Archive for San Diego Comic-Con

A Sensual Fantasia from the Mind of Dave McKean: A Review of “Celluloid”

Posted in Dave McKean, San Diego Comic Con, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 23 August, 2012 by SeanChase

When it comes to the subject of erotica in art and literature, I consider myself to be a person of discerning tastes.  Outside of John Cleland’s Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, the writings of Donatien Alphonse François, le Marquis de Sade, and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, I have found most explicitly erotic literature to be banal and mechanical.  So often, it merely serves a primal function,  but rarely offers up anything more than titillation or sexual catharsis.

When it comes to art, a great example of this would be the erotic illustrations of  Édouard-Henri Avril, one of the premiere pornographic artists of the late 19th Century, and an artist whose work I admire very much.  However, while Avril’s work is splendid in its timeless appeal and subject matter, what it lacks, what it fails in, is that it’s fairly unimaginative and unexpressive.  The compositions are predictable and the use of color is minimal and overly restrained.  Though his illustrations succeed in providing an iconic visual counterpart to the erotic literature it accompanies, it rarely ever offers provocation of the mind or evocation of the emotions.  In other words, it is simply visual eye candy displaying a wide range of physical experiences without the enrichment of genuine expression.

Yet there is another kind of erotic art that manages to do so much more than this.

Artists such as  Gustave CourbetFélicien RopsGustav Klimt,  and  Egon Schiele  found their own unique way to convey erotic themes and ideas through artwork, and their works, while varying in style and predilection, all display a level of personality and expression that was unsurpassed during their lifetimes.  This was art, not for the sake of arousal, but art for the sake of art and with the power to elicit feelings of passion, desire, loneliness, and introspection.

With the commercial rise of erotica in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, there has been an ever outward-growing spiral of mediums to accommodate those in desire of exploring their carnality and sensuality vicariously through the creations of others.  Today, we have artwork, literature, music, cinema, and countless other media with which to express ourselves, so unsurprisingly human desire has spilt over into all of these areas, although in some areas more than others.

One art form that has been proliferating in the public eye since the late 1930s is comic books and graphic literature.  Strangely, with the exception of lasciviously humorous cartoons and buxom heroines in tight-fitting costumes (or no costumes at all, in some cases), the medium hasn’t explored sensuality as in-depth as other narrative mediums.  Outside of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, it is difficult to think of one well-known work of erotic graphic literature… until recently.

Last year saw the publication of an exceptional work:  Dave McKean‘s text-less graphic novel, Celluloid.

The cover of “Celluloid”, an erotic graphic novel by Dave McKean.

Celluloid, which was published in 2011 by Delcourt in Europe and by Fantagraphics Books in the United States, is perhaps a different kind of erotica than what people have come to expect.  Firstly, it is a graphic novel, and unlike so many graphic novels, it does not revolve around superheroes, monsters, or crime.  It’s a work of fantasy and like most works of fantasy, it is about a journey, but this book is about a journey inward into the sensuality of the human mind and into the mysteries of human desire.  It is “fantasy” in the purest sense of the word.

Continue reading

Wear Cutting Edge Art with Pride – New Shirts Now Available!

Posted in Comic Conventions, Gail Potocki, Jeremy Bastian, Malleus Rock Art Lab, Merchandise, San Diego Comic Con, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 12 July, 2012 by SeanChase

Step right up and see what wonders we have for you!

Just in time for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, the Century Guild booth (Booth # 2845) is debuting new t-shirts featuring the extraordinary work of Jeremy A. Bastian, the Malleus Rock Art Lab, and Gail Potocki!  These new graphic t-shirts, aside from being fashionable and extremely comfortable, showcase the work of diverse and immensely talented artists at the height of their creative apex.  Now, why should you buy one (or all) of these very cool shirts?  Because they are amazing!  Let’s take a closer look at each one and you’ll see why.

 

First off, let’s see the exceptionally cool shirt done by Malleus

Thomas Negovan ‘The Divine Eye’ t-shirt (MALLEUS, 2012)

Available in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in a limited edition number of 80, this deep v-neck, fitted t-shirt exclusively for the ladies (sorry, guys) is made of highest quality 100% cotton, features gold foil details, and the graphic was screened using high resolution to create the best possible image.  The design appearing on the t-shirt was originally created for a poster to help promote the release of  Thomas Negovan‘s historical 2011 debut single “The Divine Eye“, which was recorded on a Thomas Edison phonograph and released as a limited edition wax cylinder.  Certainly such a feat is worthy of recognition, and indeed commemoration, but no mere work of commercial art would suffice, so naturally Thomas turned to Malleus Rock Art Lab and what they created is simply spectacular.

Thomas Negovan ‘The Divine Eye’ poster (Malleus, 2011)

Malleus is an artist collective comprised of three unique and talented individuals.  Their work is inspired by Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Surrealism, Psychedelic Art, and Pop Art.  They’ve created works for everyone from Queens of the Stone Age and the Mars Volta to The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer.  When it comes to creating indelible and iconic imagery to accompany and promote the releases and tours of today’s best music acts, Malleus is already a legend.

 

And from Gail Potocki‘s fantastic Freaks series…

Freaks t-shirts collection (Gail Potocki, 2012)

Also available in BOTH men’s and women’s sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in a limited edition number of 85 each gender, these ultra-comfortable and timeless, dark grey, crew-neck shirts are made of 100% cotton and screened from high resolution to best capture the masterful work of modern symbolist Gail Potocki‘s brilliant paintings.  The imagery for these two shirts is derived from  Gail’s Freaks series  done in 2009, which lovingly pays homage to the world of circus and carnival sideshow figures from the early part of the 20th Century.  These detailed and nuanced portraits manage to not only capture the essence of their subjects, but also the imaginations of all those who see them.  Imagine the look of intrigue on your friends’ faces as you proudly wear your own shirt featuring Annie Jones the Bearded Lady or Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy!

Annie Jones the Bearded Lady (Gail Potocki, 2009)

‘Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy’ (Gail Potocki, 2009)

Of her fascination with the freaks, Gail says, “I think part of it is that they had to blaze their own trail whether they wanted to or not.  Because they are so unique and rare, they stand out like diamonds in a sea of glass.
So too will the wearers of these awe-inspiring t-shirts, which are sure to become cult favorites and collector’s items, so be sure to pick yours up soon because they will disappear fast!

 

And from the imagination of Jeremy A. Bastian

Cursed Pirate Girl t-shirts (Jeremy A. Bastian, 2012)

Available in BOTH men’s and women’s sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in an extremely limited edition number of only 70, these stylish, grey crew-neck t-shirts are made from 100% cotton and feature a slick wrap-around design which was screened from high resolution and allows for the insane amount of detail of Jeremy Bastian‘s work to display itself.  The exclusive design features the Cursed Pirate Girl herself as she heroically leaps out of the reach of the clutches of her vile nemeses.  Whether you’re a fan of comic books, pirates, illustration, or just want to wear a really handsome shirt, we have your needs covered thanks to Jeremy’s remarkable work.

Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition, Volume 1 (Archaia Publishing, 2012)

Jeremy’s astonishingly illustrated and darkly, whimsical comic book for children has been acclaimed by some of the comics industry’s most respected names and the first three epic issues were recently collected in a single volume by Archaia Publishing.  The title has been on the rise in popularity and there’s even a radio-dramedy in the works featuring Stephanie Leonidas (the star of Dave McKean‘s films MirrorMask and the upcoming Luna) as the title heroine and swashbuckling adventurer.  Jeremy will be appearing at Comic-Con with Archaia at Booth # 2635 and Stephanie will also be making an appearance at our Comic-Con booth along with some other guest surprises, so keep an eye out, matey!

 

All of these shirts, both in style and sizes, are available in very LIMITED QUANTITIES only at Comic-Con and they will go fast, so you will want to be sure to purchase yours while you can.  Stop by Century Guild at Booth # 2845 and pick up yours!

– Sean