(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Marvel

“I suppose illustration tends to live in the streets, rather than in the hermetically sealed atmosphere of the museum, and consequently it has come to be taken less seriously”*…

Gustave Doré, frontispiece of “Œuvres de François Rabelais.”

But surely, it shouldn’t necessarily be so…

Old Book Illustrations was born of the desire to share illustrations from a modest collection of books, which we set out to scan and publish. With the wealth of resources available online, it became increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to explore other collections and include these images along with our own. Although it would have been possible to considerably broaden the time-frame of our pursuit, we chose to keep our focus on the original period in which we started for reasons pertaining to taste, consistency, and practicality: due to obvious legal restrictions, we had to stay within the limits of the public domain. This explains why there won’t be on this site illustrations first published prior to the 18th century or later than the first quarter of the 20th century.

We are not the only image collection on the web, neither will we ever be the largest one. We hope however to be a destination of choice for visitors more particularly interested in Victorian and French Romantic illustrations—we understand French Romanticism in its broadest sense and draw its final line, at least in the realm of book illustration, at the death of Gustave Doré.
We also focused our efforts on offering as many different paths and avenues as possible to help you find your way to an illustration, whether you are looking for something specific or browsing randomly. The many links organizing content by artist, language, publisher, date of birth, and more are designed to make searching easier and indecision rewarding…

And rewarding it is! See for yourself at Old Book Illustrations (@obillustrations)

(TotH to @Recomendo6)

* master illustrator Quentin Blake


As we visualize, we might send powerfully-drawn birthday greetings to Silvio “Sal” Buscema; he was born on this date in 1936. An illustrator and comic artist, he is best remembered for his time at Marvel, especially his ten-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk and his eight-year run as artist of The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Comics were a family business. His elder brother John is similarly renown for his work on The Avengers, The Silver Surfer, and Conan the Barbarian.

Sal Buscema


Vengeance is…

Revenge may be a dish best eaten cold; but its best-known agents, The Avengers, are hot:  Joss Whedon’s superhero mash-up is breaking box-office records at home and abroad.

Vancouver-based artist Jer Thorp has immersed himself in the foundation of the film, the Marvel series that has been published pretty much continuously since 1963…

All 570 Avengers covers (to date)

The blockbuster that opened in the U.S. this past weekend features six Avengers– Captain America, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. But lest we worry about available grist for sequels, Thorp reminds us that there are 127 more Avengers… The featured sextet appeared early and often; but as this plot suggests, there are plenty more heros where they cam from:

Number of appearances of each Avenger

Much more (sequence of appearance, gender balance, etc.)  here.  And that’s not all: in the best Hollywood tradition, Thorp teases his own sequel…

…the clever ones among you might be wondering if these patterns are tied to historical periods, or if they are linked to the preferences of specific writers, editors, or artists. Is that crowded patch of Gods in 1985 due to a cultural fascination with myth? Or do Mark Gruenwald & Jim shooter just really, really like Thor? Great questions, and ones that I’ll take a look at Part 2 of this post.

Like S.H.I.E.L.D., Thorp is just getting started…

[TotH to Flowing Data]

Fans of the other, wonderful-in-a-completely-different-way Avengers might go here.


As practice our Tony Stark impressions, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, in the wee hours, in a motel room in Clearwater, Florida, that Keith Richards awoke, grabbed his guitar, turned on a small portable tape recorded, laid down the signature riff of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”… then dropped back into the arms of Morpheus.

“When I woke up in the morning, the tape had run out,” Richards recalled many years later. “I put it back on, and there’s this, maybe, 30 seconds of ‘Satisfaction,’ in a very drowsy sort of rendition. And then suddenly—the guitar goes ‘CLANG,” and then there’s like 45 minutes of snoring.”


Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 7, 2012 at 1:01 am


The grand old man of pit-diving, Iggy Pop, has gotten in touch with his inner chanteur.  His new album, Préliminaires (officially released in the U.S. today), is ballad after ballad.

But perhaps as interestingly, The Shirtless One’s newest has lyrics based on French author Michel Houellebecq’s apocalyptic clone saga The Possibility of an Island… and so takes its place as the latest in a distinguished line (Dylan, Bowie, Pink Floyd, et al.) of rock albums based on important works of literature.

As we hum along, we might tip the birthday beret to Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, born on this date in 1744.  In one popular version of his life, he was he was a nobleman and great magus; in the other, a scheming fraud. The latter holds that Cagliostro was born Giuseppe Balsamo to a poor family in Palermo, Sicily, and that, when his father died, he was educated at the expense of some of his mother’s relatives. It has been said that he robbed his uncle, forged a will, and spent time in Palermo’s prisons more than once.  (Indeed, his reputation as a charlatan is so great that he shows up as a crooked character in Marvel’s Dr. Strange) In any case, it does seem that he was a “man of the era”– he knew and mixed with illustrious contemporaries like Mozart, Goethe, Casanova, and Catherine the Great…  but apparently not his fellow noble and birthday buddy, the Marquis de Sade (who was born on this date four years earlier, in 1740).

Alessandro di Cagliostro

%d bloggers like this: