New Poster Art

Alejandro Magallanes - Behind The American Dream

‘Behind The American Dream’ Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico 2001)

This selection is a book sampler ‘New Poster Art’ published by Thames & Hudson in 2008. I picked up a copy after spying a fellow commuter thumbing through it on my regular morning train journey. As the title suggests Its a fairly weighty compendium of selected poster Design, Typography and Illustration pulling in artists from across the planet…

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Electrical Banana – Masters of Psychedelic Art

Heinz Edelmann - Lord Of The Rings

‘Lord of the Rings’ (German Book Cover) – 1970

Sci-Fi-O-Rama is proud to present a selection of ‘far out’ imagery sequestered from the fantastically titled ‘Electrical Banana’ Psychedelic art book – and yes that title is indeed derived from a reference to a certain type of ladies sex toy.

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Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2013 Round Up (1)

Silence Televison - Back To The Future II

Lets start 2013 with something of a round up. A quick reality check, refresh, and splash of Eau de toilette. 

What we have here then is a brief sampler straight from the Sci-Fi-O-Rama barometer, a long awaited update on a selection of the finest, past featured contemporary artists.

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Creative Computer Graphics (1984)

Some original material here, as scanned from ‘Creative Computer Graphics’ (Cambridge University Press, 1984) this one I came across whilst searching through the Google Books archives, and intrigued I decided to order a hard copy. Google Books by the was is well worth a look, countless printed publications are logged and categorized dating from recent to way back. Most modern titles are subject to copyright so show just a selection of internal pages, but this is plenty to gain a flavour and if you have 10 mins to burn, I highly recommend a trawl through.

Creative Computer Graphics  - The Last Starfighter

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The Virtual Art of 80’s Game Worlds

Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80’s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

1. Midwinter (1989) Microplay – Amiga/Atari St/IBM-PC

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Silence Television

Silence Televison

It’s been a couple of months since my last article so time to unplug the cryogenics, thaw out and get writing. A few special features lined up this month, including an exclusive interview with a certain Swedish Sci-Fi Illustrator, but to start with here’s a close up on the super slick work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known by his monicker Silence Television.

Before compiling this post I did attempt to get in touch with Gianmarco to help contextualize this article and get an insight into his inspired, idiosyncratic approach, also no response as of yet, but hopefully we can hook something up in the future. in the mean time here’s a run down on this stunning artwork with my thoughts.

Above: Browse Gianmarco’s portfolio (www.silencetv.com) and you’ll notice several recurring themes; glamorous biker chicks, rock paraphernalia, deconstructed retro motor vehicles and bikes. What really stands the style apart is not just the ultra tight rendering, or the faultless craftsmanship but a real meticulous eye for detail that binds beautifully – a rare pedigree that almost looks effortless. This image shows up all those traits, and with such confidence, one could get lost just studying her enveloping tattoo.

Silence Televison

Above: This one uses several graphic tricks, notably rendering in negative for extra graphical punch. Also note that, not only has Gianmarco perfectly fashioned the splintering guitar, he’s also adorned it with a balanced selection of logotypes, nods of course to his influence and driving inspirations…

Silence Televison

Above: This one is pure class, the perfect poise and composition, again great attention paid to the details such as the subtle texture on the skirt and it’s geometric hem. Also really like the ruffled sleeves, emphasizing the girl’s model-type svelteness.

Silence Televison

Above: A definite feel of Katsuhiro Otomo here, and probably the most Sci-fi orientated material of this post (like that matters!). Worth noting that Otomo is another bike fan, there must be a shared connection between these two!

Above: Another superior detailed composition with a subtle but effective overlayed gradient, again you get a feeling a real sense of gleeful joy is harnessed when Gianmarco applies his finishing touches, perhaps here seen with the retro Vavoline and Texaco stickers.

Silence Television

Above: We finish up here with one final bike rendering – this one in negative profile – A lovely balance of hard graphics, and technical Illustration. Superb stuff!

Further Reading: Head straight to http://silencetv.com for the full portfolio. There’s also a chance to buy prints here: http://society6.com/silencetv/prints and depending on how au fait your Spanish is you might also want to check out the Silence Televsion blog http://silencetv.com/blog/ remember Google Chrome will has a translation option. Finally is you want to show some Facebook love, go to http://www.facebook.com/SilenceTV

*Edit November 15 2001* Happy to say that Gianmarco has been back in touch, so hopefully we’ll run a interview soon.

Osamu Tezuka (1)

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Osamu Tezuka

A belated start to November here begins with a guest contribution from London based designer and illustrator John Rowley. John got in touch recently to suggest a feature on “The godfather of anime” Osamu Tezuka and in particular his Phoenix series, which is less well known than Tezuka’s famous “Astro Boy” creation.

John supplied me with several scans taken from the various volumes, I selected the most abstract of those and posted above, really beautiful pen and ink work… here then are John’s notes:

Osamu Tezuka is considered ‘the god of manga’, an accolade he deserves for the quality of his work and the volume of it. During his career he drew over 150,000 pages. He is most famous for his work ‘Astro Boy’ outside of Japan but within Japan he is more famous for creating Jungle Taitei (Jungle Emperor) which was the basis for the Disney animation ‘The Lion King’ – so much so that many would say that Tezuka should have sued Disney. But Tezuka was very much a fan of Disney and indeed is considered the Walt Disney of Japan so he was probably flattered and certainly did not need the money. Tezuka’s manga started out very simplistic and heavily inspired by American cartoons and comics but became more and more sophisticated. He helped many aspiring manga artists and one of them was Yoshihiro Tatsumi who is widely credited for starting the Gekiga style of alternative comics in Japan.

Gekiga is Japanese for ‘dramatic pictures’ and was a movement that seeked to address the growing (literally) audience in Japan for adult manga. Apart from having adult themes Gekiga is also defined by it’s narrative style which draws heavily on film. For example a Gekiga manga may well have no text for many frames or images, using pictures to create pace and atmosphere rather then to support the text needed for the characters to tell the story. Tezuki’s 12 volume work ‘Hi No Tori’ or ‘Phoenix’ was very dear to his heart and a hugely ambitious project:

Phoenix (火の鳥 Hi no Tori) is a manga series by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka considered Phoenix his “life’s work”; it consists of 12 books, each of which tells a separate, self-contained story and takes place in a different era. The cycle remains unfinished after Tezuka’s death.
Source Wikipedia.

Top: Front Cover Art

2nd Top: Taken from Phoenix Volume 4: Karma

3rd Top: Taken from Phoenix Volume 5: Resurrection

4th Top: ‘Phoenix – Resurrection Volume 5′ (it’s the last panel of the book)

5th Top: From Phoenix Volume 5: Ressurection

bottom: From Phoenix Volume 2: Future “When I first discovered Phoenix and was half way through the first volume I was walking home very near my flat when I saw a fragment of manga page on the street. I was surprised to see that it was one of the pages of the same volume I was reading. It had been ripped from the book and also cut in half. I hurried home wondering how this could have happened to my Manga – Phoenix was very hard to get even in London at that time as the English versions had only recently been released and in fact some of the series had not yet been released and all were printed outside the UK. I had purchased my copy from the Canadian Amazon store online. When I got home I found that my copy was unharmed. A strange coincidence but one that fits Phoenix very well with it’s themes of resurrection, time shifts, and interconnecting lives through space and time. This image is cropped from fragment I found.

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Many thanks to John for supplying the scans and copy, check his site here http://rowleyjohn.com/ or blog here http://www.rowlification.blogspot.com/

Phoenix is available in various volumes and formats via Amazon.com check it out: http://amzn.to/c5ZiHf