Tag Archive: Art


JRR Tolkien

Caricature by gaumgospel

Today would have been JRR Tolkien’s 120th birthday.

To celebrate, Tom Hawking, the contributing editor over at Flavorwire has put together a gallery of beautiful and strange editions of Lord of the Rings  and The Hobbit from around the world. The list includes Professor Tolkien’s *least* favorite cover art as well as bizarre interpretations from Poland (which really should surprise no one who has seen CHUD’s extensive coverage of Polish movie posters) and other international editions.

To see an exhaustive listing of Tolkien cover art, please visit the Tolkien Book Covers Gallery and The Tolkien Library

Here are my personal favorites, some from Tom’s list and others from The Tolkien Book Covers Gallery.

The original | Polish Edition | British Folio Edition | 2005 Houghton-Mifflin set | Finnish Edition

So, please join me in raising a glass and toasting the author of one of the most enduring and beloved books in the English language:

“THE PROFESSOR!”

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RIP Harvey Pekar - 1939-2010

RIP 1939-2010

“…In the long run, we’re all dead anyway.”

– Harvey Pekar, The Quitter, 2005

Harvey Pekar, the genius author behind American Splendor has died. He was 70 years old.

Pekar began his chronicle of everyday life in 1976 while he was working as a file clerk at Cleveland’s Veterans Hospital. American Splendor was an unflinching look at Pekar’s mundane and seemingly pointless interactions between himself and co-workers and hospital patients. As it evolved, American Splendor became an ongoing biography of Harvey’s life, his trials, foibles, worries and anxieties, eventually expanding to include his relationships with his wife Joyce Brabner and his adopted daughter Danielle. Harvey never pulled any punches, most notably when writing about his fight against lymphoma in ‘Our Cancer Year’, published in 1994. He would go on to write about jazz, the artists with whom he collaborated, the making of the movie American Splendor staring Paul Giamatti, and the wartime experiences of his friend and coworker Robert McNeill in Vietnam.

Pekar worked with some of the greatest comic artists of this century to produce American Splendor including: R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Greg Budgett, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Zabel, Gerry Shamray, Frank Stack, Mark Zingarelli, and Joe Sacco. More recently Harvey teamed up with artists Dean Haspiel and Josh Neufeld and cartoonists Jim Woodring, Chester Brown, Alison Bechdel, Gilbert Hernandez, Eddie Campbell, David Collier, Drew Friedman, Ho Che Anderson, Rick Geary, Ed Piskor, Hunt Emerson, Bob Fingerman, Alex Wald and even legendary comics writer Alan Moore.

It was R. Crumb who first started working with Pekar on what would become American Splendor after they met in 1962. It was Harvey’s contention that comic books could be used to tell more than formulaic fantasy stories, that they could be something more:

When I was a little kid, and I was reading these comics in the ’40s, I kind of got sick of them because after a while, they were just formulaic. I figured there was some kind of a flaw that keeps them from getting better than they are, and then when I saw Robert Crumb’s work in the early ’60s, when he moved from Philadelphia to Cleveland, and he moved around the corner from me, I thought ‘Man, comics are where it’s at’.

Always irascible and opinionated, Pekar appeared multiple times as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman during the 1980’s until he was banned for wearing a t-shirt declaring himself to be “On Strike Against NBC”, railing against NBC’s parent company GE and accusing Letterman himself of being a corporate shill. According to Harvey:

[W]ith Letterman … you either lay down and let him insult you or you do something about it. Most people keep their mouth shut and let him dump on them. I don’t wanna do that.

Goodbye Harvey, you were authentic, original and thought provoking. We were all much better for having know you. You shall be missed.

Wil Wheaton riding a unicorn kitty, hunting Orc-John Scazi down with a vengeanceOkay, gang, stop scratching your head. You’re about to draw blood. All will be explained.

For those of you wondering, yes, that’s Wil Wheaton. And yes, he’s riding a wing-ed unicorn kitten whilst wearing his favorite sweater (which seems so much more bad-ass here).  And yes, for some reason he’s going medieval on poor John Scazi who seems to have suffered a tragic telepod accident involving himself and Shrek.

Why? Well that’s up to you. I’ll let John explain:

You write a 400 to 2,000 word fanfic about the picture above. Come at it from any angle you like to explain, illuminate or otherwise bring to life what’s going on in the picture above. Our only request is NO slash fanfic (please). But other than that, knock yourself out.

When you’re finished with the story, in addition to whatever else you do with it (hey, it’s your fanfic, we hold no claim to it), send a copy of the story to fanfic@scalzi.com by 11:59pm Eastern, June 30, 2010 (one entry per person), with the text of the story in the e-mail (no attachments, please). When you do, you’ll enter your fan fiction into a contest.

If your fanfic of the picture is chosen by our Jury of Awesomeness, your story will appear in a special electronic chapbook about the picture, with other stories written by me, by Wil, by Norton Award winner and Best Novel Hugo Award nominee Catherynne Valente and by Patrick Rothfuss, best selling author of The Name of the Wind. You will be paid for your story at the rate of ten cents a word (twice the SFWA minimum professional rate), and you’ll receive a special prize pack of books from Subterranean Press, which will publish the electronic chapbook later in the year.

We have plans for the chapbook: We’re going to sell it online, and the proceeds of the chapbook will go to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America, an organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus. As folks who know and love people affected by this disease, this a cause and foundation we believe in and want to help. The donation will go through the Alliance’s Michigan/Indiana affiliate.

Awesome.

Good luck! If you enter, be sure to send me a copy so I can publish it on the blog.

BTW, the painting was created by concept designer Jeff Zugale (V), who himself is also AWESOME!

Via: Wil Wheaton, John Scazi

True Blood - Night CapMuch better – nice, simple and clean. It seems that the True Blood posters are going the way of the Star Trek sequels, every other one is a dud.

Frank Frazetta - 1928 - 2010

RIP: 1928 - 2010

Noted fantasy artist Frank Frazetta passed away today in Florida. He was 82 and still painting.

Frazetta will probably be best remembered for his artwork for the Conan the Barbarian novels, although he also created iconic covers for both Tarzan and the John Carter of Mars series. He never read any of Rice Burroughs novels, saying instead:

“I didn’t read any of it… I drew him my way. It was really rugged. And it caught on. I didn’t care about what people thought. People who bought the books never complained about it. They probably didn’t read them.”

Frazetta worked in multiple fields, creating art for comic books (Shining Knight), daily comic strips (Lil’ Abner, Flash Gordon), movie posters (What’s New Pussycat, The Gauntlet), album covers and even an animated movie, Fire and Ice, released in 1983.

Conan the Conqueror - Frank FrazettaWorking commercially mainly in oils, Frazetta also painted in watercolour, pen and ink or simply sketched with pencils. His cover art for Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Escape on Venus” sold at auction for $251,000 in 2008. His work reached the $1 million mark in 2009 when his painting “Conan the Conqueror” sold to a private collector in 2009.

In later life, Frazetta was plagued by health challenges, a thyroid problem and a series of strokes diminished his manual dexterity, making it difficult to paint. Undaunted, Frazetta switched to his left hand, and continued painting until his death.

I’ve never read any of the Conan books, or Tarzan for that matter, but when I think of those characters, the image in my mind’s eye is invariably one painted by Frank Frazetta. You couldn’t spend the amount of time that I did in the Fantasy section of the local book store and not be influenced by his work. I was always fascinated by his use of light and shadow. It lent a heaviness to his work that suited what I knew of those characters, they were dangerous, unpredictable and raw and his images captured that perfectly.

I also have to admit to wondering how the heck those little metal bikini’s stayed on those busty women.

Frank Frazetta influenced so many modern day fantasy artists including Boris Vallejo and Yusuke Nakano, the lead artist for Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda video game series . The field may not be as thriving as it is today if it weren’t for him.

He will be missed.

Vampirella - Frank FrazettaWhat's New Pussycat - Frank FrazettaThe Brain - Frank FrazettaJohn  Carter of MarsTarzan - Frank FrazettaGollum - Frank Frazetta

Via: Associated Press

…’cause vampires suck on me!

Vamp Stamp - True Blood Poster No. 8Love it!

True Blood  Do Not Feed the Shape ShiftersThis one got a good giggle. I love the retro feel of the image. It’s kind of Mad-Men-ish.

Always getting lost making your way from Hobbiton to the Withywindle River? Want to visit Weathertop but keep winding up in Moria instead?

Keep your Fellowship from losing its way with the handy-dandy, wearable and washable Middle Earth Metro Map!

There and Back Again - by Reagan H. LeeThere and Back Again by Reagan H. LeeDesigned by Reagan H. Lee, buy your Middle Earth Tube Map and you can walk into Mordor any time you please.

Get your Middle Earth Metro Shirt at Threadless Tees!

Eggs by nocturnalmothThese guys certainly won’t.

By nocturnal_Moth at deviantArt

Via: Neatorama

If I were Dorothy and I had this thing rumbling along the yellow brick road beside me, I can’t imagine the Wicked Witch of the West giving me a hard time.

Wonder if Mr. Predator could make an appearance in Girl Genius.  Think Phil and Kaja would let him?