Monday, January 30, 2012

Jean-Michel Nicollett: Book covers












One of the most memorable and accomplished of the French artists contributing to Heavy Metal / Metal Hurlant in the late 70s and early 80s was Jean Michel Nicollett. 

His distinctive style is showcased at this website, 'Neo' (the acronym for 'Nouvelles Editions Oswald'), which provides images of French paperbacks for which Nicollett did the cover art.

I'm not fluent in French, but I gather that Neo is a specialty publisher in the 'fantastique' genre. The paperbacks, all of which were issued in the 70s and 80s, reprint famous works of fantasy, sf, and mystery genres. Represented are well-known authors like Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, William Hope Hodgson, and Brian Lumley, among others. 

Also receiving cover artwork from Nicollett are some of the 'Harry Dickson' ('The American Sherlock Holmes') novels by the Belgian author Jean Ray. 

[Nicollett is apparently a big fan of the Harry Dickson stories, which remain tremendously popular in Europe but sadly, have never been widely translated into English, and given the wide dispersion for US consumption that they deserve.]

Needless to say, Nicollett's illustrations for these classics are equal (if not superior) to those of Frazetta, Vallejo, and other well-known artists. 

Unfortunately, what few Neo editions that are available from US vendors are prohibitively expensive.

6 comments:

Will Errickson said...

Love these, especially the Masterton one - her glasses make it!

autodidact said...

You're using a viewing mode that makes it very frustrating to look at your scans...far inferior to the classic version. Could you go back to the classic viewing mode?

tarbandu said...

autodidact: I changed the 'Showcase Images With Lightbox' option to 'off' in the Blogger fomatting settings; see if that improves things

tarbandu12

francisco said...

His illustrations are not equal or superior to those of Frazetta or Vallejo, they are so arty for me although as WE says that of Graham Masterton is awesome...

By the way spanish covers for fantasy and s/f books in the 80's was awful they tried to be artistic or original but the results are very bad specially if you compared with the original covers...

Take a look here...

http://pictures.todocoleccion.net/tc/2009/04/19/12950287.jpg

http://pictures.todocoleccion.net/fot/2008/08/24/9698319.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kSAOsCtE6Do/TESAfm_B-3I/AAAAAAAAITI/wJF0kiwKTR4/s1600/Mundos+144.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kSAOsCtE6Do/TEXjWZFS4tI/AAAAAAAAITg/Qfci9HMk_7U/s1600/Mundos+Aparte+I44.jpg

mahendra singh said...

love the Nicollet. I just bought a copy of one of his Neo's, a Harry Dickson, for 50 cents at a library de-accession book sale, here in Montreal. One of the great things about being in Quebec, the used book sales have some rare French SF/fantasy titles that nobody's reading anymore.

You have a very nice blog, really enjoying it.

mahendra singh said...

one more comment, then I'll get off the Nicollet kick … but there's a collection of the Neo covers just released in France, info here: http://www.li-an.fr/blog/zolies-images/neo-nicollet-zanpano/

It's very expensive, 90 euros … kind of ironic when you remember it's pulp covers