor Threat’s Lyle Preslar.

Bazillion Points have graciously allowed us to share a selection of Von’s early Misfits photos. Enjoy.
 

 

 
More Misfits after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
70s Dinner Party recalls the glory days when cookbooks were fucking horrorshows
12.20.2016
08:27 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Food

Tags:


 
The appallingly unappetizing dishes and photography of 50s-70s cookbooks have been choice fodder for mockery for a long time, and it’s easy to see why. The unreal colors produced by the era’s photographic and printing technologies do nothing to help the repellent appearance of mystery meats and bizarre assemblages in aspic. I even keep a few old school cookbooks around solely for the photos—I doubt I’ll ever actually cook too many of these things, as almost everything pictured resembles the symptoms of loathsome diseases, and no recipe with “delight” or “surprise” in its name has ever lived up to its billing. Here are a few exemplary images from my copy of the 1961 edition of Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook (and looking at the asking prices for that book: thank you, mom, for never throwing that away). Unappetizing though these are—I don’t love ham salad, but I also don’t think it’s supposed to put one in mind of an Eldritch Abomination—they’re tame compared to what’s to come below.
 

 

 

 
More—oh you know there’s more—after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
When White Chicks Ruled the Jungle: The comicbook women who rivaled Tarzan
12.19.2016
10:38 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Books
Feminism

Tags:

014princesspantha.jpg
 
The prototype of the modern “jungle girl” first appeared in the novel Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by W. H. Hudson in 1904—eleven years after the man-cub Mowgli popped-up in The Jungle Books and eight years before Tarzan the ape man started swinging from tree-to-tree.

Hudson’s jungle girl was a dark-haired beauty called Rima who dwelt in the uncharted forests of Guyana. Hudson was inspired by tales he’d heard of white families living wild and free in the jungles of South America. Rima was a smart cookie—she was kind and loyal but was smitten by the love of a white man and so ended up as firewood. But good old Rima started a trend that has filled up the content of many books, comics and even pop songs for over a hundred years.

Jungle girls can be generally divided into two camps—the rich abandoned white kids who were nurtured through childhood by friendly animals and the feral kids who kick ass and have incredible supernatural powers over their animal pals.

The first fully-fledged comic book to feature one of these dames was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle in 1937. Sheena was one hot powerful blonde who looked she’d come straight out of the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sheena not only had looks she was adept at fighting with knives, spears and deadly hand-to-hand combat. She could also talk to animals—a big bonus when trying to outwit those pesky big game hunters. 

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was the first comic dedicated solely to a female character. Its great success spawned a host of imitators with names like Tegra, Zegra, Jann, Princess Pantha and White Princess Taanda. These women were always white and most definitely blonde or brunette. They were guardians of nature and usually dwelt in some dusty savannah or unknown jungle in a mythic Africa. 

The main era for these no-nonsense broads and their perilous adventures was the 1940s when a literal army of jungle girls made their appearance—some of which you can see below.
 
010shena1938no1.jpg
Sheena Queen of the Jungle—Issue #1 1938 (US) 1937 (UK).
 
009princesspantha1947june.jpg
Princess Pantha—June 1947.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dirty Books of the Rich and Famous: The classic erotica of Édouard-Henri Avril (NSFW)
12.14.2016
12:47 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:

000fanhilbatpar.jpg
 
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, long before Playboy and Pornhub and even the camera democratized pornography, the world of erotica was primarily the preserve of the wealthy. Those rich gentleman who could afford it were able to purchase illustrated volumes of limited edition books—-notorious novels like Fanny Hill, or salacious volumes of erotic poetry or even historical guides to sex. These books were limited to one or two hundred copies—this exclusivity meant they were very, very expensive. The stories and the poetry were often times just incidental—an added bonus if you like—to the main attraction: highly explicit and beautifully produced illustrations of all kinds of sexual shenanigans.

The master illustrator of such porn was Édouard-Henri Avril—who produced some of the most beautiful yet full-on erotic illustrations. Little is known about Édouard-Henri Avril other than the usual facts of birth and death. He was born in France on May 21st, 1849. He was the son of a policeman. He fought in the Franco-Prussian war, was wounded in 1870—for which he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur—after which he returned to his art studies. He attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On completing his studies he began his career as a commercial artist. But Édouard-Henri also had a secret career as a pornographer.

It was the offer of illustrating Théophile Gautier‘s novel Fortunio that led Édouard-Henri to his secondary career as an artist of erotic illustration. To avoid any family scandal, he adopted the pseudonym “Paul Avril” for this work—which was a tad confusing as he already had a brother called Paul. However, the little known “Paul Avril” was soon the leading artist of the rich man’s dirty books.

His most famous works are those for John Cleland’s Fanny Hill (1887)—the notorious banned tale of a woman of pleasure, Les sonnets luxurieux de l’Aretin (1904), Gautier’s Une nuit de Cléopâtre (1894), Daphnis et Chloé (1898), Flaubert’s Salammbô (1906),  and De figuris Veneris (1906)—an anthology of ancient Greek and Roman erotica compiled by Friedrich Karl Forberg.

Unlike most porn—or at least modern porn—the couples in Avril’s erotica are enjoying each other’s pleasure—as writer TM Bernard notes:

Notice the rapture on the faces of the women, something not usually something seen today, where everything is hot and furious, and a woman’s pleasure is often depicted as secondary to the man’s (and the viewers’). What’s more, the images reveal a total lack of pretense or shame. Whatever is being shared and experienced together is mutual and pleasurable.

This is classic porn. Probably why it cost so much.
 
0120frontveneris.jpg
Frontispiece to the ‘De Figuris Veneris: A Manual of Classical Erotica’ (1906).
 
021masturbmae.jpg
Male masturbation.
 
018dilsveil.jpg
Sex with a strap-on dildo.
 
More illustrated literary porn, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The rancid, rotten and eye-poppingly RIDICULOUS covers of Rock N’ Roll Comics!
12.14.2016
11:10 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Literature
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:


 
Todd Loren published the “proudly unauthorized” and totally demented Rock N’ Roll Comics until 1995 when the double whammy of the 32-year-old Loren being stabbed to death and the company’s bankruptcy brought the enterprise to an unceremonious end. Loren’s death is shrouded in mystery. Rumor has it that he was taken out by the same serial killer who murdered Gianni Versace. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The fascinating 2005 documentary The Story of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics explores Loren’s publishing empire and his death. I heartily recommend it. But I’m not focusing on that compelling bit of history here. I just want to share some totally amusing Rock N’ Roll Comics cover art.

Swirling in that visual vortex of the “so bad they’re good” category, Rock N’ Roll Comics (and its brother-in-arms Hard Rock Comics) have a certain schlock appeal that veers from the earnestly awful to inspired satire. I remember R N’ R Comics radiating from the racks of New York City newsstands. Seering themselves into my eyeballs, these covers were as ridiculously over-the-top as the smorgasbord of porno cheesiness they shared the racks with: Screw Magazine, Sluts And Slobs, Chocolate Singles, Ramrod and Honcho. This was the tail end (see what I did there) of New York’s grandly grungy era when the streets were still throbbing (see there, I did it again) with the uninhibited impulses of the beast in all of us.

Even in the early nineties, Rock N’ Roll Comics seemed seriously dated but that’s part of what makes them so damned special. I would love to see White Stripes, Kanye, Beyoncé, Daft Punk and Radiohead getting the Rock N’ Roll Comics treatment today.

60 plus issues of Rock N’ Roll Comics were published,. Here are my picks of the best/worst covers. Among them, the Ayn Rand inspired “Elvis Shrugged” gets a special shoutout as does the “Tipper Gore’s Comics and Stories” issue (Jello loved it and Dead Kennedys got their own issue, too). The incredibly goofy Botoxy, lip-injectioned Ramones (poor Joey looks like a mashup of Pete Burns and Kellyanne Conway) was intended to please but I’m rather certain that Joey stuck that issue under a pile of his MAD magazine collection.The “Women In Rock” issue was responsible for Andrea Dworkin’s umpteenth hernia when she picked up a stack on the corner of 13th and 2nd and tried to hurl them at a Pakistani delivery boy she mistook for Janet Jackson. The contenders for the absolutely worst covers are David Bowie looking like Rachel Maddow after she took a very long bath in hydrogen peroxide and the one where Bob Dylan is doing his impression of Montgomery Clift doing his impression of Gloria Swanson. The Grateful Dead edition was a sales flop but the cover was a hit (again I did it) having been licked to the point of invisibility by heads mistaking it for a sheet of blotter acid. Overnight, racks of Grateful Dead Comics looked like blurred X-rays with corners curling like the paper mudras of paper monks.

Special mention goes to Nirvana for tapping into their audiences’ fundamental fears and anxieties. Nirvana stood out for their unbridled celebration of teen spirit when the band courageously defied their handlers and boldly sported facial boils verging on detonation. These pus-filled flesh flags of honor were symbols of a society so toxic that only rock and roll and a pair of tweezers could exorcise the demons embedded in the souls of our society’s youth. This was acne as action, the beginning of the Blackheads Matter movement that aroused white kids from their complacent suburban wombs. To Love the smell of Clearasil in the morning is to be young and alive. This was the roots of Pusy Power and the beginning of the dead leucocytes movement.

Bubbles? What do you mean bubbles?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Witches, black metal demons & the devil: Scary illustrations that will become your new nightmares
12.13.2016
01:08 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Music

Tags:


An illustration by Argentinian artist Santiago Caruso.
 
Argentina-based artist Santiago Caruso may only be in his early 30s but his nightmarishly surreal paintings appear to be the work of a someone much more sage than his years.

Caruso’s artwork has been shown all over the world and his illustrations have graced the pages of books such as The Folio Society’s gorgeously illustrated version of Charlotte Brontë‘s 1847 novel Jane Eyre, and other publications featuring the works of Shakespeare and a recent republication of Don Quixote. Caruso’s work also appears on the covers of many albums such as by Italian black metal band Selvans and long-running Australian avant-garde death metal band StarGazer. In an interview from 2014 Caruso says that his creative process has always been intertwined with music since he started honing his skill as a young child. The talented Argentinian also credits the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft as other influences for his work.

Here’s more from Caruso, who calls himself a “Symbolist,” on his unique style:

I try to summon a poetic phantom that supplies a wider vision of the human, contemplating the beautiful, the frightening, the repressed or forgotten in the shadows, the impossible. With this concept of depiction, I try to utilize Gothic symbolism as a crystallized view of the world in many respects. I combine religion, politics, and commonplace things to reveal another vision of the world with regard to the unconscious, the damned ghosts we’ve buried, and many other aspects of history and philosophy.

I think you will find that the work I’ve featured in this post by Caruso are as compelling as his statement above. Most of the images that follow are fantastically NSFW.
 

 

 
More macabre visions after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Science fiction in its infancy: Fantastic illustrations for ‘The War of the Worlds’ from 1906
12.13.2016
09:45 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Thinkers

Tags:

001guerremonde.jpg
 
H. G. Wells must have had a blast writing The War of the Worlds—his classic tale of a martian invasion destroying most of south-east England, for this fictional invention allowed Wells to take wicked revenge on the stifling suburbs and hick towns that had constrained him during his childhood in Kent and his youth when he worked as a draper’s assistant. Wells loathed Little England‘s suburban middle class—which is a tad ironic considering that many of his own views were the epitome of the worst kind of Little Englander.

Wells’ early inspiration for The War of the Worlds came during his time as a teacher working in the environs of grimy, industrial Stoke-on-Trent in the late 1880s. He was astonished to see the night lit red by the iron foundry furnaces—and the relentless alien clanking mechanized sound of machinery. It started an idea that was further developed by reading the works of scientist Thomas Huxley—in particular his propagation of evolutionary theories on natural selection.

Huxley had been considering theories on issues of good and evil from a Darwinian perspective. Huxley suggested goodness was not related to a divine creator but merely the result of other cultural and social developments. To make his point, he offered up the analogy of a gardener tending to his garden by removing the weeds and pests—to ensure what was best could flourish. This line of thinking he further developed with the example of colonization—in particular the English establishing settlements in Tasmania:

They clear away native vegetation, extirpate or drive out the animal population, so far as may be necessary… In their place, they introduce grain and fruit trees; English dogs, sheep, cattle, horses; and Englishmen.

Wells assimilated Huxley’s thoughts and cleverly embedded these in The War of the Worlds—but instead of Englishmen he used an invading army of ruthless Martians to destroy and crush the indigenous population.

Perhaps surprisingly, Wells didn’t think this form of colonization was necessarily a bad thing. He considered it all part of the “evolutionary process” as he later wrote in his book Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought where he revealed some of his own very troubling Little Englander views.

In Anticipations Wells detailed his speculations on the future—where cities would expand, labor-saving devices would offer more leisure time and the world would be run by a “new class of modern efficients.” Wells looked forward to a world that eradicated the physically and mentally ill, the lower classes and “those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people” that would “have to go.” The book was incredibly popular—but was later described as “strong-armed fascism.” Wells was a socialist—so it’s not always the Alt-Right who hold racist views. It was two Catholic writers—G. K. Chesterton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—who forcefully condemned Wells’ wrong-headed and racist thinking which stemmed from his dodgy interpretation of Darwinian theory.

In spite of Wells’ many odd and often grossly intolerant pronouncements throughout his long life—his works have—as Jorge Luis Borges said—become mythic and will last long after the English language is forgotten. Which is palpably true as Wells concepts of alien invasion (The War of the Worlds) or time travel (The Time Machine) or animal hybrids (The Island of Doctor Moreau) have become embedded in universal culture—identifiable ideas to even those who have never heard of. let alone read H. G. Wells.

Wells started writing The War of the Worlds in 1895. He finished it sometime in early 1896 and revised it in 1897. The story was originally serialized in Pearson’s Magazine in 1897 and was published in book form in 1898—since when it has never been out of print. It has been adapted for the screen, television and even concept albums too many times to mention.

In 1906, Brazilian artist Henrique Alvim Corrêa produced a stunning series of some 130 illustrations for a French limited deluxe edition of The War of the Worlds. Though Corrêa tragically died from tuberculosis at the early age of 34 in 1910—and much of his work was lost during Germany’s invasion during the First World War—his illustrations for The War of the Worlds—created in consultation with Wells—are the definitive illustrations to this classic work of science fiction.
 
002guerremonde.jpg
 
003guerremonde.jpg
 
More invaders from Mars, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Weird monsters of Japanese folklore
12.09.2016
12:14 pm

Topics:
Art
Belief
Books
Occult

Tags:
Yōkai

08Ubagabi.jpg
Ubagabi—the ghost of an old woman that appears as fireball.
 
There’s an ancient Japanese legend of the one hundred yōkai—monsters, ghosts, apparitions and demons—who parade through the streets on hot summer nights. If anyone is unfortunate to see these creatures—or to be caught up in it—then they will perish away or worse be taken captive for the twisted pleasure.

If you’ve ever watched the enjoyable trilogy of movies Yokai MonstersOne Hundred Monsters (1968), Spook Warfare (1968), and Along With Ghosts (1969)—then you’ll have a good idea what these demons look like—ogres, goblins, ghosts, sprites, spooky umbrellas and dangerous women with ever-extending serpentine necks.

All of these incredible monsters have long been a part of Japanese folklore. They were first codified in the supernatural bestiary—Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons) by artist and scholar Toriyama Sekien in 1776. It’s a kind of fabulously illustrated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them but far, far more beautiful and eerie.

In 1881, artist Nabeta Gyokuei updated this incredible volume when he produced a picture book or e-hon of Sekien’s 100 demons. The Kaibutsu Ehon or Illustrated Book of Monsters features beautiful woodblock prints of each of the yōkai and its special powers.

The whole book can be viewed here.
 
04Kasha.jpg
Kasha—a fiery yōkai—or phantom-in this case a cat that steals or devours corpses.
 
12Aoi_no_Ue.jpg
Aoi no Ue—fictional female character from ‘The Tale of Genji’ who is possessed by demons.
 
More fabulous monsters, demons and ghosts, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Page 2 of 73  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›