Wednesday, 15 November 2017

An Horrific Signing...

On Saturday November 11th it was to London for the signing of THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY (on which I was Project Manager) at Forbidden Planet in London. Thanks to the book's editor Stephen Jones, I had been invited to sign along with a lot of very august people: writers Anne Billson, Ramsey CampbellBarry Forshaw, Sir Christopher Frayling, Kim Newman and Jonathan Rigby, artists Steve CrispLes EdwardsGraham Humphreys and Uli Meyer, screenwriter and director Sean Hogan, actor and writer Nicholas Burman-Vince, Stephen Jones himself, and special surprise guest Dave McKean. We signed for a full two hours, and a fine time was had by all...

Author and Hellraiser actress Barbie Wilde, who had also pre-signed copies.

It's not every day I find myself sitting next to Dave McKean, so I'm afraid I shamelessly made the best of the situation, and asked him for a sketch on my name sign...

.... a great souvenir of a wonderful day.

At the time of writing, these multi-signed copies are available from FP HERE!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Post-Halloween Plug: The Art of Horror Movies

As you settle into your post-Halloween sugar-induced coma, here's a book to settle down next to the fire with. The Art of Horror Movies is the follow-up to the award-winning The Art of Horror. I was the Project Manager on this one too, and IMHO it's every bit as good (and actually probably a bit better!) than its illustrious predecessor. It's also currently on Amazon at a very keen price folks!

See below for the blurb and some sample pages...

This magnificent companion to The Art of Horror, from the same creative team behind that award-winning illustrated volume, looks at the entire history of the horror film, from the silent era right up to the latest releases and trends. Through a series of informative chapters and fascinating sidebars chronologically charting the evolution of horror movies for more than a century, profusely illustrated throughout with over 600 rare and unique images including posters, lobby cards, advertising, promotional items, tie-in books and magazines, and original artwork inspired by classic movies, this handsomely designed hardcover traces the development of the horror film from its inception, and celebrates the actors, filmmakers, and artists who were responsible for scaring the pants off successive generations of moviegoers! Edited by multiple award winning writer and editor Stephen Jones, and boasting a foreword by director and screenwriter John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), this volume brings together fascinating and incisive commentary from some of the genre's most highly respected experts. With eye-popping images from all over the world, The Art of Horror Movies is the definitive guide for anyone who loves horror films and movie fans of all ages.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

A Unique Blade Runner Book

A unique Blade Runner book: only one copy exists in the world!
Plus, one of the very hard to find die cast metal Spinner keychains produced to promote The Final Cut at the San Diego ComicCon in 2007.

Here's one for Blade Runner completists. An entire, 120-page 10 x 8in hardcover-with-dustjacket book, devoted to photographs of the original Tyrell Corporation building model. I took these photos when I encountered the original filming miniature at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York (well, I say miniature: it's pretty big!). I had just one copy of this book printed up, and one copy is all there will ever be.

I was very pleased with how it turned out (I even manged to match the font from the film's opening text!). To celebrate the release of Blade Runner 2049, it's time to see it go — and I'll donate a portion of the proceeds to Rutger Hauer's Starfish Association charity, which works with children and pregnant women with HIV.

I've set the opening price at slightly less than it cost me to get it printed in the first place, *PLUS* the auction includes another very cool BR piece to sweeten the deal: one of the die cast metal Spinner keychains produced to promote The Final Cut at San Diego Comic Con in 2007. This is actually one of the only 'official' BR items to have been made since 1982, and I've seen one sell previously for three figures by itself!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Watching Withnail At Uncle Monty's (Slight Return)

I've just got back from Sleddale Hall, aka Crow Crag, where a fine time was had by all last night watching a certain film.

It absolutely pissed it down yesterday morning, it's absolutely pissing it down as I type this, and the previous three nights of Withnailfest this year were all very damp but last night, and this morning, we had glorious weather, with only the merest hint of a shower.

Hats off once again to the fabulous team at Picnic Cinema, who outdid themselves for this extra-special 30th anniversary year, and of course to Uncle Tim, the owner of Sleddale Hall, for letting us all sit in his courtyard and shout rude words until gone midnight.

I didn't take any photos this year (if you're interested, have a look at my exhaustive, and exhausting, photo-feature from 2014) but here's one of me with Uncle Monty. I look pretty happy, as indeed I was, thanks to the lack of rain, and a few ales.

Balls to Monty.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

How To Open A Secondhand Bookshop By Mistake FOUR YEARS ON

Spot the bookseller.

Tomorrow, July 21st, is Withnail Books' fourth birthday. How did that happen?! On the one hand, it feels like no time; on the other, I can't really remember doing anything else. Those interested in the genesis of the Little Shop can read previous posts here and here.

What a lucky chap I am. I would just like to raise a glass of sherry ("Sherry? Sherry.") to all my customers. Chin chin!

All that remains is to give you another Withnail Books Bonkers But 100% True Customer Quote:

"Yeah, that was the day I didn't get to do a hot air ballon trip with Jon Pertwee."

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Two Faces of 007 (or, When Licensors Have a Quiet Word...)

Apropos of nothing much (other than a framed copy of the first version now being in stock in the Little Shop), here's a tale of the perils of dealing with Danjaq/Eon, the owners of the James Bond cinematic franchise.

Back in the 1970s, the ubiquitous Geoff Love (& his Orchestra) recorded an album of Bond theme cover versions. The LP cover was a rather bonkers piece of 'greatest hits' art, with several scenes, and actors, recognisable from various Bond films. The then-current Bond Roger Moore is front and centre of course, plus there's Ursula Andress (painted from a still from Hammer's She rather than from Dr. No, if I'm not mistaken), Sean Connery and even Telly Savalas. There's also the Aston Martin DB5, which is red, for some reason.

As this was not an 'official' release (just 'cover' versions remember, not original soundtrack recordings), the record label presumably did not get their artwork approved by the various necessary parties. Stern words were then no doubt exchanged, leading to this rather hilarious revised cover for later printings of the LP...

The DB5 is still red though... and they don't seem to have bothered repainting dear old Telly. Speaking of whom, any mention of Telly Savalas immediately necessitates linkage to this:

Monday, 12 June 2017

Johnny Depp Introduces a Withnail Screening!

Johnny Depp and Bruce Robinson on the set of The Rum Diary.

News just in (or just noticed by me at least) that Johnny Depp will be introducing — live and in person — a screening of Withnail and I on 22nd June as part of Julien Temple's Cineramageddon at the (already long sold out) Glastonbury Festival.

According to Screendaily the film "will be projected onto the biggest cinema screen in the UK with the nocturnal audience seated in seventy mutated vintage British and American cars, repurposed funfair rides and a Lear jet."


Depp will also be introducing screenings of a couple of his favourites from his own career: The Libertine and Dead Man.

Of Withnail, he says, "no film has ever made me laugh more, or filled me with so much joy… and dread, than Withnail & I! For me, this is perfect cinema. As perfect as Chinatown, as The Godfather, as Time of the Gypsies. Genius.”

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Isabel Alexander's Rhondda

Flicking through a fascinating volume called Future Books: Overture (of which more in a future post, probably), I came across these wonderful illustrations to accompany an article on mining. They were drawn by Isabel Alexander, an artist who made several extended visits to the Rhondda in South Wales during the Second World War. A quick google reveals that Alexander is only now, 20 years after her death, getting her due, with a major retrospective at Harrogate's Mercer Gallery running until June 4th. More of her mining illustrations appeared in the 1945 'Penguin Special' Miners Day, by B.L. Coombes.