Wednesday, August 22, 2012

They're Here (illustrators and The Art of Denis McLoughlin That Is)!!!

That's right, having braved Typhoons, Somali Pirates, Giant Squid, Krakens and Moby Dick himself, the container vessel carrying several palettes worth of The Art of Denis McLoughlin and illustrators Quarterly has finally docked at Felixstowe. Which means that copies of both these lovely items will be at Book Palace Books HQ this week. Whereupon the trusty Book Palace Elves fortified with tea and seed cake will be scurrying around for hour upon hour breaking open the palettes and cradling the treasured contents to their sweaty breasts (don't worry folks each and every copy of book and journal is sealed in mylar) as they run from delivery bay to warehouse, emitting occasional shrieks of delight as they go about their task.

I have already talked a little bit about The Art of Denis McLoughlin which is a lovely book to behold and was for all involved a real joy to work on, but there is an ongoing publishing project in the shape of illustrators which is something so exciting that we will be sharing little snippets of information as we continue with what is shaping up to be a really rewarding enterprise.

illustrators is in many ways more of a book than a journal, each copy is 96 pages of beautiful artwork by the greatest European and UK illustrators accompanied by well researched and lively text. Our overall remit with each feature is that the writing should connect the reader with the artist and the world that he/she inhabited so that by the end of the piece the reader will gain a far greater insight into the work they are looking at.

To aid us in this mission we have a really excellent editorial team, we have as consultant editors David Ashford and David Roach, whose passion for their subjects is matched and underpinned by their abilities to research the artists whose work they are highlighting. David Ashford has long been a passionate champion of illustration and his friendship with artists such as Denis McLoughlin has been a key factor in helping spread the word about an era of illustration which informed so many people's perception of the world around them. David Roach has similarly devoted hours beyond recall, talking to artists and their agents, visiting them in their studios and generally immersing himself in the work of artists whose work would otherwise have slipped into anonymity.

In addition to the services of the two Davids, we also have our associate editor Bryn Havord, who in addition to teaching yours truly the finer points concerning midge's dicks, widows and orphans and running turns has the most impressive CV imaginable for a project of the magnitude of illustrators. Bryn was working as a leading Fleet Street art editor throughout the 60s. It was Bryn who gave Renato Fratini his first commission for Woman's Mirror, who was regularly commissioning artists such as Michael Johnson, Walter Wyles and Brian Sanders. Bryn's passion for illustration is second to none and his passion is backed up by years of experience as well as a deep insight and knowledge of many of the most influential of European illustrators, whose work you will be seeing in greater detail over the coming months and years.

So that's our core team, but in addition we will be featuring an expanding cast of writers including  crime fiction writer and Hardboiled editor; Gary Lovisi,  children's illustration enthusiast; Norman Wright, Pan Horror chronicler; Johnny Mains, writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, writer and blogger Jeremy Briggs, Luci Gosling from The Mary Evans Picture Library Frank Bellamy devotee Norman Boyd and many more writers who we are currently talking to.

As will be apparent from our first issue we are keen to source as much work as feasible from original artwork and where that is not possible, printer's proofs or high grade printed sources, so that there is we can get the reader as close to experiencing the full import of an artist's work as is possible.

I'll be talking a little more about some of our forthcoming issues shortly but in the meantime here's some images of illustrators number one just as an appetizer.

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