Comic 'n' Roll
Yes, we are the country of the comic book. But no, we don't only produce easygoing comics such as Tintin and The Smurfs. Does the name Guy Peellaert ring a bell? Back in the sixties Guy caused quite an uproar with the publishing of Pravda and Jodelle. Both skimpy dressed heroines, modelled after French singers, where psychedelic depicted in stunning composition and glaring acid colors, with each frame functioning as a stand-alone cinematic picture. With its themes of female empowerment and beauty emerging from chaos, these comics became an instant sensation on the European underground scene, inspiring other fields such as film, literature, fashion, music, live arts, advertising or graphic design. Over the years, it has acquired a rarefied status as a unique and timeless piece of Pop Art.
Refusing to cash in on the phenomenal success of Jodelle and Pravda (he viewed the former as a one-time graphic "experiment" ) Guy abruptly left cartoons behind after only two albums at the dawn of the 1970s to pursue an obsessive kind of image-making which painstakingly combined photography, airbrush painting and collage in the pre-computer age. His best-known achievement remains the 1973 book Rock Dreams, a collection of portraits which resulted from this distinctive technique and was hailed as "the Sistine Chapel of the Seventies" by Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, eventually selling over a million copies worldwide. This imagery influenced a generation of photographers and earning its place in the pantheon of rock culture. Other well-known creations include the iconic artwork for David Bowie's Diamond Dogs album cover (1974) as well as The Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock ‘N' Roll the same year. Peellaert also created the indelible original poster for Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver (1978), the first of many commissions from renowned auteurs including Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, Stephen Frears, Alain Resnais and Robert Bresson.
If you are wondering how to get your hand onto one of Guy's works... well we might disappoint you if we tell you that most of his original artworks were bought by actor Jack Nicholson. Also, if you want the controversial David Bowie cover with the original hybrid’s genitalia (quickly airbrushed out after the 1974 release) you'll quickly pay up a 1000 dollars as it's among the most expensive record collectibles! But don't worry, publishing house Fantagraphics Books decided back in 2012 to republish The Adventures of Jodelle for a mere 45 dollars! Hooray