Saturday, June 28, 2008

Paradises Lost

"Paradises Lost," illustration
Venture: The Traveler's World
June 1964 (premiere issue)

Thanks to Mike Baehr of Fantagraphics.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Primer for Prophets 2nd series

NOW AVAILABLE: the next four works in the Primer for Prophets screen print series. Cool Flora illustrations of the American nuclear family (and their weird pets) during the 1950s, when donuts and cake were considered essential nutrients, little girls could multi-task with brushes, and dogs craved beer!

The images derive from a 1954 trade-only alphabet booklet that Flora illustrated for CBS-TV. The second set of prints features KISSED, COOKED, GROOMED, and QUAFFED. Edition of 100 (each image), hand-numbered and authenticated. Each individual print sells for $50. A FULL SET of four prints can be purchased for $175.00 thru any of the above single-print pages at

The first series (ATE, DROVE, JIVED, and SMOKED) is still available as a set or individually. Prices have been raised to $60/print (except JIVED: $125) and $200/set due to depletion of stock. Prices will continue to rise as we sell down.

If you want all eight prints for $350, contact us.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

By the Sleepy Lagoon

Illustration, Coda, March 1944, for Columbia Records release By the Sleepy Lagoon, by Eric Coates conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra—available on a 12" platter for the princely price of one buck.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chicken or Beef?

The new CD by Seattle's Reptet, Chicken or Beef? (Monktail Records), adapts elements of Flora woodcuts from Murderpie, a 1939 Little Man Press chapbook. The package—which includes additional Flora imagery on the back and inner disc sleeve—was designed by Jeffrey Huston and Reptet drummer John Ewing. The original typography replicates Flora lettering.

This is the second release by Reptet to feature Flora imagery. Their 2005 Do This! was emblazoned with a critter we call a "Triclops."

Monday, June 16, 2008

The ]:-) Art of Jim Flora

Not quite hot on the heels of The Mischievous Art and The Curiously Sinister Art, Barbara and I are now compiling a third volume of Floriana. Tentatively titled The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora, the book will be published by Fantagraphics in July or August 2009. Designer Laura Lindgren will once again transform our loosely organized text and Flora's genial monstrosities into a tight, 180-page coffeetable bouquet.

Over the next year, this blog will offer glimpses of the diabolically sweet. Expect a gaggle of Flora critters you haven't seen. The book will feature uncirculated fine art paintings and prints spanning more than a half-century; 1940s Columbia Records ephemera and 1950s magazine illustrations; vintage pen and pencil sketches (top, early 1940s); and children's book page drafts (below, Sherwood Walks Home, 1966). The cover has not yet been designed.

Barb and I rejected dozens of alternate titles before agreeing on TSDA. We ran it by the folks at Fantagraphics, who were largely supportive. One staff Floraphile, Jacob Covey, declined comment:
You don't want my opinion. I'm the guy who named his book BEASTS! thinking it was simple and easy to remember—only to find that within the year, another guy had the same thought with his book of half-naked guys posing with their dogs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Finegan's wake

When composer-arranger Bill Finegan passed away last week at the age of 91, a New York Times writer (on the recommendation of a mutual friend and Flora admirer) contacted me for some background on the music legend. I confessed that, in all honesty, I knew less about what Finegan did for Glenn Miller, Nelson Riddle, and Tommy Dorsey than I do about what Jim Flora did for Bill Finegan.

Flora gave Finegan two right arms, dressed him in weird toreador togs, and made him swallow a saxophone:

The above RCA Victor sleeve appeared in 1954. Flora admitted that as a caricaturist he "could not do likenesses" — a failing that worked to his artistic advantage. He dealt another mutant makeover the following year on The Sons of Sauter-Finegan (RCA 1104, detail):

This time the arms issue has been resolved (and the duo's intestinal contents are concealed). Flora illustrated two other S-F LPs: Concert Jazz (RCA 1051) and Inside Sauter-Finegan Revisited (RCA 2473).

The Inside S-F cover illustration is available on a T-shirt. The Sons of S-F illustration was adapted for the cover of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora. Death does not stop the merch march.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jim Flora CD Gallery

Extending the Flora album cover tradition, contemporary designers have been licensing Jim Flora images for CDs. At, we've launched a gallery of recent digital releases that have been Floradized.

Interested in using Flora art for your CD? Just ask.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Little Man Press exhibit at Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has mounted the first-ever exhibit of Little Man Press memorabilia in their Library display case. Although not viewable by the public without appointment, the collection features rare chapbooks with Flora woodcuts, a narrative chronicle, original pencil sketches, and vintage Little Man ephemera. (Click to enlarge the above panorama.)

Designed by Flora archivist Barbara Economon with the assistance of WAC Librarian Rosemary Furtak, the exhibition deserves a wider audience. Interested arts venues should drop us a line.

Little Man Press co-founder and author Robert Lowry, ca. 1955

Friday, June 6, 2008

Green Mansions

Detail, Green Mansions resort brochure, 1947
Full work reproduced in The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora