Kirsten Easthope is a pop surrealist artist who paints pin-up art inspired by vintage artists and pulp imagery. She paints her pin-ups on everything from crucifixes to old bowling pins, adding an extra kitschy element. The original painting that we own, which is titled "Trailerpark Queen," is arguably her most famous piece, appearing on everything from t-shirts and stickers to lunch boxes. What I love about this piece is the fact that it was obviously inspired by pulp imagery and as an obsessive vintage paperback collector, I love it. We have so many trailer themed pulp paperbacks that one day I will even do a post about them. They were a very kitschy genre that make a lot of people giggle today, and they also often appear on lunchboxes, magnets, and stickers. What Easthope has done is taken that pulp paperback imagery and exaggerated it just a tad for a nice effect. I love the Peggy Bundy/John Waters take on the hair and the outfit plus the adorable tacky pillow she sits on. A "trailerpark queen" indeed!
This painting is one of the many pop surrealist originals in our collection. It is by British artist Dominic Murphy who sometimes goes under the pseudonym of the "homely villain." He refers to his art as "weird art, surreal poetry, images of pain and death, political satire." I would like to purchase another of Mr. Murphy's pieces but alas that has not happened. I would like to purchase perhaps one of his subversions of Little Red Riding Hood or Lizzie Borden. Something about his work reminds me of the art in a book I read as a child called "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," and I mean that as a 100% compliment. That book kept me up at night...
NOTE: Sorry for the weird angle. The flash kept glaring on the image when taken straight-on.
These are all hardcover Cold War era books that deal with practical tips to survive a nuclear war. In the post Cold War era, they seem rather kitschy, but it's hard for me to accurately judge the psyche of that era, as I wasn't even alive. I'm sure the threat felt very real even though it never materialized. You could argue there's always some real "threat" of it, both yesterday and today. Now all I need to add to these is a vintage Fall Out Shelter sign. I see them on old buildings, and I've always wanted one.
Hardcover edition with dust jacket of a satirical 1936 Czech science fiction novel by Karel Capek. It concerns the discovery of a sea creature called the Newts that is subsequently enslaved by humanity. I haven't read it yet but apparently the Newts rebel hence the "war" mentioned in the title. I do plan to read this one day, but in the meantime, I admire the fantastic deco dust jacket art. I thought this would be a fun book to post, particularly since "V" is coming back to TV in early November.
I have yet another over-sized turn-of-the-century photograph featuring a group of female dancers. Is this also a "banner dance"? Whatever is going on, I think this is a really lovely photo and an interesting accompaniment to the previous photo.
Well, I'm still not completely recovered from swine flu. Today is Day 11, and I still have a hacking cough plus a slight fever at times. Nonetheless, I've gotten to the point where I have to resume normal functioning, otherwise I will be driven crazy from lack of stimulation. So, I've decided to share this over-sized photograph from the turn-of-the-century. It's an interesting photo, because it's a group shot in which the women are posed and dressed rather fancifully. I'm not sure as to the purpose of this group shot. Could it have been a harvest festival? A rural "dance" of some kind? I'm not sure, but whatever the case, I enjoy esoteric images with ambiguous subject matter. And I find this to be a really pretty shot. NOTE: I actually just looked at the scan closely and found faint words that say "Banner Dance." So, it is a dance, but a few questions remain. What is a "banner dance"? Was this a common event, and if so, what customs surrounded it? Is "Banner" the name of a town rather than a type of dance?
I am sick with swine flu. I just can't get up the energy to post a real blog. I'll just say that it's not as terrifying as the media wants you to think, but it seems to last a lot longer and once you think it's going away, it comes back. Blog will be back soon.
I picked up this Victorian trade card for it's mention of "female infirmities," and the image of a woman's face behind shattered glass. I haven't read up much on the idea of Victorian female "hysteria," but it seems like it was a catch-all "disorder" for any female who behaved in a way that was unexpected for the time. As someone who thinks that the idea of "female infirmities" is greatly exaggerated, I'm going to end with a quote from the movie "Jennifer's Body."
"PMS isn't real Needy, it was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we're crazy."
This is a cool Victorian trade card featuring the classic old woman/young woman metamorphic illusion. These types of illusion images were pretty popular in the era. "All is Vanity" was a popular image of a woman sitting at a vanity table and from a distance, the image looks like a skull. Another popular image featured a man and woman at a table and that also looks like a skull from a distance. I think today the most popular "illusion" image is the one in some novelty stores that shows what a woman looks like to a drunk man (i.e. pretty) versus what she looks like when he's sober (i.e. homely).
This is a memorial cabinet card, very common in the era. This particular image is curious though. When this woman died didn't her relatives have a picture of her in which she did not look so evil? By the cabinet card era, getting your photo taken was no longer expensive, and this woman looks like she's old enough to have had at least a few pictures taken of herself. If this was the best pic they could find, I wonder what the other photos looked like?
I've never been friends with a "sorority girl" nor have I been in a sorority. I was the weird loner- way too cool for that. Although, this past week I unfortunately was subject to the terrible dancing of a frat boy and sorority girl at a U2 concert. That was about all I could take of that ilk. Hazing anyone?
Anton Drek was a pen-name for mainstream comic book creator Don Simpson. Drek did a few memorable comics for Eros Comix in the early 1990's. I picked these up, because I thought they had a pulp sexploitation sensibility despite being modern works. So, enjoy these, especially for their colorful, bold artwork.
The other campy sci-fi paperback that I've been waiting to receive in the mail is "Tharkol: Lord of the Unknown." "Tharkol" is not a Badger Book, but it has all the qualities that make Badger Books amazing, and it is also from a UK pubilsher. So, enjoy "Tharkol" in all his campiness. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with his eyes-- do they spew poison gas or perhaps...never mind....
"Rodent Mutation" is my favorite of the Badger Books series for a few reasons. As the proud owner of 10 pet rats, the idea of giant rats....well...I kinda like it. Maybe I wouldn't feel that way if they were feral...but still...I get a little gooey inside thinking about it. And to make things even more fun (and super cheesy), the back cover lets us know that the mutation isn't just gigantism. No, no, no! There's so much more to it than that. Did you know these giant rats can teleport? Nothing can contain the rodent menace, because they'll just teleport out of their cages. This totally needs to be made into a movie. BUT, I demand these use large people in rodent costumes and not CGI. It's gotta be old school like that.
P.S. I realize that the rodents featured on the cover are beavers. Yep, giant beavers. However, the back cover explicitly tells us that rats and beavers both turned into teleporting giants and the title itself does say "rodent" mutation, not "beaver" mutation.
My poor fiancee has been dealing with an awful flu all week, hence my absence. He's getting better, but we're not out of the woods yet. In the meantime, I did want to at least post something on the blog, feeling I've been leaving it idle for too many days. So, I'm going to share one more Badger Book before I share with you the best Badger Book in my collection, which I recently won on an eBay auction and haven't had a moment to scan yet. So, enjoy this great ape! He almost looks like he's a hybrid of a great ape and conehead. Love the title as well-- mark of the beast? Is this a Satanic ape? A Satanic conehead ape? Probably... Badger Books are just that cheesy.
FringePop is a showcase for uncommon and esoteric cultural artifacts. The focus is on unusual items from both popular and fringe culture, with an emphasis on subversive pieces. The items shown are from the author's personal collection, unless otherwise noted.
I am a pop culture buff and collector, who focuses on the odd, subversive, and fringe elements of Western culture. In 2005, I edited a book for Feral House called "Sin-A-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties." The vintage oddities in my collection include victoriana, sideshow, medical, and kitsch. I am also an amateur sewer, making clothing from vintage mod patterns.