Apr 22 2012: Four Hand-Painted Maps Of Socialist Czechoslovakia With Folklore Motifs (CSSR, 1957)

Appearing as endpapers in a 1957 pictorial publication showing early Communist Czechoslovakia these four maps offer a striking contrast – in tone and style, at least – to the photographs making up most of the book. The principle appears to be that the main map (seen above) is then separated into its component parts in … Continue reading

Apr 14 2012: Cover Images from Comic Versions of The Odyssey and The Iliad by Homer (Classics Illustrated, 1960s)

How far does the value of a literary work reside in language and specific medium, how far in the story and broader ideas it contains? The question’s raised here by reductions (to around 25 pages each) of the two great epic poems of Homer, with each comic book acting more as a kind of compressed … Continue reading

Apr 6 2012: Eight Monochrome Photographs Showing British Parades (1940s – 1950s)

I’m not sure if these images show scenes from one or more parades and occasions, though it’s clear that the photographs fall into three basic groups, the first showing a quasi military parade (possibly made up of amateur rather than real troops), the second a series of floats trying to raise money for charity, and … Continue reading

Mar 27 2012: Fourteen Colour Illustrations and Photographs From Girl Annual Number Nine (1961)

The final gallery in this series culled from the pages of Girl Annual draws together an array of colour illustrations from the 1961 annual, including the annual’s first-ever photographic cover image, as seen above, and a series of frames from the comic strips Belle of the Ballet and Susan of St Bride’s. Accompanied by a … Continue reading

Mar 25 2012: Forty-Three Monochrome Illustrations From Girl Annual Number Six (1958)

If yesterday’s images by Edward Mortelmans from the 1958 edition of Girl Annual seemed to draw inspiration from the paintings of Laura Knight, the forty-three sampled monochrome illustrations seen here have no such unifying element beyond being largely executed in line and wash, and seeming largely unchanged in format from the kind of images that … Continue reading

Mar 21 2012: Nine Monochrome Photographs Showing Children in a Variety of Roles and Locations (1900s – 1960s)

We’ve already featured galleries of children on holiday at Butlin’s and Victorian children, 1950s or 60s childhoods and advertising for childrens’ products, so in some ways the gallery here is something of a mopping up operation, bringing together a random array of images united not by period or format, but merely by the fact of … Continue reading

Mar 6 2012: Six Photographs of Grottoes, Canyons and Other Rock Formations (from Unknown Encyclopedia, 1930s)

The interiors of bodies and geological formations have been fused together in a few of the visual equations of Robert Holcombe before now, and occur again (several times) in a series of poems I’ve been writing under the working title A Cycle of Songs for the Body’s Interior, modelled somewhat obliquely on the rather compelling seasonal songs produced … Continue reading

Feb 14 2012: Illustrations by Gisela Gottschlich from Die Schonsten Grimms Marchen (Germany, 1960s)

It’s no surprise these days to find monographs on the work of nineteenth and early twentieth century illustrators like John Tenniel, Beatrix Potter, Gustave Dore and Edmund Dulac, but for later practioners the process of recognition seems slow. A case in point might be the book represented here, on which the name of the illustrator is … Continue reading

Photocanopy: Three Photographers in the National Forest (2014)

You might expect the boundary of a forest to be clearly visible, marked by the point where trees thin out into grass and open ground, but in the case of the National Forest, which occupies an area of around 200 square miles and spans the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire, you’d be mistaken. Of … Continue reading

Jan 11 2012: Twenty-One Cover Illustrations from Romeo Teen Weekly (1970 – 1971)

I don’t know much about Romeo, a comic format weekly magazine published by D.C. Thompson that features a variety of love stories (basically, think Mills & Boon, but aimed very much at teenage girls), letters and problem pages, adverts, comic strips and a few bits of pop music news (these include some unlikely inclusions from … Continue reading