Illustrators # 3 (magazine review)

June 14, 2016 | By | Reply More


The major section of Illustrators # 3 is devoted to the incredible photo-realistic artwork of Italian Fortunino Matania (1881-1963), who did much of his work in the UK. Although I can’t be sure, I think I might have seen some of his work when very young and assumed they were photos. Looking at his work here, they were clearly not and shows just how good he really is. Matania had a photographic memory, a developed artistic talent from the age of eleven and could put all together in any medium from pencils to inks to paintings. The consummate artist where you should look at his work and think I wish I had a fraction of that talent for bringing lines to life. In his 80s, he was presenting work for the first year of the UK magazine ‘Look & Learn’ in the 1960s, even though age was slowing him down. His work alone here is worth getting this edition for. I’m in awe.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Andy Virgil (1925-1980) was an American artist who worked both sides of the pond. Through his use of models, he always caught the dynamics of the scene he wanted to create. If it wasn’t in advertising, then certainly in his paintings for women’s magazines. Writer Bryn Havord gives a sharp reminder that artists are not particularly good at representing themselves and Virgil was amongst the artists who wanted to leave the studio environment to work from home and having a boss who wouldn’t pay outstanding owed fees. I really hope that doesn’t happen today. Something to observe from Virgil’s samples here is that he plays around with his styles a lot but never lost the vitality he created.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Peter Maddocks, reading Bryn Havord’s article, has certainly worked for most of the British national papers as a cartoonist. Some of which I have seen but never the breadth of his coverage until now. The page of gags here makes for fun reading and I suspect after reading them that you’ll be after those that have been put into books. As with most successful cartoonists, he’s a good study for human behaviour. Something I didn’t know was that he shared office space with writer Peter O’Donnell in the 1970s.

Unusually, the last piece is by former editor Keith Chapman describing his time in the 1960s working on the A5-sized Picture Library that covered a range from western to detective to romance with samplings of cover art and a little of the interiors. Even he describes the company as being one of the lower ends of the scale where you got paid when the work went into print. Although an oddity against the pieces which are solely artist, I doubt if these people’s covers would be seen otherwise.

As always. ‘Illustrators’ is fabulous for content and the highlight is Matania, whom The Book Palace is finally releasing a book about him late summer/autumn 2016.

GF Willmetts

June 2016

(pub: The Book Palace, 2013. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £15.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-907081-10-1. ISSN: 2052-6520

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Category: Culture, Illustration, Magazines


About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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