Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Old Books, and rare.

When we did well with the release of the complete From Hell a few years ago, I indulged myself by purchasing a couple of very expensive books, including a very lovely copy of Apperley's LIfe of Mytton of 1837 with numerous aquatints by Henry Alken, a book I had dearly wanted to possess for many years.
"The nineteenth century equivalent of a boy racer, John Mytton's life has been described as simply "a series of suicide attempts", such was the reckless disregard he displayed for his own life and well being. Although it is worth remembering that since 'Mad Jack' was in the habit of drinking eight bottles of port a day, he was most likely in a permanent state of intoxication, which may well have had a bearing on his behaviour."
As a result, illustrious rare book dealers still send me their annual catalogues. This purple arsed baboon, by Charles Catton, is the earliest use of aquatint in a book of natural history (1788). You can have it, and the book it comes in, for 8,000 quid, apparently.

* * * *

After mentioning William Gaunt's 1942 book The Pre-Raphaelite Tragedy yesterday (which is kicking around here in a 1965 edition), I recalled that it was dramatized as a BBC 6-parter in 1975 with a very young Ben Kingsley (or King Bensley as he is called in our house) playing Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It was distributed variously as The Love School, The Brotherhood and Beata Beatrix
"The Love School (is an) examination of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, wherein Kingsley starred as a wild and wilder-haired Dante Gabriel Rossetti (yes, he did once have hair) with Peter Egan, once a fellow minor back in The Cherry Orchard at Chichester, as Millais."
I remember also an excellent portrayal of Jane Morris by Kika Markham. This chap would like to see it released in some viewable form almost as much as I would.
If you see it out there and don't tell me, I'll be very cross.

* * * *

A touch of bathos for my tailpiece.
Before I started this blog, Hayley Campbell emailed me this photo taken in a big London bookstore, I think Foyle's. That's my Fate of the Artist and other 'graphic novels' filed as 'Low-brow Art'.

Hayley says my pal Gaiman took the photie... "while giggling uncontrollably."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a good definition of low brow art?
and isn't it a bit pompous to file books as such.
I suppose Philip K. Dick is a low brow SF novelist

Eroom Nala

30 January 2007 at 01:29:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Hawthorn said...

Eddie, I'd like to ask your advice concerning agreements between writers and artists working on a comic. My email is andrew.bonia@gmail.com.

Otherwise, if you can point me to a place that might be able to give me a hand, that would be equally useful. Thanks!

30 January 2007 at 02:46:00 GMT-5  
Blogger thewalker said...

kang binsley!!!

from ghandi to sexy beast, what a legend.!

30 January 2007 at 02:55:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't they ask Evans?

...or did they?


30 January 2007 at 03:32:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes! What a double faux-pas!!! But I think it may have been before my reign.
Its now been re-categorised in Political/Biography. I believe it'll be safer there.

Benjamin (Graphic Novels @ Foyles)

30 January 2007 at 09:38:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see my lowbrow book BROWNSVILLE is in fine, fine company :)

Neil Kleid

30 January 2007 at 10:02:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto for the above comment. Safe hands now. Safe hands.


30 January 2007 at 10:11:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Jack Ruttan said...

I love all that 18th Century stuff: Squire Mytton, Lord Monboddo, all of those freaks. I'm a little inhibited about drawing them in comics because of all the research needed to do it well, and feel intimidated by Johnsonians, and whatnot.

Wanted to draw a comics version of Samuel Johnson's wild night out with his friends, as related in Boswell's "Life of Johnson" but R. Crumb beat me to it.

I wonder if that bookstore also had high, and middle-brow sections, and where they were located on the shelves? (I'd have them arranged from top to bottom: make the snooty types climb the ladder!)

30 January 2007 at 12:38:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend another of Gaunt's books, The Aesthetic Adventure, which I have in a "War Economy" edition on cheap paper. Good intro to the fin de si├Ęcle, Bell Epoque Paris, etc.

30 January 2007 at 12:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bill Peschel said...

It's irritating to see "The Murder of Lincoln" classified as "low-brow." It's a serious look, in comic form, at the assassination, the death of Booth, the trial of the conspirators, and the theories surrounding those tragic times.

"Alec," of course, is the ne plus ultra of low-brow.

30 January 2007 at 13:31:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...


As I always say: "Oh, well."

(I even talked Matt Feazell into making a button that has Cynical Man saying "Oh, well.". He does quite well with those.

30 January 2007 at 17:02:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

Low brow? I'll have to take you out of my article I just wrote, in my blog, about comic painters and how they impact the world of art today.

31 January 2007 at 03:11:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaah, I think some tribute should be paid to that powerful creative effort :
Isn't is the "Fate of the Artist" to have his graphic novel filed as Low-brow Art ?

It's not a bookshelf - it's an installation !

31 January 2007 at 04:50:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

And finally...
Neil Gaiman has just published a link to that post with an explanation of the reason why he found that funny.

31 January 2007 at 12:27:00 GMT-5  

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