Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big O

Is no one else I know excited by the golden age of fantasy art in the 1970s? Yes, I realise it’s all a bit prog-rock, but I’ve taken a tube journey on the Nostalgia Line today, man - stopping off at Big O posters.

As a kid in the 70s, there was always a poster shop that would sell you a massive poster visualising some kind of twisted, fantasy subject in air-brushed detail. Even in a backwater like Royal Leamington Spa. I seem to remember the biggest artists were Roger Dean (who did all those Yes album covers) and the slightly more deranged Rodney Matthews.

I’ll always remember that I had two Rodney Matthews posters on the walls of my bedroom. There was a massive one called ‘Corum Escapes’, which, unbeknownst to me, featured a Michael Moorcock character. He was an armoured warrior with an eye-patch and pointy helmet (steady missus), standing at a door, bludgeoning some weird bird-men.

The other poster was entitled ‘Another time, another place’ and featured some minstrels in a bizarre alien forest. Again, I didn’t realise at the time that the blokes were the Rolling Stones, I just liked the picture. It stirred my imagination, enabled me to float away from the mundane realities of life.

Anyway – the reason for my burst of nostalgia is that I was idling looking for Rodney Matthews on Google and found the Rolling Stones poster for sale on his site. It was even an original Big O edition from 1978. Now, the price of satisfying my yearning for the past was £50, which is possibly not good value for money, and I know that Emily going to HATE it. But – but – there’s something so satisfying about having a piece of my childhood on the wall. Just get me started on the framing costs…

By the way…
I ended up finding Michael Moorcock books after picking up ‘The Mad God’s Amulet’ in the library. For a ten year old boy, the novel was a real trip. It was packed with wild, surreal possibilities; full of imagination, energy and pace. The same spirit had obviously appealed to me in the poster. Once I connected the two, I liked the picture all the more, of course. Even more than my giant Darth Vader poster, in fact. And, as far as I was concerned, Darth Vader was the coolest thing ever.

1 comment:

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