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Pop art dreamworld: The amazing, sexy comic strip art of the 1967 film ‘The Killing Game’’

Undoubtedly the coolest, sexiest, and most sophisticated film about a comic book artist ever made, Alain Jessua’s 1967 Jeu de massacre is a stylized French new wave comedy that’s incredibly ahead of its time. Burnt-out comic book writer Pierre Meyrand (Jean-Pierre Cassel), and his illustrator/wife Jacqueline (sixties babe Claudine Auger), are visited in their office one day by a wealthy playboy with an overactive imagination who invites the couple to stay at his luxurious mansion in Switzerland. He quickly inspires Pierre and Jacqueline to create a new comic strip character based on him nicknamed “The Neuchatel Killer,” a womanizing bank robber who turns into a psychotic serial murderer. The line between fantasy and reality quickly gets blurred when the playboy begins living out his alter-ego’s exploits, drawing his house guests into his zany, disturbing delusions with him.

Who better to call on to illustrate Jeu de massacre‘s comic strip sequences than Belgian artist Guy Peellaert? A decade before he became famous for his rock ‘n’ roll album covers and movie posters, Peellaert was known for his psychedelic pop art which included the now legendary comic strip, Les Aventures de Jodelle, published in the controversial French magazine Hara-Kiri in 1966. For Jeu de massacre, Guy Peellaert brought the same level of groovy sex appeal to the big screen. His suave, colorful illustrations are perfectly edited into the narrative, visually punctuating the characters as they lose their grip on reality and succumb to Peellaert’s romantic pop art dreamworld.




More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
‘Filthy weird’: Classic comic character ‘Nancy’ gets hilariously corrupted in ‘The Nancy Book’

What if Nancy was an Acid Freak? Illustration by Joe Brainard
“If Nancy was an Acid Freak.” An illustration by Joe Brainard.
Over the course of fifteen years, prolific American author and artist Joe Brainard took the much loved image of comic strip character “Nancy,” (originally conceived and drawn by Ernie Bushmiller starting back in the early 1930s) and inserted her into approximately 100 very un-Nancy-like situations. From playful and amusing—such as Nancy emerging from my grandmother’s ever-present pack of Tareyton cigarettes, to the strange unexpected pornographic depictions of Brainard’s neuvo-Nancy, 70 of these pieces included in 2008’s The Nancy Book.
Mixed media Nancy by Joe Brainard

“If Nancy was an ashtray.”

“If Nancy had an Afro.”
Brainard (who once sat for a screen test with Andy Warhol in 1964), sadly passed away long before The Nancy Book ever saw the light of day. In addition to Brainard’s works, the publication also includes essays from writers and poets such as Ron Padgett and Frank O’Hara. Although it’s not a part of The Nancy Book, it’s worth mentioning that punk pioneer Richard Hell wrote an essay on Brainard’s book that appeared in his 2015 book, Massive Pissed Love. Here’s an excerpt from Hell’s thoughts on Brainard’s unorthodox “Nancy”:

The pictures speak for themselves. Acid freaks, terrible diseases, afro hairdos - Nancy is the constant, the immortal essence— everything else is costume. All the world is Nancy in drag.

Another interesting bit of backstory on The Nancy Book is an amusing piece of “hate mail” (which I desperately hope is real) sent to the book’s publisher, Siglio Press back in 2011. According to the angry letter, Brainard’s “filthy weird” book was given to a fourteen-year-old girl named, you guessed it, Nancy, on her birthday by a relative who found it on Craig’s List. Here’s the letter below in all its “discusting” finger-wagging typo-riddled glory.
Hate mail to the publisher of The Nancy Book, Siglio about it being

A few months ago my daughter 14 years old was given a book for her birthday from my 55 year old nephew. My daughters name is Nancy. She was given “the Nancy Book” By Joe Brainard and it was published by Siglio Press Co. My nephew purchased this book on Craig’s list. He had no idea that is was a filthy weird book. My daughter has a collection of Nancy & Sluggo things and books by Ernie Bushmiller. This book was discusting—I showed the drawings and fotos to my friends and their reaction was the same as mine. The book was wrapped in cellophane so we were unaware it was a truly dirty rotten book. Can you imagine a 14-year-old girl getting a book like that for her birthday gift. I know Ernie Bushmiller has died, he would be astounded that this Joe Brainard copied his comic strip and made such trash out it.

I can not understand how you and your press company would publish such filth. The price of this book was $39.95. This was not works of art.

I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on working the expression “filthy weird” into as many conversations as possible. You can pick up The Nancy Book here. I’ve also included more images—some were so NSFW you should just hunt for them on your own time—from the book as well as the trailer for a lovely documentary on Joe Brainard (which you can download here for $5 bucks), below.

“If Nancy was a sailor’s basket.”
More ‘filthy weird’ nasty Nancy after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Ten famous comic strip artists draw their characters blindfolded

How many times have you heard someone boast, “That’s so easy, I could do it blindfolded”? Well, that was the very task set by Life magazine in 1947 to ten well-known comic strip artists, who were asked to draw their instantly recognizable cartoon characters blindfolded.

As comic strip artists create their characters with a few well chosen marks of pen on paper, it was believed these artists, having drawn hundreds of cartoon strips, should be able to draw their creations instinctively, without looking—just as most can tie shoelaces or touch type unsighted.

However, the results fell far below the magazine’s expectations—veering between the bad untutored scribble to almost miniature works of modern art. For example Mel Graff’s blindfolded drawing of Secret Agent X-9 looks Cubist with a cigarette being smoked thru the hero’s ear; while Frank Robbins’ Brandy looks decidedly unhappy with her results; and Frank King’s Skeezix from “Gasoline Alley” is reminiscent of those portraits drawn under LSD.
Via A Hole in the Head, H/T Bored Panda

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment