Tuesday, April 30, 2013

O - M - G

Iron Man 3

I am SO there. Have you seen the clip of falling out of the airplane?! Sequels are supposed to get worse, by tradition — Marvel movies just get better and better. The effects are superlative! Robert Downey Jr! I don't know if he's my favorite actor, but he's my favorite media personality! Go see this movie! 

Pepper Potts! Yay!!!

'Nuff said!

Robert Downey Jr. — Iron Man 3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just About Right

Sometimes the work of Annie French seems too fussy, too detailed for my taste. This image seems just about right for her style.

Annie French — early xxth century

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Look

No matter whether in the movies, photographs or illustrations—Carole Lombard had The Look. In this case of course, Zoe Mozert helped add to the charm.

Zoe Mozert — Romantic Movie Stories — 1936

Friday, April 26, 2013


Another contemporary of Mucha (among hundreds of others, of course) was Joseph Kirkpatrick. While he is one of those not particularly associated with the Art Nouveau, his work was romantic and lyrical as was the case of so many other artists of the time. Perhaps because that was what the art academies and exhibitions were fond of, artists gravitated to similar subjects and manners — Hamlet's Ophelia being a favorite fantasy.
Joseph Kirkpatrick — Ophelia — 1896

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Exquisite Flow

A contemporary of Mucha was John White Alexander who also infused an exquisite flow into his paintings though he was not truly an artist of the Art Nouveau, but rather was distinguished as a portrait painter, illustrator and Symbolist painter. The image below is seen here and there, but this is the warmest reproduction I've seen, which I think gives strength to the mysterious light source.

John White Alexander — Isabella & the Pot of Basil — 1897

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Year

I love finding Mucha artwork that I haven't seen before, let alone a thousand times as we've seen most of his work. This is a mezzotint print from the old days.

Alphonse Mucha — New Year — circa 1898

Remember, if we treat it right, every day is the start of a new year!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Never Came to Be

Tim Hildebrandt created some fascinating concept art for a Wizard of Oz theme park in Kansas that never came to be. 

Bring in some cliffs and maybe, um, real tornadoes?

 Tim Hildebrandt — Wizard of Oz 
Theme Park Concept Painting— 1992

 Tim Hildebrandt — Wizard of Oz 
Theme Park Concept Painting — 1992

Our friend Larry left an excellent comment that pretty as these paintings are, most people would need more action and excitement than is shown here. Good point! So consider this:

Amongst a dozen other experiences, MAYbe Dorothy's house in that first pic would really come twisting and turning through the air to land on one of them wicked witches. MAYbe the other wicked witch would pop up here and there in green smoke and threaten visitors and then chuck firebombs at them. MAYbe the tin man would always be dancing his little heart out (chuckle). MAYbe the apple trees would be their mean nasty selfs and whop you with fruit. MAYbe you could lay down in a field of opiate poppies and have amazing personal adventures. MAYbe you could experience palace intrigue at the emerald city (that appears to be frozen white). MAYbe them flying monkey buggers would make everyone pee in their pants while hot air balloon rides let you escape to the parking lot!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I love this mythic illustration by the Russian illustrator, Losin.

V. Losin

Blessed State

This appears to be some form or another of a blessed state of being, though an odd potpourri of elements to my way of thinking, what with them dragons and creepy-looking elders. The dames can stay, though. Chocolates, bring in chocolates!

Otto Eckmann — 1899

Friday, April 19, 2013

In 1899

In 1899, there was no sensitivity to 'politically correct' issues. People just kept bumping into each other without thought — regarding race, creed, color, religion, belief, human rights, animal rights, on and on. And why not — the world still ran under Newtonian physics, resources were inexhaustible, imperialism was a way of life, two world wars were decades away, women still didn't vote, and the thought of animal extinction was relegated to just the Dodo Bird.

So, to put an illustration on the cover of Jugend magazine of a woman wearing a polar bear stole would not offend anyone and may or not have been a fashion statement to the editors. But when one goes further back in the magazine and sees a 'man stole', well then, perhaps we can consider the whole thing as a joke.

Or, I dunno, maybe that's an arctic wolf. Still . . .

 Above and below, Jugend magazine — 1899

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mystery and Wonder

Ah, the mystery and wonder of the Orient, as portrayed by Hollywood photography of the 1930s. Adventure awaits the theater patron.

Otto Dyar — Anna May Wong — Shanghai Express — 1932

The Poisoned Chalice

This is a clipping from a book that had already been trashed, heading for the recycle bin. Fritz Lang is always an interesting subject, but this anecdote especially caught my fancy. 

A few hours to consider, uh huh.

Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Free and Unfettered

This tribute to George Herriman's style of cartooning communication is one of the finest pieces of 'actual' cartooning that I've ever had the pleasure to lay my eyeballs on.

Jim,  I gotta say, you do some really fine stuff, yet I'm dine to see more of THIS kinda stuff! THIS is a glorious page!

© 1994 Jim Engel — Bungalow Bill

Sweet Gentle Life

Ah, the sweet gentle life of a Marquise . . .

Alexander Benois — The Marquise Bathing — 1906

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chilling Embrace

We've enjoyed some Spring weather here and there. Here, today, we are in the chilling embrace of the Snow Queen once again. Brrr.

Mary Engelbreit has such lovely charm in her graphics.

 All images this post © copyright Mary Engelbreit

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Taking the Tube

I don't know if this is a real poster, or one that somebody cobbled together digitally. But what better place for dark humor than underground? (I love taking the tube!)


Thursday, April 11, 2013


There is something so satisfying about this image for me, every time I see it. The style, the coloration, the composition, the cast shadows, the subtle drama, the bird cage (!). I normally don't like depictions of the time period shown here, but I just love looking at this one.

Thomas Maitland Cleland — 1934

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sensual Design

Back in the late '60s / early '70s, the Warren line of 'creepy' and 'eerie' magazines stood out on the newsstands as something different for 'mature' readers. A degree of violence and nudity had found their way into comics far beyond what the Comics Code Authority would ever have allowed. But being magazines (and the times), young people like me found comics interesting again (at least for a while), and early on thrilled to find Frazetta covers on many of them. 

The one interior artist that stood out, for me, with his graceful lines and dynamic compositions was Estaban Maroto, ultimately the only reason I would buy any particular issue, having found the stories themselves usually banal, trite, predictable and boring.

Maroto's art brought sensual design to otherwise lackluster horror.

Estaban Maroto

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Remembrance of the City of God

I love it when one of these posts provokes some of you folks to take action, like commenting, but in this case — sharing a relevant scan.

This page shows the quote of Emerson's that inspired the story:

"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!"

John Campbell, the editor at the time, of Astounding Science-Fiction responded to Asimov, "I should think they would go mad."

Thanks OtherEric!

Kolliker — Astounding Science-Fiction— interior pulp illustration


What magnificent feats of engineering humans are capable of for the quest of understanding our universe . . .

Mt Palomar — 1949

Whereas in Isaac Asimov's Nightfall, on the planet Lagash, residing in a solar system of 6 suns that cause perpetual daylight, such engineering ushered in a period of madness among society when an eclipse every 2 thousand some years allowed night's darkness to expose the universe beyond their atmosphere.

Hubert Rogers — Astounding Science-Fiction — September 1941

The story is oft reprinted as well as adapted to a novel with Robert Silverberg, and is worth seeking out if you haven't read it

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rest My Eyes

The little image below may not be exciting, but to me it is very pleasurable to rest my eyes upon. The subject matter, the ink work, the composition—it's mesmerizing to me in its own little way.

This is from a book that Roy Krenkel sold to me, demonstrating one of Krenkel's lovely inspirations for his own work.

F. Brest — decorative panel — 1885

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I do believe I've heard of the phenomenon of rapturing underwater if you deprive yourself of oxygen for too long.

Sandra Brown Rowbo — Atlantis Rapture — 1992

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Showing Off

Here's that Burne Hogarth again, showing off his love of detail . . .

Burne Hogarth — Tarzan's Birth Cabin — 1972

See India

I would dearly LOve to see India . . .

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mighty Colorful

Mighty colorful for something calling itself black & white.

Don't know the artist, don't know the date, but I'm mighty confident that it's somewhere early 20th century.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thank You Carmine Infantino

Public Personas That Influence Our Lives

Once again many of us are affected with sadness of the passing of public personas that influence our lives. Roger Ebert, film critic, will be sorely missed by many, but for me the passing today of Carmine Infantino, the great comic book artist and editor affects me more.

The losses of Carmine Infantino, today, and Joe Kubert in the recent past have shook me more than I would have believed, only matched by the passing of Walt Kelly many years ago. These men have created work that kept me motivated professionally and personally from my earliest childhood.

I am grateful that each of these men left us such a huge body of work to be enjoyed again and again.

A turning point for me, as a young boy, was the publication of Infantino's sketches in the Flash Annual #1 that demonstrated how he drew the stylish renderings of his iconic character. It opened my eyes to possibilities that I still wield all these years later.

I met Infantino but briefly, yet significantly for me. Above is a sketch that he based on a drawing he had done for a cover of the in-house DC fanzine from many years ago, that I recently sold at auction as part of our fund-raising for our daughter's education.

It's hard seeing an adventurous creative era coming to a close.


Usually when we see an image of this sort, with a dwelling holding out, as real estate builds up around it, it is of a tiny ma and pa Victorian hovel. Harrison Cady, he of the cute animal illustrations, shows us a lush beauty of an estate that will soon be paved over by the industrial revolution continuing to roll into the twentieth century. 

This was progress?

Harrison Cady — Urbanization — early xxth century

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Help Identify the Artist

I'm looking for some help from you wanderers of the internet, in identifying the artist of this beautiful image that I plucked from a tumblr site a couple of years ago.  It's either a digital rendering or mixed media, and I'd love to track down the creator.

Who? Who? Who?


Sur-VEY SEZ: William Chen . . . seein' as it's in his portfolio on his website. Thank you all who responded and helped out! 

Isn't it a beautiful rendering?


Commenters pointing to Craig Mullins was a solid lead, as William Chen sites Mullins' work as his inspiration. Thanks again you guys.

The World

In the scheme of the Cosmos, our world is as ephemeral as a bubble.

Celebrate our world's existence . . .

Wallace — The World — April 1921

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1

I'm not going to try an April Fools on you. You're all too smart to be fooled. Instead I'm posting a story that takes place on April 1. With an artist's name like Harry Peter and dialogue like "I'll show you—you sneaking dick!", well who needs April Fools?

I love the old Wonder Woman stories from the golden age, but I never liked Etta Candy as a character, except nowadays I appreciate her feistiness and loyalty to WW and the Holiday Girls. In fact, I've come to really like the Holiday Girls in various stories as they are always cheery and optimistic even in dire circumstance.

 from Wonder Woman #5—June/July 1943
art: Harry Peter / story: William Moulton Marston