The Cyber Baroque World of Italy’s Rondò Veneziano

Positing a fantasy world where Renaissance and Enlightenment values co-existed with the joys and preoccupations of the coming technological age, the Rondo Veneziano orchestra was the brainchild of Italian record label owner Freddy Naggiar, who noticed the lack of Italian instrumental music on the international scene and charged orchestra director and arranger/composer Gian Piero Reverberi to come up with someone or something to fill the gap…

Inventing Sci-Fi Noir: Jim Steranko’s ‘Outland’

When Heavy Metal published 1979’s stand-alone Alien: The Illustrated Story to coincide with the release of Ridley Scott’s now-canonical sci-fi horror, no one knew what a “graphic novel” was. The adaptation, with frequently gruesome art by Walt Simonson and words by Archie Goodwin, was strikingly innovative while remaining true to Dan O’Bannon’s screenplay, and it soon landed on the New York Times Best Seller list…

Bob Peak Promotional Art for ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, 1983

Although the extraordinary theatrical poster for Disney’s Something Wicked This Way Comes was illustrated by David Grove, Bob Peak painted these equally impressive pieces that, as far as I know, were never used. Peak, of course, was one of the finest commercial illustrators of the 20th century, and he virtually defined the visual concept of the modern film poster, starting with his colorful montage for 1961’s West Side Story