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Monthly Archives: April 2011
TED Talk by Bruce McCall (the New Yorker, The National Lampoon) about retrofuturism and humor

Filed under Found on the Web

Here’s the video of a TED talk by Bruce McCall, an illustrator from (notably) The New Yorker and The National Lampoon, in which he talks about his retro-futuristic work and humor. Near the beginning he describes how he arrived at his gouache style in terms that make that style sound like a limitation – while he also makes it pretty clear that the style is a kind of visual grammar that he uses, as you’ll see, to great effect. That stands out for me because the signature style is a double-edged sword that I know pretty well.

Throughout the talk we see examples of McCall’s work from his "Serious Nonsense" retrospective. He’s arrived at or invented a number of labels and phrases for his work that are sometimes pointed, and usually amusing, from the familiar retrofuturism to the unfamiliar and altogether charming faux nostalgia.

These illustrations are grounded in the real imagination of the 1930’s through the 1950’s (autogyros jousting over Malibu, or the auditions for King Kong); many of them get their bite from McCall’s experience as an illustrator and copywriter for the automobile industry. As he mentions in the talk a lot of this work has been folded into his children’s book, Marveltown.

And near the end, there’s another treat – an animated version of his three-page New Yorker cover based on The Ascent of Man – seen as an escalator.

Via Synergy Creative.

 
 
Thrilling Tales – new page update for The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story The Lair of the Clockwork Book, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
“Terror from Outer Space” by Carlos Valenzuela

Filed under Found on the Web

Chilean illustrator Carlos Valenzuela serves up this retro space extravaganza, complete with tentacles! Rayguns! And painful back-wrenching poses! In the traditional mode.

It’s a faux movie poster for, well, a faux movie, featuring Valenzuela’s model Vanessa Lake (who is occasionally, or maybe habitually, NSFW).

Via Dark Roasted Blend.

 
 
Thrilling Tales – new page update for The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story The Lair of the Clockwork Book, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
Paul Sizer’s new design & illustration web site, full of Art Deco Goodness

Filed under Found on the Web

Paul Sizer has created a new, improved gallery web site for his art and illustration. All right-thinking people should go there, posthaste.

Sizer’s very graphic portraiture and illustration is often accented with some swell machine age typography, as you can easily see here. The work’s playful but very well executed.

He’s done quite a lot of work on projects for the electronic musician Thomas Dolby. Dolby’s been doing this long enough that the "electronic" is grandfathered in; how much these days isn’t electronic, in one way or another?

Oh! I forgot about polka.

Some of the other pieces here were born in one area or another of Warren Ellis’ Whitechapel forums – there are some imaginative Remake/Remodel works (like 2000 AD, at right) and some portraits of other Whitechapel users.

All in all, well worth your browsing time. So, you know, get clicking.

 
 
 
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