Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Some photos of R #1

Some photos of R #2

Some photos of R #3

Some photos of R #4

Some photos of R #5

Some photos of R #6

Some photos of R #7

Some photos of R #8

Some photos of R #9

My Favourite Christmas Presents

A beautiful private press edition of a poem by The Hon Roden Noel (sometime Uranian poet). This edition is letterpress printed at the Old Stile Press (a good number of whose books I have) and illustrated from photos by Christopher Summerfield of naked youths. This is an edition of only 35.

A letter from Horatio F Brown, who was the center of the English speaking literati in Venice at the beginning of the 20th century. His weekly 'at homes' were one of the places that a destitute Frederick Rolfe would sometimes go in search of a stray sandwich. This letter menions both his pressing need to return to Venice and his biography of John Addington Symonds which was in proof stage at this time (1894)

The Planet of Exile - an Ace Double - and incidentally a first edition and this one signed.

#4 & 5
Two first edition Robin Maugham books. I originally picked up some Robin Maugham (nephew of Somerset) paperbacks a little while back because of his connection with Michael Davidson, author or Some Boys and The World, The Flesh and Myself. Written in a fairly typical mid-twentieth century style, Robin Maugham was never going to be the greatest name in English Literature but he does manage to add some fairly dark undertones to his books, a lot of which are concerned with unorthodox forms of sexuality.

A play by Emlyn Williams from the 1950s: what the contents are, I have no idea, however, the bookplate is that of the renowned collector of gay and uranian literature, Anthony Reid - the bookplate is designed by Ralph Chubb.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another Great Illustrator

Lisa Alisa - what fantastic artwork. Mythic, modern, tense, and beautiful with violent and sexual undertones. Well worth a visit.

More Odd One-Off Books

Well Christmas has now been and gone. Portsmouth has been plunged into an ice-bucket and the snow is on its way - I'm told. Certainly there's that ominous grey-white in the sky and the sea looks like burred silver today. Made the crossing over the Solent yesterday (Boxing Day) to do Christmas with the family (Xmas Day itself spent with R's family) - wind was like a steel blade and the felt more like we were skating than sailing - beautiful!

To business, found these two sites recently. The 'ths' site is very David Carson but I enjoyed what he calls his 'gluebooks' which can be found - if you're happy to hunt for it - from a link off his main page. And I loved the idea of this book which was sent back and forth across the Atlantic between Ireland and New York to four different artists each of whom did a spread each and then sent it on again - would love to be involved in something like that.

PS - Rapsode, thanks so much for dropping by and appreciating my first stirrings in digital illustration. I'm afraid my Spanish(?) is much worse than your English so I can't make much of your blog :-(. 'Cant Sit Still' Yes, who the hell would want to do a course in this stuff!? Hope you all had as good a Christmas as possible...

Friday, December 23, 2005


I've always had a thing for notebooks. Since I was very small I kept books which were filled with doodles, maths, paragraphs of writing, notes about things I liked and so on. BBC Radio 4 this morning had a article about the expansion of 'scrapbooking' - a $5m industry now apparently - but spend any time online looking at most of this stuff and you'll see nothing but Victorian fairy cut outs and sickly sweet spreads about 'love', 'hope', 'charity' and so on... I like 'real' notebooks not the paralysed creative outpourings of middle-aged women in mid-life crisis mode. Sorry to be so cynical but that's how it seems most of the time. Found these the other day - much more like it... HERE


I really don't know what to say about these but had to put them on... if you'd like one go here

Monday, December 19, 2005

In Need of Champions

I spend a lot of time lost in the ether looking for poetry, prose, someting to stir and intrigue - however, for the most part, the Internet has only multiplied the opportunities for outpourings of adolescent angst, lost lovers pining, self-important nonsense and bizarre 'why was this even written let alone published online' poetry. But then I discovered blogs and, what is it about them, the writing I've found from surfing the blogosphere has been, on the whole, literate, exciting, challenging and even when I don't undersand the content or intent, tickles something in my reptile brain that makes me want to drink more of it. So, a quick guide to some of the stuff I've found and go back to check out from time to time.

An Irish guy writing really pithy, understated poems influenced by cummings and Carlos Williams (aren't we all) - simple, well formed: Alex.

A New Yorker with wiry, psychologically tough nuggets! check out 'Barbie' in particular: Richard Siek.

Then there's Teenagekicks whose blog is not all fiction - which is confusing and challenging and make for a fascinating ride as you scan back through the archive of his posts - a little surreal, witty and sometimes dark: Teenagekicks.

Don't know anything about this next guy except that he has a wild imagination and lets it loose in free-flow, slightly cut-up style prose that is just a little macabre - in the same way the fairgrounds at night are macabre: TPKendall.

Fantastic zine to be had here in pdf - a cross between a serial killer's notbook and a schoolboy's doodles: Joshua Feola.

And of course, don't forget Richard Siken whose evangelist I am! - link in the sidebar.

And the last discovery today has nothing to do with the written word - a blog of images and design Never Happened dot Org a place full of funky pictures and fabulous links.

Some More Digital Sketches #1

Some More Digital Sketches #2

Some More Digital Sketches #3

Jarman and Mapplethorpe

I recently found the first edition I've been looking for of At Your Own Risk by Derek Jarman. I've waxed liyrical before about Jarman's writing and, for all that he was a creature of the 70s and 80s, it is the directness, the simplicity of tone, the pain and the eclectic mix of pleasures Jarman explores from sex and politics to alchemy and art that make this writing timeless, spiritual in the broadest sense, and profoundly moving.

Like this from At Your Own Risk which is one of a series of elegaic paragraphs about people Jarman knew who had succombed:

Robert Mapplethorpe:

Robert 'who cares a fuck about photos' - they came two days after we rushed into bed. Flesh was your passion, not the silvery prints.

I sat at a table when you hustled Sam who had 'discovered' photography then discovered you.

Then you hustled your way right out of my life, but, passing me as the dawn broke over Heaven you said, 'I have gotten everything I ever wished for. What did you get, Derek?'

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Einstein Intersection

It can sometimes be difficult telling which is the first edition of some early SF books. Unlike most mainstream books, many SF books were first published in paperback and, during the 1960s in the reign of Ace Books this is made even more difficult by the fact that they employed a tortuous and seemingly ever-changing numbering system which started off as a letter followed by numbers (a system which was roughly predicated on the cover price of the book) and then moved into an even more complicated system of numbering towards the end of the sixties. I am forever seeing copies of The Einstein Instersection by Samuel R Delany wrongly advertised as a first edition. The correct first edition had a red minotaur figure on the cover (designed by Jack Gaughan) and the mainly white cover with an orange minotaur's head is a later printing. This is confirmed by the price difference between the two. The mainly white cover printing includes inside the claim that Gaughan also did that cover although it has been suggested to be that this might simply have been laziness on Ace Books' part in not changing the attribution - as, for example, the words 'first book publication' often appear on later editions of Ace Books simply because no one took them out after the first printing. If anyone who surfs this way has more information on who really did the white cover I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear

I realised the other day that the sub-title of this blog includes 'Vintage Photographs' and yet I haven't so far said a word about them. It's there mainly because its the kind of thing I deal in but I thought I'd share a few. When you look at them, imagine just what kind of stories lie behind them - that, after all, is the sole joy of old photos.

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear #1

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear #2

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear #3

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear #4

Victorian/Edwardian Swimwear #5

Rejoice with me...

Well, I scraped together everything I have in order to make a bid on the Samuel R Delany typescript mentioned in discouraged terms in a post below. AND I WON IT! So, happy day. Will now be able to say I have a 'serious' SRD collection. The only typescripts I can find online for sale retail start at £1500 - and I promise you I didn't have to pay that much!

PS. Thank you Porcelain Skull and Can't Sit Still for commenting on the 'Bizarre Creatures' post you both picked the two that my boyf and I like best - although we disagree on which of the two! Porcelain Skull - great poetry...

Friday, December 09, 2005

5 Bizarre Creatures

Five different versions of the same bizarre creature. Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Having been so strapped for cash recently - it's obviously time to branch out a little. Have been a digital and mixed-media 'artist' for some time in an amateur capacity and now wondering if it's feasible to get some freelance work doing book covers, magazine/comic artwork, cd cases and so on. These are a few 'works in progress' - progress towards having some kind of portfolio that it. I'd value the opinions of anyone who happens to pass this way...
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