Friday, May 20, 2011
This one's for Bhob and Drags ...
Attention Virgil Finlay fans! A nice find from a comic shop last year, "PULPS" is a lavishly printed pro-zine that concerns itself with Pulp, Fantasy and SF art. This is the only issue I've seen; the words are generally scarce and the art is all very wonderful and reproduced amazingly.
Click to enlarge all of these, but this remarkable Wally Wood drawing requires extra attention.
There's a very brief Archie Goodwin interview in this issue, and this very, VERY cool candid shot of Goodwin in his office. Archie Goodwin has a long list of credits that benefited comics and fandom, but he's best know to the Freedom School for editing CREEPY and EERIE, as well as writing a large bulk of their content.
Virgil Finlay tends to not disappoint, and the above drawings are superb examples of his best work at the time.
The two pages above are by "Marilac", whom I gather is a French 40's pulp illustrator. Great work, with a tinge of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" in some of these. I also assume "Marilac" was a fan of American pulps and artist Hannes Bok.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
At this point I have so much Pulp Art that I haven't yet had the time to post, so doing quick posts of art from single issues of things seems like a good idea - these are great 60's illustrations by Lee Brown Coye and Virgil Finlay from the April 1963 issue of AMAZING STORIES. Enjoy, and click to enlarge please!
Wonderful Coye back cover ...
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Finally, another installment of beautiful art by the most important, significant and successful artist in the Freedom School Records universe, Mr. Lee Brown Coye. The work here is from "The Night Side: Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible", published in 1947 by Rinehart and Company. The book is third in trilogy of non-Arkham House anthologies edited by Derleth and illustrated by Coye, the other two titles being "Who Knocks?" and "Sleep No More", the latter of which has its own post here. Some of the images have appeared on FSR before (they were scans of original art, not owned by me), but all LBC images from "the Night Side" are included here for posterity. Please click to enlarge the drawings!
For HPL's "The Color Out of Space", the original is owned by a contemporary artist named Justin Lieberman.
For "The Night Wire" by H.F. Arnold
For "The Extra Passenger" by Stephen Grendon
For "Joshua" by R. Creighton Buck
For "Mr. Minchin's Midsummer" by Margery Lawrence
For "The Eerie Mr. Murphy" by Howard Wandrei
For "Nightmare" by Marjorie Bowen
For "One Head Well Done" by John D. Swain
For "Seaton's Aunt" by Walter De La Mare
For "Face in the Mirror" by Denys Val Baker
Although I'm sure the story isn't unknown to historians of Weird Fiction (I'm but a lowly fanatic), I always assumed this trilogy of books was either solicited by the book companies or presented to them by Derleth. Reason perhaps being that Arkham House knew their distribution limitations and felt it didn't interfere with their arguably more boutique business model. Look for the Weird Art of Lee Brown Coye Part 8 in the near future ... !
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I don’t know that there could be a better label/company out there than SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO.
For me, the success of SWV comes from their blatant disregard of what everyone else’s idea of what a video label should do or sell. Their design was almost always audacious, and their content in the beginning – sex films without any actual sex – couldn’t have been more out of place in the late 80’s / early 90’s, as XXX Hard Core Pornography dominated the video market for sleaze. After those earliest days, the label took on almost every facet of exploitation cinema, and beyond. SMV introduced my generation not only to the notion that there was in fact an endless old world of bizarre, outré cinema, but also that the appreciation of this world was something totally fun – it wasn’t heavy-handed or intellectual in any way, it was just a purely good time. As the world of vinyl has “Party Albums”, SWV has “Party Tapes” – all you had to do was check your inhibitions at the door, bub!
The success of SOMETHING WEIRD rests on the fact that the small group of folks there simply believed in what they what they were doing. That confidence took their company through the roof in the 1990’s. Name another Video label that started off selling “worthless”, literally discarded “sex” films – that were reproduced for the video market in a totally DIY homemade fashion, computer-designed/printed covers and all – and somehow ended up with national distribution, ensuring that every mall in America carried titles like “FRANKENSTEIN’S CASTLE OF FREAKS” or “THE GORE GORE GIRLS”! ... I can only think of one!
The real joy of these for me is the memory of being 15 and going into Kim’s Video on Bleeker Street in New York City and buying them. I was wide-eyed at the sight of the “Something Weird Section” they had; absolutely EVERYTHING there seemed amazing. Featured here today is the art of 20 wonderful Something Weird Video releases, some are titles that I got in those mid-teen years – the first three were “The Defilers”, “Blood Feast” and “The Awful Doctor Orloff”, Jess Franco’s excellent debut horror picture.
Only very recently have these tapes become unavailable, or “out of print”. It’s a particularly interesting time to make this change, as VHS is now a preferred and collectible format for so many culture aficionados, and of course the realm of Horror and Exploitation houses the majority of Videophiles out there … ARE YOU ONE US??? If not you should consider it … After all, “Teenage Tupelo” ISN’T on DVD! Click to enlarge!!!
Above, you see the classic Dave Friedman (RIP) and R.L Frost Nazi roughie "LOVE CAMP 7", the same team that brought us "THE DEFILERS, featured at the top.
The seven films above are all from the Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis. I can never believe that most folks don't know his stuff. There sure are some weird people in this world.
I have a lot a pals that are anti-porn. There's of course gobs of super-negative XXX Adult fare out there nowadays, and so much of what "Something Weird" released was from the complete other side of the spectrum. SWV made lots of very fun, playful and sexy films available, and it's this area of pornography that I think porn-haters should explore more of. It brings with it a carefree acceptance of sex, and usually treats the act as a fun activity for both sexes (if, of course, the act is featured at all!).
Amongst the scary and dirty flix were some great arty Euro-Horror films, like this Riccardo Freda jem pictured above.
In my top ten of all time since High School thanks to a glowing Psychotronic review, "Teenage Tupelo" is one of the most personal expressions ever committed to 16mm. To say the film is artful is an understatement, try to imagine what a 60's-era Ingmar Bergman movie would be like if Bergman was from Memphis and like ... played guitar in the OBLIVIANS or something! Pray for the re-release!!!
Above is Dave Friedman's personal favorite of his films, the SWV classic "She-Freak"
The above oddity is a later SWV tape, acquired in the glory days of Something Weird setting up at Chiller Theatre Con. There's a early US video release of this as well I believe. Mike Vraney was basically trying to get me to NOT buy this video: "No really, it's terrible! You'll never finish watching it ..." And he knows what he's talking about - I never have!
Ah, another "ADULT" title. This is probably the earliest SWV I own, and much of the early output was similar collections of "stag loops".
Avant gothic horror with a twist of sadism and madness? Yes, please! Top ten Jess Franco, definitely!
Let's close this with a trilogy of trash from one of the filmmakers closest to my heart, Andy Milligan. I'm even at odds with Something Weird themselves here tho - I'm one of those nuts that actually genuinely LIKES Andy Milligan's films! And not because I think they're silly either, I can get behind Andy's very radical, often twisted, tales of incest, murder, sick sex and familial loathing. They're powerful expressions, and at his best Andy could grab snapshots of a very dark and emotional universe. Although not a "director's cut" by any means, the last film pictured here, "SEEDS OF SIN" is an astounding one, and a joyous challenge to the audience in the form of a blood-soaked family reunion. Check it out!
Support SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO by going to their site AND BUYING THINGS FROM THEM!
See you at the video store,