Skip to main content

On strange bedfellows


What do these three people have in common, starting with stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen above?

Then me:


And finally Hugh Hefner, seen below posing with some attention-seeking blonde woman:


Answer: our names are listed consecutively in the 'Acknowledgements' section of Sam Weller's Ray Bradbury biography.

I happen to know Sam, and this in no way influences my opinion that he wrote an exceptionally good book about Bradbury's life, and his influence on American culture. I'm a bit mystified as to why I am in that list (for it is indeed I to whom he is referring to). But by coincidence, Sam linked together two very important people in my early teenage life. I was a huge fan of the stop-motion animations of Ray Harryhausen, particularly the Sinbad films. This might have been at the back of my mind when I made my own stop-motion animations as part of an installation a few years ago. And I, let us say, 'put to good use' my stolen copies of Playboy magazine - stolen because no local newsagent would have sold them to a minor, and also because I couldn't have afforded to buy them anyway.

Thank you, Sam, for bringing back the sweet times . . .

 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader

Comments

  1. Hi Philip,

    I love the Sinbad films too. I still have the videotape collection of them (although they're at my mom's now...long story). Thank you for sharing your pretzels animated short. I have a friend who founded the NW Animation Festival in Portland. Would you be interested in submitting your film for their next festival?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

Artist-Writer-Artist: Gerard Woodward

I am extremely pleased that poet and author Gerard Woodward agreed to be interviewed for this series. Gerard and my wife, Patty, were colleagues for a short while at the end of 2008, when Patty taught for one semester at Bath Spa University, where Gerard is a faculty member in the Creative Writing program. Gerard spent the spring semester of 2011 in Chicago on a reciprocal visit. Gerard has published poetry, short-stories, and novels. "Householder", his 1991 collection of poetry, won the Somerset Maugham Award in the UK, and his novel "I'll Go to bed at Noon" was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Of his most recent novel, "Nourishment", The Daily Telegraph reviewer wrote: "It is a novel to be savoured, and Woodward is a novelist to be treasured." It turns out that in addition to his success as a writer, Gerard started his adult life in art college, and still draws and paints when he can. So here, from a writer's point of view…