Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

First off a heavy disclaimer here: This post is based upon segments from a chapter of Jim Al-Khalili’s recent book ‘Science Asks: Is There Anybody Out There?’ (2016).

The publication is a spellbinding compendium that summarises the bleeding edge of science’s rapidly evolving hunt for extraterrestrial life and includes contributions from 20 expert minds, each at the vanguard of there respective fields.

If you’re even slightly interested in the scientific approach to ET this simply is a must-read, and offers both tantalising and tangible solutions to one of humanity’s greatest questions – Are we alone in the universe?

Foss by Jeff Love

Foss by Jeff Love

Sci-Fi-O-Rama proudly present a very special feature on Chris Foss, as profiled by Jeff Love, owner and admin of the sublime Sci-Fi art blog Ski-ffy.

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Born in 1946 in Guernsey, Channel Islands, Chris Foss is a British illustrator and a powerhouse of science fiction design and invention. His work is a celebration of future machinery, impossibly sized constructions exist on a planetary scale; a showcase of hardware so large that the human figure is dwarfed by comparison.

Chris Foss by Jeff Love

Arriving in the SF illustration field in the early 1970s, he is a cult figure, influential and universally admired. For British SF and SF art, his work can be seen as a catalyst; his prolific output was used abundantly in the UK paperback market, particularly by publishing houses like Panther, Coronet (Hodder & Stoughton) and Granada. Foss’ iconic paintings adorned the covers of American classics; E. E. Smith’s Lensman and Family d’Alembert series, reprints of the works of Asimov, James Blish and Philip K. Dick. These colourful scenes of gargantuan spacecraft, space-scenes and enormous robots not only influenced an entire school of imitators but instilled a love of future-tech amongst several generations of science fiction fans.

Chris Foss by Jeff Love

Bob Peak – Camelot

Bob Peak - Camelot

Still in movie poster mode and continuing on from Mondo here’s short but sweet entry focusing on another of my personal favourites that I’d filed for posting and then – as is often the case – completely forgotten about.

The art in question is this Bob Peak example of fantastical, illustrative master craftsmanship, produced for the 1966 big screen musical adaption of Arthurian myth and legend. Despite starring possibly one of Ireland’s finest ever exports, the late, great Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave I’m not sure the movies really regarded as a classic, however, the promotional artwork with it’s strong Gustav Klimt overtones almost certainly is!

Renowned American Illustrator Bob Peak (May 30, 1927 – August 1, 1992) made a name for himself after working on the poster for the classic 1961 musical West Side Story and upon this initial success Peak’s career took flight eventually spanning 25 years and more… Within this time frame Peak became pretty much the Hollywood’s default first choice, responsible for creating iconic artwork for classics like Rollerball and Apocalypse Now, so

Mondo - Empire Strikes Back

Mondo - Holy Mountain

Mondo - The Thing

Mondo - Alien

So then for this piece I’ve grabbed just a taster selection from the Mondo back catalogue, I’ll add some notes on those in a moment, then run the Q& A kindly supplied by Mondo’s creative director Justin Ishmael. First up though here’s some background information…

Mondo is the collectable art boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse. If you’re not familiar with the theatre, it’s a world-renowned cinema eatery and has been named the “best theatre in America” by Entertainment Weekly. The Alamo Drafthouse is based in Austin, TX and there are currently 10 theatres in Texas and Virginia, with plans to expand nationwide. The Alamo Drafthouse derives its reputation from its incredible programming. Mondo creates the poster artwork for special Alamo Drafthouse events (see the examples from the nationwide Rolling Roadshow tour, a yearly event

Gentlemen Broncos – Title Sequence

Gentlenmen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlenmen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Ian Albinson over at the excellent artofthetitle.com got in touch with me the other day asking me to help identify the original artists and books that were used in the title sequence of the 2009 Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) Comedy “Gentlemen Broncos“. You can view a movie of the the whole sequence here: http://is.gd/dbKfK

A total of 24 books were used by production designer Richard A Wright in creating the title sequence, and

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