November 21, 2014

POPULAR SKULLTURE

New release: Richard Chopping's famous cover for Goldfinger is featured in an interesting new art book called Popular Skullture. Skeleton graphics have haunted the front of mystery and pulp fiction titles for decades. The use of a macabre grin or boney finger offered designers and illustrators an instantly understood symbol of danger and intrigue. Looking back at some of my own favorites from my Diabolikal image archive, I'd say The Shadow and the various detective pulps win the award for most skeletons employed. See my collage below for some faves from the world of James Bond, as well. I haven't seen a copy of Popular Skullture yet, but I would expect many of the images below appear in the collection. Book details from Bud's Art Books: "Edited and designed by award-winning art director Monte Beauchamp- with an introduction by graphic design luminary Steven Heller. Consumers embrace the skull: Nike, Calvin Klein, Zippo, and Crystal Head Vodka feature them as product lines. Skulls adorn artwork, sneakers, candy, skateboards, jewelry, and even wallpaper. The skull is everywhere in pop culture! Never before has a book addressed the skull as a cover motif during the Golden Age of American publishing, from the 1930s through the mid-50s. Monte Beauchamp is an award-winning art director and graphic designer whose work has appeared in Graphis, Communication Arts, SPDA, Print, American Illustration, and The Society of Illustrators Annual. He has received numerous awards and honors, and has served as a juror for both American Illustration and The Society of Illustrators. He is the founder and editor of the graphics-illustration-comics annual BLAB! His books include: The Life & Times of R. Crumb (St. Martin’s Press), Striking Images: Vintage Matchbook Cover Art (Chronicle Books), The Devil in Design (Fantagraphics), New & Used BLAB! (Chronicle Books) and many more." Below: Pupular Skullture cover, favorite skull images from Spy Vibe's Diabolikal image archive on Pinterest, and some favorite Bond designs with the skeleton motif. After hearing that Sting wrote the Synchronicity album at Ian Fleming's Goldeneye, I've often wondered if he was inspired by Richard Chopping's designs when he wrote the line, "There's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread." How about it, Sting? Popular Skullture Amazon page here




Selected Spy Vibe posts: New Gerry Anderson SetsNew SECRET AGENT setArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyModesty MondayFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishHome MoviesNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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