Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Jeffrey Meyer · Leo and Diane Dillon · Look Here

Look Here: BAREFOOT IN THE HEAD with James McMullan, the Dillons, and the geat unknown

In my recent conversation with Jeffrey Meyer, which I hope you have read and enjoyed, the artist tentatively but astutely suggests that Boards of Canada’s music “might be a good reference point” for understanding the conceptual basis of his own “Nostalgia” series of collages, which he described to me as “a conscious attempt to deal with that [nostalgia] in an abstract way, with as little traditional imagery or ‘things’ in the final pieces as possible.” Practically speaking, however, one might ask: what, specifically, are Meyer and Boards of Canada nostalgic for? What are the visual and auditory sources that each is re- and dis- and re-membering? An integrated and compelling answer to such questions is beyond the scope of this blog post, and perhaps even beyond my ability to formulate, but the covers of these three editions of Brian Aldiss’s Barefoot in the Head — especially the first American hardcover edition (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970), with photo-based art by acclaimed illustrator and educator James McMullan, who was only 35 or 36 years old at the time — suddenly seem to me, as I sit here at the keyboard this morning typing these words, like they might be portals to the inner sanctum, keys to the heart’s desire…


How did I end up with three different editions of Brian Aldiss’s Barefoot in the Head in my book collection? And will I buy more if I stumble across other editions in the future? You don’t wanna know, not because the answers are so outlandish, but because they’re so mundane.

P.S. Okay, okay… I’m done promoting RCN talks with collage artist Jeffrey Meyer now. In my next post, RCN will return to its regular programming.


My most popular tweet to date isn’t about art or music or bacon or anything else that really matters to me; it’s a throwaway line about 3D printers. Here’s a screen shot:


I’m so proud.

P.S. I have a habit, on this blog, of referring to any illustrator (or writer) whose work I have decided to highlight who has not received formal credit for his or her work, and whose identity I have been unable to determine or guess, as “the great unknown.” Just so you know…

Keywords: Barefoot in the Head by Brian Aldiss, Leo and Diane Dillon, James McMullan, and @RaggedClawsNet says, “I look forward to the day when I can print a free 3D printer for myself with my friend’s 3D printer.”