The world's greatest book publisher, Fantagraphics, has just released The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora
, filled with illustrations by this playful and brilliant mid-century record album, book, and magazine illustrator. It's edited by pop-culture historian and preservationist Irwn Chusid.
The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora, following hot on the heels of 2004’s The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora (which sold out within a matter of months, but which is being reprinted with this latest volume of Floriana) features a wide array of both his commercial work for prestigious record labels of the ’40s and rare, personal work that he did solely for himself.
Flora was prolific in his commercial work; he created art privately in equal measure -- and often with more fiendish pleasure. His style is cartoonish, evoking childhood nostalgia and dereliction of adult responsibility.
There is also a wealth of 1940s Columbia Records printed matter exhibiting Flora's visual pranks; 1950s RCA Victor-era work; magazine illos, sketchbooks, and prints; 1930s Little Man Press-era drawings; paintings from all decades; photos, and personal keepsakes. All are abundantly represented in The Curiously Sinister Art. Flora's early 1940s musician portraits in Columbia bulletins are raucous and undignified, featuring piss-takes on such legends as Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and Gene Krupa.
Flora once said he "could not do likenesses" — so he conjured outlandish caricatures. His exotic fauna defy logic and the laws of physics. We suspect he often leaned back from the drafting table, examined his work, and issued a macabre chuckle. Much of the work in the book is light-hearted — it's not all Flora 'rassling his demons. But even in his impish renderings, there's something vaguely unsettling in the nuances. His comic grotesqueries echoed, and in many cases foreshadowed, the 1950s Harvey Kurtzman-era MAD magazine, as well as the underground comix of the late 1960s.
Previously on Boing Boing:
• The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora Link
• Cool Jim Flora illustration from 1960 issue of Spanish Life magazine Link
• The Day the Cow Sneezed: Jim Flora book from 1957 Link
• Interview with artist Jim Flora's archivist Link
• Jim Flora in the New York Times Link
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
We’d all love a 75-inch TV screen on which to view our favorite shows. But not all of us can drop the cash needed to get one of those broadcasting beauties (or even have the space needed to house them).Thankfully, there’s an alternative. With the SainSonic Mini LED Portable Projector (only $59.99 in the Boing Boing Store), you can project a picture […]
If you want to add some real firepower to your programming repertoire, learn Java–one of the most adaptable, widely-used programming platforms around. You can easily do that with this Ultimate Java bundle, now just $69 in the Boing Boing Store.Across 14 lectures and 117 hours of content, the educators at online academy eduCBA will walk you through […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]