Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Action is the Juice.

Threw this together very quickly, just to exercise a muscle as it were. I've done very little image work recently, I don't want to go rusty. I've been mired in writing for a while now. I did have s hot at designing an album cover for a band I know, but I think I failed the audition. I'll probably share those on Black Dog vs Ice-Cream as they're not quite the flavour I like over here.

So this is my amateurish attempt to reimagine Heat as an early seventies poster. Let's say between 1971 and 1974. I had the idea on the bus, and then took a look at posters that seemed to fit what I was after - Dirty Harry, Cassavette's Husbands, The Getaway - just to get a feel for typefaces, authenticity. I was tempted to recast it with actors of the day (maybe young, subdued and beautiful Pacino in Val Kilmer's shoes...) but I didn't think I had the authority. Plus, I hoped there was a chance the end result would feel Criterion Collection.

It doesn't.

HEAT3 copy

I think if you click it, you can go visit a bigger version on my Flickr (which needs some organising and some Holga photos up, if you ask me.)

I'm about 30% satisfied with it. The main image, layered and enlarged, was the original idea and now it's the part I like least.

Basically I just like the letters.

Would like to introduce you to another blogger: LS Gray. A very good - and opinionated - friend of mine. Have a read of Worthless Chat Monkeys. I hope you enjoy.

Ta ra for now.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

I, Lucifer

Peter O'Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise, died this week aged 90.

I've dipped in and out of the newspaper strip, and admit to not knowing it as well as I should, given my love of cold war pulp and sixties minxes. I've read the first novel, and made a start on the second, 'Sabre-tooth' before the pages started falling out, sabotaging it as a bus-journey or beach-side read. They're pretty tasty; more action-packed than Fleming, less morbid. Compared to Deighton, or Adam Hall, much, much pulpier, but not far-fetched or silly. Not the first novel, at least.

I will resort to jumping on the posthumous bandwagon, I think, and get at least one of the Titan reprints of the newspaper strips.

There was a movie. It doesn't have a great deal to do with O'Donnell's work, but is nevertheless an enjoyable romp. Mix this with Barberella and Danger Diabolik and you've got the movie at the heart of Roman Coppolla's CQ, a movie I'm very much in love with.

Anyway, tragedy aside, it's a good enough reason to end with a picture of Monica Vitti on a swish-looking Japanese Poster, wouldn't you say?


Friday, 22 January 2010

' "Allumeuse" is the nice word for it.'

A brief rummage around deviantART at the end of an idle lunch brought my attention to a few of the brand new Croatian oo7 novels and their rather sultry covers.

I do rather like this one for Live and Let Die, and it's reminder of the novel's chilling keel-hauling sequence. Kudos to this Marinshe girl and her talent with a lens.

See more of her work at:

Au revoir. x

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Une formidable chasse a l'homme.

Good evening, and welcome to the Ministry of Rum and Ginger.

Here at the Ministry we will catalogue, analyse and admire the finer things in life. From Spy Films to Supermodels. From Cocktails to Comic Books. From Dining Room to Study to Lounge. All will be collected and displayed here, for your education and entertainment.

I am your curator, and this gallery of good-living is of my choosing. I will do my best to leave my ego at the door (and by door, I mean my other blog The Black Dog vs Ice Cream. A far more self-indulgent and, frankly, emo outlet for my creativity,) and focus instead on providing a run down of good, solid, trustworthy stuff. It will be brawny, beardy, and maybe even bacchanalian.

So to begin with, I'm posting these two posters I made up of The Day of the Jackal, Fred Zinnemann's adaptation of the Forsythe Best Seller. I was inspired by a French book on Samurai that I saw in Oxfam. It had a superb orange and black cover was ruthlessly simple and effective in design. I would have bought it, despite the language barrier, were it not for the mystery brown stain that ran through most of the pages. To be perfectly honest these posters look nothing like the cover of that book, but it was the starting point of a little time waster. I wanted a project with a French feel to it, and something about Edward Fox as gentleman assassin The Jackal seemed to fit. I knocked both of these up fairly quickly on photoshop, using screengrabs from the film and experimenting with various built in FX. Found out if I add a gaussian blur to the letters, I eliminate that clean and digital look that's made previous attempts at this sort of thing look artificial. Fascinating, no?

And that's all for now.

The image used up there in the title panel is a gorgeous shot of Lithuanian model Ilona Kuodiene. I have no idea who took it, but I love it*. She seems like the perfect ornament to sit in the passenger seat of a 1960 Fiat Abarth as it races along L'Avenue Princess Grace. Here is the untampered version.

Goodnight, darlings.


*After a bit of research I found out it was taken by former model, photographer and director Ellen Von Unwerth. Bravo, Ellen.