February 16, 2017


The great French character Fantomas- an archetypal villain and master of disguise from the cliffhanger serials by Feuillade- was the object of fascination by a number of avant-garde artists and writers in the early part of the 20th Century. The original pre-WWI films, along with the director's Judex and Les Vampires, established the template for future cinematic diabolical masterminds and espionage/crime thrillers. Fantomas was resurrected a number of times over the decades, through literature, film, and comics. Spy Vibers may best remember the character from the trilogy of French crime comedies in the 1960s starring Jean Marais. Artist Rene Magritte often drew on images of the character in his work, which I find to be a fascinating connection. My friend, cartoonist Richard Sala, put this image on my radar today (see below). I love how the the piece celebrates and plays with the costume design of the mysterious figure in black. You can just about hear an evil laugh worthy of John Phillip Law's Diabolik. Also below are a few additional Magritte/Fantomas images that pay homage to film scenes and the original novel cover design: Enjoy! Related Spy Vibe posts: Fantomas DesignFlying Citroen DSFantomas comics 1Fantomas comics 2Fantomas Kindle CollectionDiabolikal Villain Archive, Fantomas Blu-ray, Prada VillainsCatsuits, Les Vampires Blu-ray, Fantomas Kindle, Les Vampires, Macabre Mystery Week, Richard Sala.

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1 comment:

  1. I love Magritte, and that he was happy to reference film, the interconnectedness of dual surrealities. I wish he had been around to see The Piano; that movie was filled with Magritte imagery. I don't know if Jane Campion did that on purpose or if she was just a fan. Thanks for that first drawing! I have never seen that one before!


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