Monday 26 September 2011

Illustrators Unveiled!

OK the time has come - the time to stop dickering around and to come straight out with the reason for my somewhat spasmodic postings on this dear old bloggity thing.

So cue drum roll...

Bompity, bompity, bompity, bommmmmbbbbbbbbbbbb ...

Peal of trumpet.


Golden shaft of sunlight.

Falling onto ...

A new publication due to be launched by Book Palace Books next year and it's dedicated to a subject dear to many of us - illustration.

Angelic choir...

Illustrators for that is the name of our new journal is dedicated to spreading the word about some of the most iconic images ever to see print. In the pages of Illustrators you will read about some of the most inspired artists to commit their art to print. These are the people who with brush, pen and pencil were capable of transporting their audiences to the farthest reach of their imaginations. The audiences that many of these artists were catering for were international, their work was collected and admired by readers the length and breadth of Europe and the US. But with the passing of years and the ascendancy of new media, much of this brilliant and inspirational work is falling from the collective conscious.

Illustrators will remedy that by presenting you with a publication that four times a year will guide you through the stories behind these artists, the publishers that commissioned them, the agents that promoted them, the friends and partners that posed for them and the crazy stuff such as the artist who created his incredible covers in an unfurnished bedsit with a parrot for company. All this and more will be revealed in each edition of Illustrators. These features written by some of the most eminent enthusiasts of this oft neglected art form will provide a contextualization to the truly fabulous artwork which we will be presenting you with in each and every issue of Illustrators. Wherever possible we will be bringing you scans of some of the most incredible examples of original artwork by the artists concerned. Early issues of Illustrators will be bringing you the art of Fortunino Matania, Reginald Heade, Chris Foss, John Millar Watt, Luis Garcia, Jordi Penalva, Giorgio De Gaspari and Graham Coton, as well as artists who although equally brilliant are in many ways unknown and unsung. With contributions from writers and artists such as David Roach, David Ashford, Steve Holland, Rian Hughes and Norman Wright as well as access to many of the artists and/ or their agents and their families we aim to provide the most authoritative insight into the stories behind the UK and Europe's most inspired and inspirational artists. Our first issue debuts with a feature on Denis McLoughlin and an interview with the legendary Ian Kennedy looking back on his sixty two years in the business.

We'll keep you posted as we get nearer to publication date but in the meantime here's a taste of things to come (Please note these illustrations are for display purposes only and may be subject to change upon publication):


  1. Wow! Me want very much. Absolutely ravishing quarterly eye candy right there.

  2. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement Nelson, we'll be updating you all as this project progresses on a regular basis. Hell of a lot of work involved but all fun and very exciting.

  3. This looks fantastic; can't wait. Thanks for all the hard work involved.

    Are these proofs? If so, I trust the text has not yet been edited. Please do not spoil the gorgeous Matania works of art with grammar errors e.g. incorrect use of it's and its.

    Donna from Melbourne (long-time blog lurker)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Argghhhhhh!!!

    Donna you are now my new proof reader!

    Seriously though these are all uncorrected proofs and the Matania one particularly as the text for this is still in production. Keen to include some Matania layouts whilst awaiting David Roach's peerless prose, I copied and pasted an old posting from this very blog in the hope that no one would notice.

    Boy was I wrong!

    Lesson learned, I shall have to rejig this thing.

    But to share with you a bit more of the production process, once we have finalized all the layouts, we then submit them to our proof reader, who is sufficiently detached from slavering over the illustrations to fix her gimlet like gaze on all our dreadful grammar and sloppy syntax.

    But if at some point int the future she sloughs us off in favor of the erudite souls that plow their trade for the Literary Review, we'll definitely come a knocking on your door.

  6. Thank you Peter for your very prompt response. Good to know that the usual high standards of yourself and your colleagues will further enhance this project.

    I've already unearthed an old money box to start saving for this publication. Actually, it looks like such a winner that I better save for more bookshelves as well. Cheers, Donna from Melbourne.

  7. Wow! If there's any justice in the world this really deserves to be huge success - so much so that, in time, you might even be able to spin off some of the articles into a series of detailed monographs published under the same banner.

    It's interesting that you seem to be concentrating on British artists to begin with. To be honest this suits me down to the ground as I've always felt that US and European artists have tended to be much better served by posterity. Even so, it'd be nice to see some of the less overexposed 'furriners' as well - the amazing Robert Fawcett for example (though, come to think of it, he was a brit anyway).

    I can barely restrain myself from bombarding you with a 'wish list' that would stretch from Land's End to John O'Groats, but for now I'll limit it to a handful of names that I'm sure you have already considered:

    Ron Embleton (of course!)
    His brother, Gerry
    Frank Bellamy
    Ken Reid
    H M Brock
    Cecil Doughty
    Philip Mendoza
    Pat Nicolle
    Eric Parker
    Dino Bataglia
    Robert Forest
    Thomas heath-Robinson
    James McConnell

    Etc, etc, etc...........!

    I can't wait! :-)

  8. Shelves sound like a good move Donna. The page count for issue one is going to be substantial, which is why we are going for a nice chunky, square bound format. We want each issue to be more of a book than a magazine, something you'll want to hang onto and come back to in years to come.

  9. Phil, many thanks for your very thoughtful and supportive message. You'll be pleased to know that all (bar one, who has now been added) are on our list. I don't want to give too much away as in some cases we are setting up the mechanics of how and when these profiles will appear, but as part of the editorial remit of each issue of Illustrators is to breathe life into the stories of these amazing characters rather than just providing a catalogue of their artworks we are committing time to research and interviewing of people close to the artists.

    Lots of work - but all fun and ultimately it all helps to contextualize this amazing artwork.

    Which makes the viewing of it an even more rewarding experience.

  10. I thought I was the only lurker from melbourne.

    look forward to this very much. Especially features on Ken Reid and Gerry Embleton. Behind the scenes look at the people as well as the work is a fantastic idea

  11. Looks great! Can't wait...

  12. Great post! Illustrators! I will look for it!