Monday, 9 September 2013

nikolai kalmakoff: 'the beardsley of st petersburg'

Angel Of The Abyss, undated
Salome Sphinx, 1928
Household Spirits, 1927
Taurus, 1927
Nikolai Konstantin Kalmakoff was a Russian-Italian aristocrat born on the Italian riviera in 1873, a symbolist painter, part of the 'visionary' movement, an eccentric, recluse, occultist and misogynist who died, long-forgotten, in poverty in Paris in 1955. Most of his paintings are lost. Those that remain were, for the most part, only found by chance at a fleamarket in the 60s. Now those paintings go for thousands at auction. Although almost as classic (and possibly repellent) as his life story in their decadent themes, filled with monstrous Medusa women and sphinxes, Salome and the minotaur, not to mention devils, Kalmakoff's art also still looks as if it really did come from another realm. Technicolour, intense, beautiful and sometimes frightening, Kalmakoff's labyrinth is definitely one where the demons are as enticing as they are menacing.

"She made me live in an imaginary world taken from the Brothers Grimm with a sprinkling of ETA Hoffmann. I devoured those tales with delight. Around the age of nine I would often wander into the furthermost room of our house, where I would carefully conceal myself. Then, alone in the darkness, I would call upon the devil to appear."

Kalmakoff on his childhood German governess (and earliest influence), from the Visionary Revue, which has the full story on his life as well as a complete gallery of his work.

oh, you devil you – cinzano advert, 1966

mood indigo

From the series Destinations (imagined) by Boston, Massachussetts photographer Alicia Savage.
"They started walking, letting the first pavement they came across guide their steps.
A little pink cloud came down from the air and drew up close beside them.

       'I'm going your way,' it winked.
       'Let's step on then,' said Colin.
And the cloud wrapped itself round them. Inside the cloud it was warm, and it smelt of candy-floss and cinnamon. 
       'Nobody can see us any more!...' said Colin. 'But we can still see everything that is going on!...'
       'I think it is slightly transparent,' said Chloe. 'Better be careful!' 

From Froth On The Daydream (L'Ecume des Jours) by Boris Vian translated by Stanley Chapman, 1967.

It's been a long 18 months since the first photographs from the shoot of Mood Indigo appeared. Michel Gondry's big-screen version of Boris Vian's Froth On The Daydream novel still has no UK release date, and reviews from premieres and releases elsewhere in the world are mixed. Gondry's way with a dreamlike narrative seems to be as much in play as it was in Eternal Sunshine, and there are nods to Terry Gilliam-like touches, which is definitely a good thing, but there's also a sense that the darker edges of Vian's original story have been quietly smoothed out, leaving a tragic romance floating in a fluffy cloud of surrealist quirks. We'll see, eventually, but at least the film tie-in reissue of the novel, due any time between now and January from Serpent's Tail, will be the hard-to-find translation by Stanley Chapman from 1967. Bittersweet, like the story, but if it gets the book a wider worldwide audience, that's something in itself. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

where is arthur sultan, the surrey mystic?

Screengrabs from the 1978 TV film The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash
Whatever happened to Arthur Sultan, the Surrey mystic? It's a question that, probably, no one has asked in the years since The Rutles went to his secret retreat in Bognor for a weekend of Ouija board table-tapping (and the rest). We – okay, I – can imagine that after the tragic departure of Rutles manager Leggy Mountbatten for a teaching post in Australia, and the swift exit of the shocked and stunned Rutles from Bognor, Arthur might have turned to other bands: The Rolling Stones, The Who, Herman's Hermits. Or written an English version of the I-Ching based on cricketing terminology. Or even tried to levitate the local bingo hall in Woking as a protest against inferior-quality Jesus sandals flooding the hippie scene (and to raise the profile of his wholefood shop). More likely, the Maharishi of Bognor is now the billionaire owner of an online psychic hotline based in Singapore, with a 20-year-old 'paranormal investigator' (and actress) girlfriend, and a basement full of clones of himself ready to unleash on the world in the near future. 

At least there isn't such a mystery about the man behind Arthur Sultan – actor, playwright and theatre director Henry Woolf. Woolf was already a seasoned thesp in TV and film when he first performed with Eric Idle in the latter's BBC2 comedy sketch show Rutland Weekend Television in 1975 and then took on the role of Arthur Sultan in All You Need Is Cash, the fake rock doc about beat behemoths The Rutles. A veteran of the avant-garde, with a hefty dose of childhood pal Harold Pinter's kitchen sink, Woolf's on-screen performances notably also include the 1967 film adaptation of Peter Weiss's play Marat/Sade (a play that was still causing controversy and audience walk-outs when the Royal Shakespeare Company staged it in 2011) and early 70s Doctor Who baddie The Collector. For more on Woolf's sinister looks, absurdist drama and unexpectedly scary roles see Familiar Unknown.

roman muradov – a literary pen

Nine writers by Roman Muradov (from top left): Raymond Queneau, Proust, Guy De Maupassant, Chekhov, Tove Jansson, PG Wodehouse, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Nabokov, Kafka
Roman Muradov's fantastic illustration work has featured in The New Yorker, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal and Time among other publications, he's published comic art zines inspired by Italo Calvino and Raymond Roussel (and a Proustian one-pager called Remembrance Of Things Pasta styled in the manner of a Monty Python sketch), illustrated an edition of Poe's The Purloined Letter for Scout Books, and his Yellow Zine doffs the cap name-wise to the 1890s decadence-dominated literary journal The Yellow Book. More of his vintage-style drawing and influences will appear in the autumn, when the London-based Nobrow Press (which I've written about before) bring out Muradov's first graphic novel, (In A Sense) Lost & Found. In the meantime, you can see (and buy) his work on his website and tumblr, Bluebed.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

vogue magazine 1970: clothes for new druids

More from the era when mainstream magazines such Esquire and Harper's Bazaar were running articles about the occult revival, pulp top-shelf mens magazines would have witch becostumed saucepots on the cover and even hypnotists could be hip with their own chart-aimed album releases. This is from the October issue of Vogue magazine in the UK, my current favourite of the Vogue occult fashions – see also Vogue goes spooky, part 1 and part 2.

happy lughnasadh, lammas, freyfixa – the first of the harvest festivals

Kern Baby, photographed by Sir John Benjamin Stone, 1901

"Till recent years a rather common form of the revelry and thanksgiving which have ever taken place at the ingathering of the harvest was the Kern, though it has now died out everywhere except in a few Northumbrian villages.

One of the customs of the festival of Ceres, it had many local variations. It was observed in the northern part of Northumberland at the close of the reaping, not the ingathering. Immediately the sickle was laid down and the last sheaf set on end the men shouted that they had "got the kern". Then a curious image was produced – an image dressed in a white frock with coloured ribbons and crowned with corn ears – stuck on a pole, and held aloft by the strongest man of the party while the rest circled round it. Subsequently it was taken to the barn, set on high, and the merrymakers fell to on the harvest supper."
Quoted from Sir Benjamin Stone's Pictures: Records Of National Life And History (Cassell, 1904)

The kern baby – apparently headless, not a baby, and awaiting some spectral groom – a peculiarly gothic version of the traditional harvest corn dollies.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

echoes: poe's geometry - otherworldly curves and rectangular obscenities

#190 Vinyl via Geometry Daily
"… the first thing to notice about Poe's dream rooms is their shape. It has already been said that the enclosures of Poe's tales incline to a curving or circular form. And Poe himself, in certain of his essays and dialogues, explains this inclination by denouncing what he calls the harsh mathematical reason of the schools and complaining that practical science has covered the face of the earth with rectangular obscenities. Poe quite explicitly identifies regular angular forms with everyday reason, and the circle, oval or fluid arabesque with the otherworldly imagination. Therefore, if we discover that the dream chambers of Poe's fiction are free of angular regularity, we may be sure that we are noticing a pointed and purposeful consistency in his architecture and decor." 
Richard Wilbur in The Recognition Of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Eric W Carlson (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1966)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

through the looking glass, 1968

Clone utopia – it all adds up.

the wiccan circle: concretism

Another dose of 1970s electronic, folkie and cut up pagan documentary sounds – The Wiccan Circle, by a band called Concretism, and with a Ghostbox homage video to match. They must have seen us coming.

stranger in a strange land: carl spitzweg

Der Rabe (The Raven), circa 1845
Gnome Watching The Rail Transport, 1848
The Sorcerer, 1875
Carl Spitzweg was a Munich-based painter whose works included traditional Romantic landscapes filled with paths of yearning into the mountainous unknown. However, he also had a wanderlust that drew him to unusual characters (hermits and eccentrics), satire of the military and the fantastical world of imaginary beings. His sorcerer and dragon (pictured, bottom) are fairly typical fairytale figures, but it's his wistful gnome seeing the force of progress (centre) and particularly his anthropomorphic raven (top) that stand out, far stranger for swerving the usual fantasy pigeonholes.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

parisian gothic: pole ka's street art

All pictures by Pole Ka from her Autopsie Printannière series, 2013
A pulsating illustrated heart with it's internal workings exposed sits on the entrance to the website of French artist Pole Ka. Most of the work within, which has featured in exhibitions, fanzines, pamphlets, on gig posters and postcards as well as on city streets, is just as visceral in every sense, exposing organs and intense ideas. Death, gender and birth are the big themes, with a heavy dose of surrealness, as bodies are dissected and bisected with vegetables, babies turn mothers into kraken, tarot cards are redesigned with schlock horror blood and guts and Henry the Eighth's wives are united by multiple ghostly foetuses and executed heads. But, even at their most unsettling, Pole Ka's style is still delicately beautiful. There's something else here other than the straightforward gothically morbid, and her latest works (pictured) suggest that's worth keeping an eye on.

overhill - "someone is all alone someplace they shouldn't be"

Horror films..."In them the night is always falling. Someone is all alone someplace they shouldn't be. If there's a house, it must be the only one for miles around. If there's a road, it must be deserted. The trees are bare, or if they have leaves, they rustle darkly. The sky still has a little gray light. It is the kind of light in which even one's own hands appear unfamiliar, a stranger's hands." 
Quoted from Terra Incognita in Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art Of Joseph Cornell by Charles Simic (NYRB Classics)

Rebecca is a Londoner who just wants a bit of peace and quiet in Cornwall to finish her novel, but the locals have other ideas – British independent horror is looking up, going by the teaser trailer for Overhill alone. The world premiere is this Thursday, so there's not long to wait to see this classically-inspired chiller. Might have to watch The League Of Gentlemen again first though: "This is a local town for local people".

marianne faithfull: good witch

"The poster on the cover portrays singer Marianne Faithfull in comic-strip style as a good witch come to bring life to a desolate Britain." Daily Telegraph Magazine, April 10, 1968

Designed by Peter Blake (whose birthday it is today, happy birthday), with dragon sculpture and costume by Blake's wife Jann Haworth, and inspired by the Arthurian legend of Morgan Le Fay.

randomness - june 2013: illusions and revelations

via International Times on Facebook
Here we go again, living in the future and walking back through the past at the same time. Change is the only constant. Nothing is what it seems. Life's like that. So we cluster recurring motifs in different ways like Joseph Cornell boxes: ancient woodland, fox and owl, concrete public building, obsolete technology, folklore ritual, abandoned hospital, vintage school textbook, surrealist painting, full moon, magpie, standing stones. Or listen to songs with unsettling sounds, or read poetry about becoming shadows, or watch films about something that is other, all of which have their own recurring motifs. Make your own comfort zone. 

Except that if this was a film, there's the scene where someone sees something they weren't meant to see but needed to. Or otherwise learns something that turns everything upside down. The reveal moment. So, supermoons aren't rare (but they do look good). Oliver Cromwell liked a bit of a boogie. The original novel of Frankenstein isn't actually very well-written. Austerity isn't good for us. Spies like us more than we thought. A new town in England has a blank war memorial in remembrance of those who will die in future wars. Are you confused yet? Good. Whose reality is it anyway?

A drop in the ocean of what was missed while this blog was in the doledrums: Sheffield Fire & Police Museum Dummies (I always like a good dummy, you dummy) at Between Channels; Vintage Dutch Safety Posters at 50 Watts; the highly surreal genius of How To Look At More Than Meets The Eye by Ad Reinhardt from 1947 at Stopping Off Place; The Geography Trip's Pylonic Irrigation mesmerising mix of sounds; lots of things at Things Magazine but just now I like Fax Evolution best; another championing of unsung graphic design from the 1920s to 1970s at A Survey of Ukrainian Book Design; the 'perky' creepiness of 70s Italian film music at A Sound Awareness, and Taken To The Cleaners - Posters, Signs And Stickers From Laundrettes That Time Forgot at Voices Of East Anglia.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

gloriously demented: the case of dr jekyll, mr hyde and peter cook

Ralph Bates in Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, dir Roy Ward Baker, Hammer, 1971

When Hammer Films remodelled Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde for the early 70s sleaze horror market as Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Peter Cook must have kicked himself. Or he should have. Everything had pointed towards him getting to a remake of the story first. Cook did eventually write a screenplay, but what he came up with was far more than an excuse for macabre sauciness. Dr Jekyll & Mrs Hyde, as it was called, just never made it to the big screen.

A smattering of newspaper interviews in the late 60s dripfed Cook's mullings over of an idea for a horror film - "something rather nasty about rejuvenation, acupuncture and spiritualism", far from "one of those modern giggle and ketchup affairs". It wasn't so unlikely. He'd conquered stage, print and TV in just a few years with his pioneering satirical writing (plus set up a home for subversive comedy with the Establishment club in London's Soho) before turning his mischief-making to ideas about good and evil for the commercial cinematic mainstream. In 1967 Bedazzled featured a Devil that was even likable, as demonic genies can be, especially since it was Cook himself as George Spiggott, aka Lucifer. "He's not so bad once you get to know his problems," as Stanley Moon says. Politics provided the less literal, but darker version of devilish japes in The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer in 1970, with Cook again in the lead, this time as the schmoozing, social climbing and possibly murderous would-be dictator of the title. 

Cook had also appeared among the all-star cast in Bryan Forbes' 1966 film version of The Wrong Box, a gothic farce from 1889 written by Robert Louis Stevenson with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne. Replete with dead bodies, dastardly haplessness and Victorian values upturned, the narrative also featured a character that could've come from Cook's own pen called The Bournemouth Strangler. That Stevenson's fevered writing of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde in 1885 took place under those same sedate English riviera skies of Bournemouth and not, as might be expected, in genteel yet sepulchral Edinburgh seemed to complete some kind of fateful circle (and surely would have amused Cook).

Hammer's sexy horror rewrite of the Jekyll and Hyde tale as Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, directed by Roy Ward Baker, saw a Jekyll out to cure the world of disease (Ralph Bates) warped into Jack the Ripper by his murderess alter ego (Martine Beswick). What Peter Cook had in mind was very different: a comedy, but multi-faceted, as Smarter Than The Average (to which I'm indebted for this story) revealed in its indepth trajectory of the forgotten manuscript a few years ago.

From the script's foreword by Cook: "Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, though predominantly a comedy, is also a love story, a study in narcissism and an exposé, in funny terms, of the hypocritical Victorian attitude towards women. Dr Jekyll, though outwardly respectable, is an adventurer. His alter-ego, Mrs Hyde, the only woman he can really love, represents everything a Victorian lady should not be." 

By the time Cook had finished the script it was the beginning of 1977 and the film's time was no doubt already long past. There were efforts to put the script into production as late as 1979 though, (with the idea of Dudley Moore in the lead role), and some wistfulness on Cook's part a year later in a Radio Times interview that he might even be able to get Moore (by then a Hollywood star thanks to Blake Edward's film, 10) to fund it. Instead, there was silence and the script became a shadow again.

But there is still the script and, once past the long and unnecessary opener about Jekyll's schooldays, it's a brilliant one. 

Like the question in Frankenstein of who the monster really is – the unnatural creation or society – the apparently mad scientist Jekyll and his apparently "demented" harpy alternate Mrs Hyde are, in this tale, an RD Laing take on gothic: the sane ones in an insane world. 

In Stevenson's original story the horror was about the loss of self, control, power and the dividing of personality. In Cook's version, the horror is about the lack of self, control and power among those subjugated by Jekyll's standing in society (whether women, servants, or soldiers). But Stevenson was also puncturing the veneer of Victorian respectability, and Cook gleefully stabs some more, updating and amplifying the hypocrisy with plenty of lampooning of repressed 'animalistic' desires.

Not so much had changed, after all, between the Victorian era and the 70s (never mind where we are now). Likewise with gender relations, which Cook turns from the vaguely misogynist nightmares of Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (and countless other horror films) into feminist-fuelled comedy. Cook's Jekyll is outstripped by a female Hyde who is stronger, smarter, wittier, better-looking and more inventive. Mrs Hyde outrages Dr Jekyll's peers by arguing (or just speaking), drinks Scotch rather than sherry, bares far too much leg at every opportunity and rouses the workers, servants and women to revolt. Notorious as she is though, Mrs Hyde isn't murderous or villainous – and Jekyll adores her, even when she uses his money to set up a newspaper for women, just as she adores him (and not for his money). The problem is not who has the power or trusting each other but whether they can co-exist in the same body. A happy ending for both of them isn't too much to ask for in such a topsy-turvy world.

Besides all this, the comedy works. There are classic Cook-style sight jokes (sometimes literal), inventive wordplay, ridiculously fascinating characters, running gags, ludicrous scenes. Easy targets are avoided in favour of askew bullseyes (Mrs Hyde's brief meeting with Jack The Ripper, Jekyll's gynaecological exam of Queen Victoria, the planning of the Charge of the Light Brigade.) 

It's funny, naughty, smart and radical – a waste of a good screenplay, in other words. But without Cook as Jekyll (and a comparable co-lead as Mrs Hyde), or rather, without specifically a late-60s era Cook, maybe turning it into a film is impossible. Or is it? Read Dr Jekyll & Mrs Hyde for yourself, see what you think. Toast Mr Cook with a drink if you like it at least.

Friday, 18 January 2013

echoes : octavio paz and adolfo bioy casares

1940 edition, illustration by Norah Borges

"The body is imaginary, and we bow to the tyranny of a phantom. Love is a privileged perception, the most total and lucid not only of the unreality of the world but of our own unreality: not only do we traverse a realm of shadows, we ourselves are shadows."

Octavio Paz on The Invention Of Morel and other works by Adolfo Bioy Casares

Thursday, 10 January 2013

happy birthday london underground

Part 1 of the Haunted London Underground, narrated by Paul McGann - plague pits, murdered actors, wartime panic and spectral trains. Read more at Unexplained Mysteries.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

boris karloff's thriller - "in God's name, just speak!"

Like Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, Boris Karloff's Thriller was an anthology of fictional delights on America's NBC channel in the early 60s, by turns chilling and moral, albeit frightful (and sometimes crime) rather than sci-fi, and hosted by Mr Frankenstein's monster, whose gravelly-toned opening of each episode introduced the players and warned the faint of heart of what was to come, 'as sure as his name was Boris Karloff'. A classic conveyor belt of goose-bumping goodies - gothic mansions, foggy moors and graveyards, grisly monsters, ghouls and bogey-men, murderers, swindlers and would-be Devil tricksters about to get their comeuppance - populated tales with pulp comic titles like Parasite Mansion, Dialogues With Death, Well Of Doom and Pigeons From Hell. The stories were high-class though, written by names including Hitchock's Psycho script inspiration, Robert Bloch, and Twilight Zone writers Robert Matheson and Charles Beaumont, or adapted from tales by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert E Howard. A cast of stellar and later-to-be-stellar actors including William Shatner, Mary Tyler Moore, Leslie Nielsen, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Vaughn, John Carradine and Boris Karloff himself added the stardust, and though the show only lasted two seasons before being shunted by the success of the macabre anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents, there is of course YouTube and a mammoth 14-disc DVD box set of all 67 episodes so that you can scare yourself silly through many dark nights before your own reckoning.

(thanks to Duglas T Stewart for the reminder of this series on Twitter!)

underneath the masks: philadelphia mummers parade

Mummers Parade, Philadelphia, 1909
This put a different spin on the vintage photos I'd been enjoying: the annual New Year's day Mummers Parade in Philadelphia has always been subversive but, according to Slate, this year's parade also highlighted the city tradition's shadowy history of treating minority ethnic groups.

demons of disorder: medieval mummers

Medieval Mummers, from the Folklore series of UK Royal Mail stamps, 1981
"... they rode through the city, accompanied by numbers in various grotesque dresses, making disport and merriment; some clothed in armour; others, dressed as devils, chased the people, and sorely affrighted the women and children; others wearing skin dresses, and counterfeiting bears, wolves, lions, and other animals, and endeavoring to imitate the animals they represented, in roaring and raving, alarming the cowardly and appalling the stoutest hearts."

Herbert Halpert and GM Story: Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland: Essays In Anthropology, Folklore and History, 1969

Don't be fooled by those dainty hand-on-hip poses. Fifteenth-century revelry during the 12 days of Christmas meant the masked and costumed mummers (versions of which exist worldwide throughout history) not only acting out genteel folk dramas and parading through the streets, but also getting up to all kinds of mischief, drunken loutishness, crime and violence. Nothing changes then - it's just the costumes aren't as good. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

70s occult TV bows out: casting the runes

The ghost stories of Victorian writer MR James were a particularly popular choice for adaptation in the early 70s as part of the BBC Ghost Stories For Christmas, but the 1979 version of his tale Casting The Runes is still a lost treasure. Jacques Tourner had made a film of it, Night Of The Demon, in 1957 and there was a 1968 ITV teleplay, but the ITV Playhouse take on it in 1979 is like an overview of the previous decade's popular culture occult obsession. Prudence Dunning (Jan Francis) is the gradually spooked out journalist victim, whose TV documentary exposure of supernatural charlatans reactivates an old vendetta by reclusive mystic Julian Karswell (Iain Cuthbertson). Ten years before he had similarly been mocked by a journalist, John Harrington, whose mysterious death in snowy Yorkshire opens the drama. Now Karswell casts the doom-laden runes for Dunning, and as he lurks in libraries, cuts a brooding black-clad figure in long-shots over bridges and messes with her mind in Dunning's home and his study it's how and whether she can fight back that racks up the suspense. Well, what you do if a warlock put a curse on you?

we make shadows: bangour village hospital

This is Bangour Village Hospital, in Dechmont, near Edinburgh. It's easy to zoom past it on the motorway, but it covers 600 acres, hidden among woods and landscaped grounds. It opened in 1906 as the Edinburgh District Asylum, looked after soldiers during both world wars and was a working psychiatric hospital up until 2004. 

It's a place that, like my friend Rhian said when we visited, is trapped in time, and yet it's not. We make shadows of our dreams and nightmares, past and future, except that those shadows aren't out there, they're within us. I wanted to say we can let those shadows go any time we want, but I think they nestle inside, entwining with everything. How large you let those shadows loom though, that's up to you.

There's a few thousand photos of the hospital on flickr. Most of them are of the spooky abandoned kind, and then there's a set from someone who worked there, taken in 1970, snapshots in Kodachrome colour, some with patients in the wards, that raises more uncomfortable resonances. The point is that walking around there now, as plenty people do with their families, or their dogs, of a Sunday afternoon, it's not a spooky place, and, as it turns out, it wasn't ever the Victorian Bedlam of our nightmares. At least, that's not what it set out to be. 

Bangour was a prototype of a utopian ideal, based on a German village model, a humanitarian approach to mental health. There were large sports grounds, a shop. The patients lived in "villas". The mammoth building at the heart of the village wasn't for patients; that's where the nurses lived. Elsewhere on the web there's photos of the hospital in the 1940s. It looks like a Hollywood version of a sanitorium. Maybe the reality wasn't like that, and maybe the sweeping wide roads, carefully cultivated shrubbery and pristine nurses and doctors uniforms provide a parallel that's easier to handle, but they make more sense looking now than any spectres of horror films or books. It really is a beautiful place to wander around.

john kenn mortensen's post-it monsters

John Kenn Mortensen is a TV writer and director in Denmark who draws monsters on post-it notes in his spare time. These monsters lurk amid the everyday, following us while we're out for a walk, hanging around while we try to reach something stuck underneath the wardrobe or while we put out the rubbish. They wait for us to sail our boat (or fall from a bridge) into their mouths, put us in cages and stick us in cauldrons for their family (monster) Sunday roast. But the monsters also cower behind trees as we walk by, get ignored even as they do their most fiendish faces behind us, and linger hopefully as we rest on a bench. Sometimes they even look as if they'd like us to take more notice of them. Mortensen has published two books of his post-it monsters so far, and also has a blog.

Peanuts theme (Linus & Lucy) 600% slower - welcome to the other side

Linus and Lucy enter a whole other realm in this super-slow version of the Peanuts cartoon theme. You can also download the full track.