Ariana Osborne's "Cartes Infernales"

Should they choose to delve deep into the dreckish pools of distant memory, some Coilhouse readers may recall this cheeky wee embloggening from 2009, written about the Dictionnaire Infernal, with illustrations by Louis Breton.

Well, here’s the sitch: dearest Ariana Osborne, who (in addition to sending over all manner of silliness and cuteness and beauty for us to blog here through the years) happens to be an absolutely brilliant graphic designer, has a Kickstarter project! She’s setting her sights on restoring the very same public-domain vintage demonic illustrations contained in that infamous blog post of yesteryear.

She wants to design and print a deck of 69 large (3.5″x5.75″), full-color heavy-stock art cards, each one featuring a Breton illustration from the Dictionnaire Infernal. She’s also planning to create “a supplementary PDF for the deck, with all 69 card images and extended information about each.” She’s given the project room to expand and evolve, depending on how much she raises beyond her minimum goal.

Ariana is all about fastidious documentation, immaculate restoration, and TEH LULZ (see below). EVIL GOOD TIMES. Click on MISTER SCARY ANTEATER OV DOOOO0M to learn more:

True Adventures in Better Homes

This collage series by Nadine Boughton combines men’s adventure magazines from the 50s and early 60s with the pristine rooms of Better Homes and Gardens. Bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms are attacked by squids and rabid baboons, overrun by bats,  submerged underwater, and besieged by helicopters.

“The collages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner,” writes Boughton.

Previously on Coilhouse:

[via jwz]

"Waves" by Daniel Palacios

This is so lovely. Daniel Palacios, ‘Waves’ installation (2007):

(Via Siege, who describes it aptly as “‘Double Dutch’ meets ‘Unknown Pleasures'”. Definitely watch it full screen.)

Artist’s description:

“‘Waves’ utilizes a basic construction of a long piece of elastic string and two motors to visualize the presence of people close to the installation. The string between the two motorized chambers reacts to the people presence and movements, it twirls to produce a sine-wave simulation that eloquently resembles both the digitization of real-time sound waves and patterns of flow and connectivity found in natural systems.”




An hour ago, the darque benevolent sartorial powerhouse known as Mildred Von launched her official Mother of London website, with a webstore containing her glorious new, never-before-available, ready-to-wear line of MoL garments. Creaking black stroppy strappy happiness. Studs and grommets and buckles. Softly eldritch curve-hugging knits and witchy tees. Go take a look. Go.

You’re still here?! GO!! Drool. Spontaneously ejaculate. Cry molten rubies. Fer serious.

Having some inkling of just how many years of blood, sweat, orgone depletion, and fiery cussin’ went into making this uncompromisingly exquisite line a reality, we here at Coilhouse could not be more happy for Milly, or for everyone lucky enough to snatch up one of her amazing pieces before they sell out.

(And they WILL sell out. Soon. So if you want ’em, go git ’em. ASAP.)

Quoth Mildred: “Yes, I might have named all my products after Klingon warriors.” Nope, not fucking around.

More images after the jump. All photos by the fabulous Twink. Gorgeous model is Lacy Soto. Immaculate hair and makeup by Cazzie at Gorgeous Salon on Melrose.


Truly Gone Fishin'

Long white clouds in the sky above the southernmost tip of the North Island. Photo by Mer.

prednisone price list

Greetings, comrades, from the Motu-Kairangi valley of Aotearoa. New Zealand’s north island is spectacularly sun-drenched at the moment– an unseasonably serene autumnal week, by Land o’ Long White Cloud standards.

Perfect timing, too, ‘cos Nadya‘s here! Squee! We’ve been talkin’ some SRZ COILBIZ (“Brainstorrrrm! Maaaaagic!”) and have decided to give ourselves a few days off from blogging and cat-herding to take a much-needed Coil-free road trip together. will probably be a bit sleepy for the next leetle beet. Consider this post our GONE FISHIN’ sign.

Speaking of fish, check out this jaw-dropping photograph of an immaculately preserved, exquisitely beautiful/fantastical Mola Mola skeleton:

A specimen housed in the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Austria. (Via Paul Komoda.)

Oh, our marvelous world. It is full of such fantastical things, both natural and unnatural. We hope you’re all reveling in the weirdness as much as we are right now!


Mer & Nadya

Adventures in Spreepark: Photos by Matthew Borgatti

“Soon…” Photo by Matthew Borgatti.

A frozen rainbow carousel, headless dinosaurs and lonely swan-shaped boats: this can only be Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park in Southeast Berlin. Conceived as a Socialist project to celebrate 20 years of GDR, Spreepark opened its doors in 1969, and shut down in 2001.  If you saw the film Hanna, images of a girl assassin running through this decaying fairyland park may spring to mind. Recently, Matthew Borgatti (previously on Coilhouse here and here) grabbed his camera and went exploring: he’s just published a beautiful set of photos showing both Spreepark’s ruins and signs of life, in tandem with a witty, comprehensive guide to urban spelunking. Spreepark’s story, writes Matthew, is one of “broken dreams, drug smuggling, and illegal things done with kiddie park rides in the dead of night.” You can’t tell the story of Spreepark without mentioning the story of Norbert Witte, as told by journalist Julia Jüttner.

An affluent funfair operator known as the “King of Carousels” to his friends, Witte walked into trouble when he decided to invest in Spreepark after the reunification of Germany. The son of a carnival performer and grandson of Otto Witte, an acrobat/swindler who once managed to be crowned as the King of Albania, Norbert Witte built his own carnival empire from humble beginnings. Together with his young bride Pia, the daughter of a bumper-car operator, he purchased one roller coaster (“The Catapult”) and began to tour with it, amassing eight rides over the course of two decades.

Photo by Matthew Borgatti.

At first, Spreepark seemed like a lucrative investment for Witte. But after the government eliminated 3,000 parking spaces near the park, people stopped coming and the park went out of business. Witte relocated his family to Lima, Peru, with the hope of bringing over Spreepark’s rides and establishing a new park called Lunapark. However, Peruvian customs officials refused to release all the parts of the rides, and the family quickly slid into poverty. Ultimately, Witte was caught smuggling 76 pounds of cocaine (worth $14 million) back to Germany in the mast of the “Flying Carpet” carousel. Norbert Witte received a lenient 6-year sentence in Germany, but his 21-year-old son, stuck back in Peru, received a jail term of 20 years. In a heartbreaking interview with Spiegel Online, Pia Witte elaborates further.

Unlike the story of Spreepark’s ruin, Matthew’s photos aren’t all that tragic. In fact, unlike most typical, ruin porn-tastic shots of abandoned theme parks around the world, his photos reveal the park’s vibrant, frenetic second life. Vinyl stickers depicting the step-by-step construction of an origami swan adorn a swan boat’s plastic neck. One of the dinosaurs still standing dons glam-rock makeup crafted from neon adhesive tape. A layer of graffiti art slowly encroaches upon the abandoned rides, often giving them a strangely modern look. Perhaps it’s because the German authorities seem pretty lenient, occasionally allowing fashion shoots, filming, and festivities such as “concerts, art installations, performances and a burning man” to take place in the park.

As hinted in Matthew’s photos, the future is bright for Spreepark: this summer, a new project called Kulturpark will set up a three-week artist residency camp producing public art inside Spreepark’s walls. Artworks will include “ecological grafitti, sustainable bicycles, a ping pong competition, learning events, radio station, [and] storytelling projects.” The public opening will be June 28 – July 1st.

Photo by Matthew Borgatti.

Jessica Joslin: Gilded Beasts (Lisa Sette Gallery, April 5-28)

Mignon, 2012 by Jessica Joslin

Jessica Joslin is in Scottsdale, Arizona right now, installing and celebrating a big solo show at the wonderful Lisa Sette Gallery: “Birds chirping, cacti and magnolia trees all around… sipping coffee and feeling excited about my opening tonight, and about the many other shows soon to come!” By all means, if you’re in the neighborhood, go say hi! Jessica’s creatures are even more enchanting in person.

On a related note: many of our LA readers will be excited to know that there’s another Twin Peaks art show happening (including this lovely new creature, named Waldo, by Jessica) later in the month; this year it’s Fire Walk With Me-themed. The opening is April 21st.

"Crazy Clown Time" By David Lynch

Above you’ll find the official video, directed by David Lynch, for the title track of his new album Crazy Clown Time. It is officially a thing that exists. In it, Lynch narrates a series of Lynchian events at a Lynchian backyard barbecue as they transpire on screen in a manner sort of like singing but not really. It’s as if a film student set to work to reconstruct a David Lynch movie as related to them by someone who had had a few too many drinks. It may be the best David Lynch parody ever made.

(NSFW, unsurprisingly.)

Via poetv

Help Jess Nevins Create an Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes

Robotic Lion & Warrior illustration by Greg Broadmore for Jess Nevins’ article in Issue 05.

Those of you who own Coilhouse Magazine Issues 03 and 05 will remember Jess Nevins’ pieces on Russian and Chinese pulp. You may have also seen Jess’ Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, his many comic book annotations, or his writing on IO9. As a librarian and author, Jess has an uncanny skill for unearthing rare gems from the realms of pulp and sci-fi, such as the world’s first lesbian science fiction novel (published in 1906), the first cyborg horror story (“The Steam Arm,” 1834), and steampunk poetry from 1867. Jess Nevins can give you the entire history of mad scientists in the industrial age, provide a thorough overview of genderbending in pulps, and hypothesize whether Cthulhu appears on a 300-year-old gravestone. In short, Jess Nevins is a kind of biblio-archaeologist, discovering and preserving beautiful relics from fictional ages past.

His latest endeavor focuses on superheroes. Specifically, superheroes from comics’ Golden Age, which lasted from 1935 to 1949. The project is called The Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, and Jess is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to produce a book and a website (which will include a free download of the book’s manuscript) to catalogue 2000+ superheroes: everything from “floating eyeballs and centaurs” to “robot brains and super rabbits.” Jess needs to travel to Michigan State University in East Lansing to study up on all of these wondrous things, and estimates that it will take two weeks to get the research done. The money raised by Kickstart will go towards subsidizing Jess’ travel and building the site. The project may have hit its modest funding goal, but believe us, the bare minimum is never really enough. Plus, Kickstarter projects that raise substantially more than the required amount often have a way of evolving and deepening into even bigger, more beautiful work (for instance, Molly Crabapple’s Week in Hell or R. Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties e-book).

In celebration of Jess’ ambitious new project, we are releasing a full, free PDF of his article from Issue 05, titled “Sherlock Holmes vs. The Fox Woman: A Brief Tour of Chinese Pulp”. Lushly-illustrated by Greg Broadmore and Paul Tobin, the article provides a sweeping overview of Chinese Pulp from, from moon colonies to pirate queens. Enjoy!

We can’t wait to read this book, Jess! Go git ’em.

America's Dead Sea

Jim Lo Scalzo’s beautiful short documentary on the Salton Sea:

Deep in the desert of southern California sits one of the worst environmental sites in America—a former tourist destination that has turned into a toxic soup: the Salton Sea.

The sea was born by accident 100 years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal; for the next two years the entire volume of the river flowed into the Salton Sink, one of the lowest places on Earth. The new lake became a major tourist attraction, with resort towns springing up along its shores. Yet with no outflow, and with agricultural runoff serving as its only inflow, the sea’s waters grew increasingly toxic. Farm chemicals and ever-increasing salinity caused massive fish and bird die-offs. Use of the sea for recreational activities plummeted, and by the 1980s its tourist towns were all but abandoned.

The skeletons of these structures are still there; ghost towns encrusted in salt. California officials acknowledge that if billions of dollars are not spent to save it, the sea could shrink another 60 percent in the next 20 years, exposing soil contaminated with arsenic and other cancerous chemicals to strong winds. Should that dust become airborne, it would blow across much of southern California, creating an environmental calamity.

Much of the footage is filmed in and around The Salton Riviera, a former resort built by entrepreneur M. Penn Phillips, old footage of which Scalzo expertly contrasts with images of the now dilapidated buildings and piles of dead fish. His eye for composition is the real star here, though, and he captures some stunningly haunting images of this increasingly barren wasteland.

Via The Fox Is Black