Steve Holland has kindly asked me to share the occasional thought apropos of all the activities that are ongoing with Book Palace Books. "What me?" I protested, "look Steve old bean, I am snowed under with work, I've got my own blog to do, plus day job, plus working on the definitive Denis McLoughlin book". At this point Steve pushed back his Homburg and lit a cigarette. "Tell me about it buddy', he drawled laconically, "you me and Barney McGrew, we all got a million and one jobs to do". I looked past Steve's shoulder and saw the silhouette of the head honcho Mr Geoff West, the man with the green visor and the cigar stub jutting from his set jaw and resigned myself to the task in hand.
Why am I writing in this strange idiom I asked myself as you dear reader, if you have stayed with us this far, are doubtless asking? Well as intimated above I am working on editing what I think will be a truly fantastic and definitive book on the art of Denis McLoughlin and he did create covers for a lot of hardboiled fiction. And if you read enough of this stuff you and are of a suggestible nature you will end up thinking talking and writing like this - sad but true.
The text for this book has been written by Denis McLoughlin's friend and biographer David Ashford and also includes a mini autobiography by the artist himself. The text is first class and i just have to ensure that the rest of the book does David's biography justice.
My task vis a vis the Mcloughlin book is, as stated previously - editing and reformatting, but it also includes such fun tasks as designing the thing so that it has a real dynamic. The sort of book that you pick up and it just welcomes you in, which in the case of Denis McLoughlin is relatively easy to achieve as his work at it's best is just totally seductive.
The book will be a lot less expensive than the recent Wulf the Briton extravaganza, quite simply because the work we are showcasing is relatively small scale and even Denis McLoughlin's Boardman hardbacks are all A5 size, so we are not immediately into the economies of scale dictated by attempting a same size reprint of a UK broadsheet comic. Consequently this book will be about the size of the Fleetway Indexes and will not be nearly as expensive to produce as the Wulf book.
But, and this dear reader is where you come in, my work also includes sourcing really amazing imagery which we can use to add further visual flair to this illustrative extravaganza. What I really need at the moment is (ideally high grade) material to source, particularly in the case of the Boardman paperbacks and hardback hard boiled fiction. We have some but we need more and if you can help out this would be great. So if by any chance you do have any material of this nature which you can scan, do let me know and also if you have, by some miracle McLoughlin original artwork for the Boardman Hardboiled fiction covers we would be forever in your debt.
In fact any original cover and color artwork would be great, we have some but more would be wonderful.
I have set up a Flickr gallery devoted to Denis McLoughlin's "Noir" covers which is located here
Here just as a taster are a few of the early paperback covers which show McLoughlin at his most powerful both in terms of design and handling of subject matter. One of the really useful aspects of Flickr is in the way that it shows account holders what the most popular images they have uploaded are. Brilliant from my point of view and also for publishers in general yet another way to network.
Which is what you need to do these days to really share projects such as this with an audience that is definitely out there - they just need cultivating and Flickr provides yet another way to facilitate this.
P.S. I have received an amazing and overwhelming response via emails, phone calls, forums and twitter to the Wulf book, I'll (immodestly) post about this very shortly.