Lawrence Stevens is much appreciated for his pulp illustrations of the '40s, his style a bit more refined than his compatriot Virgil Finlay. At times his rendering and layout style could stray well into the realm of fantasy, as this image gracefully demonstrates.
The bottom frieze panel is darkly delicious.
Lawrence Sterne Stevens — The Devil's Spoon _ 1948
It's that time of year to start planning your ski trip, so it's a good time to post this sweet poster of Hannes Schneider, pioneer and father of modern skiing technique. Considering the importance of his influence in the development of skiing, it's fun to see him teach a school of beginner snow bunnies.
Berta Czegka — Arlberg Ski School — circa 1930
Schneider's history is interesting, as having intersected with the histories of both world wars, having been arrested and jailed during the rise of Hitler. Through the intervention of individuals in the U.S., he was freed and was able to emigrate to the states. Quoting from an article about him: Legend, at least, holds that he wasn't yet finished with Hitler. Schneider would not only become the father of modern day skiing in America, but he may also have acted as an advisor to those training the legendary 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army in which his son Herbert served. Though the details are sketchy, there is evidence of several Washington trips and meetings that give some credibility to this legend, though it is unlikely that we will ever know for certain.
I'm trying my best to adapt to this new format that Blogger has so generously bestowed upon us Blogger users. Anyone that doesn't use Blogger won't see anything different from your POV (except the color of the text— I can't figure out how to get a color I like), but on this side the dashboard has been 'stream-lined' and I have to think twice as hard before posting (yeah, yeah, I know— 2 times 0 is still 0).
Okay, but I'm trying. As my wife sez: yes, VERY trying.
Completely off the subject, but relevant to the last post, this image is a cover that Robert Crumb created using the little lightbulb-headed character that is/was Gyro Gearloose's helper. That little guy stole the show in so many Carl Barks' Gearloose stories, living his own little adventurous inventive life. Crumb gave him a heart and put him on guard. As to the rest of the cover, Crumb wouldn't be Crumb if he wasn't offending SOMEbody, huh?
When I was a kid, inventors were all the rage. That's probably the case for all kids in all generations, but really, the 'space age' was the age of the future. Things had to be invented for the future to unfold the way it was being predicted. I would sit in church and daydream all the inventions that would make life more interesting.
One of the inspirations for wild daydreams was an inventor by the name of Gyro Gearloose, who usually invented just what was needed to solve a problem for his clientele. Sometimes he had to whack himself in the head and see stars and then invent something while in a delirium. I think that probably kicked his right brain into gear, while his left brain worked on automatic pilot.
Carl Barks — Gyro Gearloose — 1960
There are inventors and there are tweakers. The tweakers are forever noodling with a great invention, to try to improve it and change it gradually into something else. Sometimes it's changed into a complicated gadget that basically does what the original invention did, but takes the fun out of the early concept.
Airplanes have gone from barn-storming jennies that any adventurous soul could master to ultra-complex ultra-sonic jet fuel guzzling monster birds that can only be piloted by specialists with years of dedicated training.
Cars used to be sweet little contraptions with great diverse looks, that the owner could tinker with and fix problems and even replace a carburetor if needed. Now cars all look like one another and need specialized mechanics to hook the car's computer up to a diagnostic computer and then adjust components to just the right micro-tolerence.
Computers and the internet were once the domain of geeks bearing slide-rules (remember those?) and then finally reached a level where ol' grandma and you and I could figure out how to operate them and accomplish things with 'em. But there's always a new software, a new OS, a new plug-in gadget, all of them needing learning curves, special chargers, special training. Platforms that won't talk to each other without buying a special translator program, or things that you'd like to program or download, but nope, it's only for Microsoft, or nope, only for Mac. Oh, that great cutting edge computer that you bought last year? It's phased out, nearly obsolete, time to buy a new one, oh a new and improved one that does all the things the other one did, but it's been tweaked so that you have to learn new protocols and procedures.
Blogging was a great invention, a way for every person to communicate and publish, but now there's all kinds of options and decisions, hidden costs (ah, yes, extra storage), and just when you're comfortable with the program you're using, they imPROVE it, so that it does the same basic thing as always, but give you new learning curves, changing the look just for the sake of change.
It used to be that I could just whack myself in the head and see stars and kick my right brain into gear while my left brain worked on automatic pilot and blog, blog, blog for the fun of it for you and I. Now my left brain is in charge, trying to figure out which icon to click, which size to make each image, what unfamiliar color will work for the text, yada yada.
Change for change's sake, that's what inventing is about anymore.
I am disgustipated with change just for the sake of change. This blogger thing was something I could just do on automatic pilot, knowing the routine of the steps to put the posts up. Now I have to stop and think and rethink each step, thanks to this new interface. Even once I get used to it, I'm not going to get used to it. I liked the old interface better! I held off till the last possible moment to have to go to this interface, thinking that maybe the blogger folks were rethinking their retooling. But no. Why they couldn't just add great features to the old interface is beyond me.
Urf. What with my major deadline, I don't think I'll be posting much, esPECIALly because I don't have time to mess with this change. UPDATE: Good gosh, I can't even get the text to come out in the right color. I yam thoroughly disgustipated.
Oops, sorry folks, my posts are even more erratic than usual. I have a major deadline in 10 days that will keep me pretty sketchy here. But I'll slip stuff in when I can. Here's some of the cool earlier stuff of Fritz Willis before he rendered pin-ups just for pin-ups sake.
Comic books are full of incredible feats of strength and timing. Swinging on vines through a jungle, like Tarzan, seems to me to be an arduous task, tantamount to the very limits of Olympic abilities.
In fact, perhaps that could be an Olympic event that elite athletes would be capable of—a timed quadathalon obstacle course — swinging, diving, swimming, and wrestling an alligator alá Johnny Weismuller. The garments would be animal skins (faux of course). The women's event might look somewhat like the images below.
Speaking of dreams and such, knowing how eclectic this blog can be, this is a sweet little image to go with the theme. The Disney version of life has its positives and negatives, but I can't find fault with this still from one of the early Silly Symphonies — Lullaby Land.
Here, Sgt. Rock is fever-dreaming/hallucinating/whatever and his visions are pretty cool. Joe Kubert's stuff was always great, but this full page gives a hint of what he might have done with a mythological/fantasy assignment. It's still hard to believe that Kubert has left the studio.
Think what you will about the profundity and validity of The Bible in the context of our society, but the beauty of words and adornment of pages in various editions is unmistakable.
Illuminated Page from the Gutenberg Bible
'The Gutenberg Bible, traditionally accepted as the first book printed from movable type, was issued at Mainz, Germany, about 1454. The page, above, shows page one of the Proverbs of Solomon. The pages are illuminated to give the effect of a hand-copied manuscript, as desired by the printers, who did not wish their invention discovered. The book was probably printed in 10 sections on 6 presses working simultaneously. Of nearly 300 copies, only 45 are known to be in existence today.'
Another view of an interface with death, from an aspect of orthodox fatalism, brought about much by 'the church' equating knowledge with blasphemy. When Eve partakes of fruit from the tree of knowledge, she condemns us all to a life of misery, and only when we receive divine intervention can our souls be saved.
Not original sin as much as original superstition, wasting millennia of progressive thinking.
This Time magazine cover has been sitting on my desk for the last couple of months, waiting to be posted right on August 30. I've been so tied up with stuff that I overlooked it. But seeing as it's been sitting around in my image morgue for over 40 years, I'm not going to wait until next August 30 to pull it up.
1968 was a momentous time by any reckoning, with assassinations, the war in Viet Nam, the riotous conventions, world-wide protests, the capture of the 'Pueblo' by the North Koreans. And the cold war exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, as starkly and powerfully portrayed on the Time cover, from a time when Time's covers were powerful most every week.
I am posting these images with a non-profit and educational 'fair use' motive, regarding respective copyrights. Anyone downloading and using these images for any commercial use would be in violation of respective copyrights, and does not have my approval for such use.
My name is Thom Buchanan.
I'm an artist and photographer.
People are my favorite subjects to portray in art and photos. My wife (and studio partner) has called that my 'people skills', as I've been passionately creating portrait studies for many years.
I refer to myself as a pictorialist, a combination of image-making and journalist. Images are my life.