Sunday, 20 November 2016

Mike Hinge - Elleorde - Open Wide & Eat The Future

Elleorde - Open Wide & Eat The Future
It's a thing of beauty, a brand new vinyl record by Elleorde with a Mike Hinge illustrated front cover. This debut release Open Wide & Eat The Future is a sci-fi disco duel at high noon. It's funky, hip, electronic music that soars the air with swooshes and squelches like the alien Liberator space ship, from Blake's 7. The acknowledged musical influences are War, Dexter Wansel, Tantra, Cerrone, Ennio Morricone and Supermax. The record only available on vinyl, is a great listen and a rich sonic experience I'm looking forward to share. 

You can listen to Elleorde here on soundcloud and read a great review of the LP here at Piccadilly Records where you can also purchase Open Wide & Eat The Future. For booking live shows or DJ sets: elleorde@unusual.systems

Approached through the pages of Onyx Cube I was very pleased when I first heard the plan to use a Mike Hinge illustration and inspired lettering for a new LP. Mike's precious legacy of artwork deserves to be seen more widely and used through exciting projects like Elleorde. Although Mike was well published with over forty front covers for various books and magazines (including two for Time magazine) plus hundreds of interior illustrations history seems not to remember his influence as much as I would perhaps like. I know that there are many like me that appreciate Mike's work and find his art as resonant, relevant and inspiring today as ever. Let it be remembered Mike Hinge was one of the original psychedelic artist's of the sixties and seventies that had his own particular style which was influential to some maybe more remembered artists of his time. I'm sure that Mike would be pleased and appreciate seeing his artwork gracing Elleorde's LP.

I am over the moon to be credited on the LP along with others including Jane Frank (the authorised agent for the estate of Mike Hinge) at Wow-Art and Alex Jay friend of Mike Hinge (and graphic designer and letter artist) that has an amazing blog on lettering at Tenth Letter of the Alphabet

Thank you Elleorde.







Top left: Amazing Science Fiction Stories - May 1972. Below two Elleorde pin badges. Right Elleorde - Open Wide & Eat The Future - 2016.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Mike Hinge - 85th Birthday Anniversary - 159 - 160

Remembering Mike and his psychedelic world. Art genius and all round extraordinaire, born 9/08/1931 Mike Hinge would have been 85 years old today. I feel I have got to know Mike through his friends, that have contributed to my blog, which I am grateful. Mike had great friends.


 Hinge, "POW" Date unknown. Approximately 31.5 x 31.5cm. Signed.

Hinge, "Dynamic" Date unknown. Approximately 31.5 x 31.5cm. Signed.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Mike Hinge - 84th Birthday Anniversary - 155 - 158

9th of August 1931, Mike Hinge was born in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Remembering that today would have been Mike's 84th birthday.



I first came across Mike's artwork gracing the covers of Algol and Amazing Science Fiction from the 1970's. I live in the UK and growing up in that decade I was a fan of Doctor Who, Six Million Dollar Man, Star Wars, Space 1999 a mixture of British and American popular culture but I didn't come across Mike's work at this time.  Fast forward to 1999, I am studying fine art at University. I had gone into a secondhand book shop for some research where I happened to look through a collection of science fiction books. I chose some books based on the covers and I soon realised that they were all by the same artist. The books were dated 1972 - 1975 bringing me back to the days of my fascination for science fiction. What struck me was the balance of detail and design, in particular the image of an abstract face in two colours juxtaposed against a composition of psychedelic coloured wires and silicon chips. I enthusiastically showed my book cover collection to everyone I thought might be interested. I wanted to know who Mike Hinge was and about his other work. It was the early days of the internet and it was very difficult to find any reference or any information, as there wasn't any. I was intrigued but I put the books aside. Some years later I sadly discovered an obituary published online; Mike had passed away August 2003. It was late 2009 that I discovered some of Mike's artwork was being sold on Ebay. One particular seller was selling several individual pieces. Seeing the artwork being split up I thought it would be best to keep as much of it together as possible. I contacted the seller and agreed a price for around about 150 pieces, all that he had left. I was excited to be getting some original artwork of Mike's and began to wonder how best I could share, store and display the collection.  I had missed out on an earlier larger sale of Mike's artwork that was carried out by Jane Frank, the executor of Mike's estate, where many of his major works had been sold. Throughout the years I have bought many other artworks and publications of Mike's published works. Some have been generously donated and some bought at special low prices.This blog Onyx Cube (named after one of Mike's Onyx posters) was started with the intent to catalogue and share my collection. Amongst the artwork, the most valuable contributions have been from many of Mike's friends (FOM's, Friends of Mike, as coined by Sanford Zane Meschkow). So many shared interesting storiesphotos and scans of which I could only dream of at the start. The Mike Hinge Reference website documents all of Mike's published works and of course includes the very first books I bought. Onwards and upwards.Now after all this time, I have had time to reflect and realise that my decision to collect is quite a serious undertaking as well as an enjoyable one. My wish is very much to continue as and when I can, building a collection of Mike's work and to have the collection properly recorded and archived.  Perhaps one day a Mike Hinge exhibition. 


Mike Hinge - Sunburner, cyanotype or blackline print, approximate size 48 x 61cm. Date early 1970's.


A rare Intergalactic Sunburner poster by Mike from the early 1970's, donated by Ron Williams' from his artwork archive.  Ron is an artist, designer, architect, author of "Building & Flying Indoor Model Airplanes" and co-founder of Onyx (Architectural Collective) further information on the Onyx website www.2onyx.com. Ron initially became friends with Mike at Donald Deskey Associates where they worked together in the mid 1960's. Mike was also part of the Onyx collective and collaborated in poster designs that were published, exhibited and pasted around New York. The Intergalactic Sunburner is one of the Onyx posters. Ron told me that the poster was cyanotype or blackline print and volatile to bright light. I asked Ron if he remembered when the poster was printed and more about the printing process. Here is what Ron replied:"New York was covered with 'stat houses'  and 'printers', every few blocks there was a copy place in a basement, nook or cranny. Mike was introduced to the blacklines and bluelines at Deskey, but they were ubiquitous in the architectural world with delivery boys in and out of offices all day long. In office equipment was a no go because they stunk of the ammonia involved. The copies cost pennies.Stats were used to create negatives as a way of seeing, just like flips and mirror images. Everyone had a reducing glass to look at images, just to get another angle on what they were doing. The originals were almost always the same size as a black or blue line because they were drawn on translucent drafting paper. Date? ??? I couldn't say other than early 70s".
A reverse negative version of the Sunburner can be seen here.




Mike Hinge - Alitalia, Marker pen on paper. Approximate size 48 x 61cm. undated, unsigned.

The Alitalia art is from my initial purchase back in 2009. When I took the artwork out from its plastic sleeve, this time to scan, I was surprised and slightly overcome by some strong smelling, mind altering, fumes given off from the ink. What type of ink did Mike use that still has the power to overcome after all these years? And what would it have been like using the ink at the time? Maybe I am a bit oversensitive in these days of well ventilated health and safety response. The artwork is in two pieces the airplane is loose, separate and unstuck I have placed it where it is seen above, so it might not be it's intended placing. I have searched online many times to see if I can find a reproduced version but have yet to find one. 




Mike Hinge - Alitalia, pencil on tracing paper. Approximate size 15cm x 10cm. undated, unsigned.

Above is a preliminary drawing with a published newspaper cutting attached to it with paper clips. I looked on the back of the newspaper in hope of finding a date, but with no luck. 

Mike Hinge - Alitalia, pencil on paper. Approximate size 22cm x 15cm. undated, unsigned.



Queen Annes Revenge (QAR), Issue 1, 1964 - Front Cover illustration by Mike Hinge

Mike Hinge - Queen Annes Revenge, 

I recently acquired this fanzine with Mike's illustration on the front cover. I really like the design with the neat flap. The fanzine has 66 pages and also includes one other illustration by Mike to a poem by Walter Breen, (I will post the illustration and poem soon). The fanzine mentions that issue 2 will include further illustrations by Mike, however i'm not sure if issue 2 was ever published.

So more soon.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Mike Hinge - 83rd Birthday Anniversary - Mural, 314 Sutter Street, San Francisco.

Happy Birthday Mike, remembering that today would have been Mike's 83rd birthday. 

Looking through a collection of Mike Hinge's A4 photocopies I choose a drawing of a planned mural, that I have puzzled over many times wondering if it had ever been completed. The mural is in Mike's line drawing style, a nostalgic 1920's - 1930's San Francisco. The image is a reduced photocopy, and I do not know of the existence of the original drawing, the copy I have has lost some of the definition due to the reduction. 

The image has some great details giving a feel of an old San Francisco; steep hills, Chinatown, Chinese writing, fire hydrant, lamp and lamp posts, grand buildings, sunshine, potted plants, ornate railings and Art Deco.

The drawing scale 3/4" = 1' 0" and the full sized image would be a massive 9'4" x 34'.

Titled: Goldberg-Bowen          314 Sutter Street San Francisco

There is no date for this drawing and can not make a guess of when this would have been drawn. Goldberg Bowen was a specialist food store in San Francisco. They had a building on Stutter Street but were at number 250 (you can read a bit more about that here). Number 314 Stutter Street is the World Affairs Building now home to E&O Asian Kitchen (you can see it here, Google street view).

Who, when and why commissioned the mural? Was this mural ever completed? If so does it still exist? 









Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mike Hinge 150 - 154

Here we have a collection of four preliminary pencil drawings and an almost complete preliminary dayglo painting. The subject appears to be a robot with a man's face or perhaps a man in a space suit or a man in a robotic shell. One of the drawings is dated 10/11 October 1978 so I am assuming that they will all be from this year as the pictures came to me together in one folder.

Written on one of the pictures are what might suggest a title or a clue for what the drawings were intended. "Dance of Light, Dance of Photon, Dance of Phaeton, Metamorphosis, Photon". I had a search on the internet for any possible SF story with a possible connection however I didn't find anything. An interesting search of "Phaeton robot" came up with "Exosquad" a tv series conceived by Jeff Segal in 1989, most probably not connected but interestingly humans and neosapiens are shelled inside a robot like "exo-skeleton" or "E-Frame" as described in the opening titles of the program. Could it have been possible that Jeff Segal, knew Mike in 1978 and this was some drawings done for the proposed show?

The last picture in this collection is the largest of the pictures a drawing on tracing paper. The paper is folded in half and can be opened out to double in size. The other side of the paper is blank but gave the idea that it was intended to have the reverse image to make a complete mirror image. Interestingly the half image also works on its own as a complete image if placed on its side. I don't know if a completed picture was ever made from any of these images but out of interest I made a reverse image of the largest drawing in photoshop to have a better idea what the completed picture might have looked like.

 Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton I . Dayglo paint on paper. Approximate size 60x49cm. Circa 1978. unsigned.

 Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton II . Pencil on paper. Approximate size 49x60cm. Circa 1978. unsigned.

  Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton III . Pencil on paper. Approximate size 60x49cm. Circa 1978. unsigned.
     Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton IV . Pencil on paper. Approximate size 60x49cm. Circa 1978. unsigned.
 Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton V . Pencil on tracing paper. Approximate size 38x106cm. Circa 1978. unsigned.


Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton V (Close-up 1)

Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton V (Close-up 2)

Mike Hinge - Dance of Phaeton V . Photoshoped image of original with added reverse . 


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Mike Hinge - 149

A psychedelic burst of colour curls and shapes, this is the second picture (of two) which I purchased from a collector about a year ago. The other is the psychedelic angel I posted in 148, on the occasion of Mike's birthday.



Mike Hinge - Marker pen on white card. Approximate size 35 x 42.5cm. Date 1967, signed.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Mike Hinge - 82nd Birthday Anniversary - Psychedelic Angel - 148

Remembering that today is Mike Hinge's birthday, he would have been 82 years old. 

Apologies for not updating for such a long while, please be patient and I will be back again soon with more of Mike's work as soon as possible. In the meantime I couldn't let Mike's birthday go unmarked so decided to post this rather lovely, amazing image of a Psychedelic Angel blowing a horn of some kind. I purchased this picture from a collector on ebay, around about a year ago, with one other picture which I shall post shortly. This picture and the other unposted picture are a similar size and type of paper and use marker pen but the other picture is dated 1967 and I am assuming that this picture would also be circa 1967. 


 Mike Hinge - Psychedelic Angel . Marker pen on white paper. Approximate size 35x42cm. Circa 1967. Signed.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Mike Hinge - ONYX (The ONYX Group)

The late sixties avant garde, counter culture art group ONYX, which Mike Hinge was a member along with founding members JW Rainey, Ron Williams, Tommy Simpson and Patrick Redson  amongst others, now at long last have a blog. See it here. This is exciting and I am looking forward to the journey. All the best.

Onyx (letterhead) -  From the collection of Mike Hinge's A4 photocopies date Unknown






Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mike Hinge - 81st Birthday Anniversary - Alex Jay


Thanks again to Alex Jay for another priceless contribution. Here we have a postcard to Alex from Mike when he returned to stay in his native New Zealand between 1983-1984 (Mike would have been age 53 when he wrote this postcard). I have copied and pasted Alex's email as he explains the contents and context of Mike's message.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Ivan,

I was cleaning out a box of papers and found this New Zealand postcard from Mike. Here's what he wrote:


Hi! Alex, that Star Wars book [Return of the Jedi] you designed finaley [sic] turned up in a city bookshop.
Found no interesting &'s [ampersands] yet. Its still raining off & on here so must be one of the wetest [sic]
summers ever which makes me curious about N.Y.C. if it had that severe winter as predicted. NZ as a
country goes into a total stop/siesta/holiday period around Xmas, so been slow…I'll bet your as busy as
ever. Have designed one logo, painted a Romantic Illus, for a sml [small] poster (ice cream) & two storyboard
for household cleanser. Hearing the standard pop music on the radio nothing outrageous & the color tube has
so many bad British soaps, or chuckle-alongs it makes me cringe. The "Police" played here so Rock Riot
written up in paper.

Regards Mike


I designed two Star Wars: Return of the Jedi books, the novelization and a sketchbook; I don't know which
book Mike referred to. I have a small collection of wood type ampersands, which Mike saw, and recently I

He found work in NZ but he didn't bring printed samples when he returned to NYC. I'm sure he was desperate
to hear new music; things were too quiet in NZ. He grew restless and returned to NYC.

...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I wonder if anyone has, remembers or knows of the painted romantic ice cream illustration? 

I have looked at one of Mike's later resumes and during Mike's time back in New Zealand between 1983 - 1984 he worked at Campbell Advertising in Auckland as an Advertising Designer.





Mike Hinge - 81st Birthday Anniversary - Darren Shroeder

Darren Shroeder webmaster and editor of Small Press Printed Matters emailed me some early illustrations of Mike's in the form of two publicity flyers from when Mike was still living in New Zealand before emigrating to the USA. I'm guessing it probably dates from sometime around about 1954. The same year which Mike illustrated "Time Fanzine" with Monica Naughton which they wrote and published together. It might be that Mike was age 23 when he made these illustrations? It would be great if anyone could date these flyers.

The first flyer is for Alien9+ and the second is for Auckland Science Fiction Club.


Bottom Flyer: Auckland Science Fiction Club: Size - 14.5 x  13.7







Mike Hinge - 147

Today is Mike's birthday, he would have been 81 years old. I wish that he was still here with us to see and hear more about his work and life. 

Here is an unpublished cover for Amazing Stories Magazine.



Mike Hinge - Amazing (unpublished cover) . Marker pen on white paper. Approximate size 48 x 61cm. Date Unknown. Unsigned.








Saturday, 21 July 2012

Mike Hinge - Good Times - Hard Times

The Good Times - Mike Emigrated in 1958 from New Zealand and Arrived in Los Angeles USA to study at The Art Centre School of Design, Mike's artistic career was about to go from one strength to another with an intriguing variety of employment at some major US companies around about their peak of success. Starting with his first employment in the US in 1959 as a designer for the May Company department store, followed by another designer job at a newspaper The Los Angeles Herald Examiner. It seems that there were no shortage of opportunities for Mike in these early days some albeit brief as an example in 1962 a four-month employment at Reprise Records (the record company founded by Frank Sinatra). In 1966 Mike moved to New York and got employment as an art director at Young & Rubicam and afterwards at BBDO (in 1967 gaining a prize at the 13th Annual Type Director's Club Show TDC XIII). Then perhaps the most exciting years to follow as Mike also working in experimental fine art and exhibiting; in 1969 he did the front cover for Witzend issue 6 and in the same year came Mike's big break into SF from Ted White who commissioned  interior and front cover illustrations for Fantastic Stories and Amazing. The work from then on continued to flow steadily with more magazines and book illustrations up until around about 1985/1988 where the opportunities were becoming harder to find. 

The Hard Times - It is 1989 and Mike has no money he can't afford to eat let alone pay his rent and as Mike puts it in the letter he wrote (below) he's, "Running around like the proverbial Dutch boy stopping leaks in the dike". The letter tells of Mike's desperate situation and gratefulness to his friend that has just sent him some money. It is a wet and blustery day.

At the very bottom of the letter Mike is referring to two copies of the Mike Hinge Experience.


The S.F Encyclopedia U.K Publication that Mike mentions is The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Pan Books 1977 (page from the Encyclopedia with Face (1972) below)



Shorty Rogers & his Giants on Reprise Records and the record cover 
by Mike Hinge (below)


The front cover has a Mike Hinge Credit bottom left, this is the first Record cover I have found by Mike. If it had not been for Mike mentioning his trip to the second hand record store in this letter I am not sure how long it would have been until this one would have come to light, such an amazing find both letter and record cover.

In one of Mike's resume's he wrote, "Record cover design ideas and comps.. Pick and buy type, use old engravings, lay down coloured zip on photoprints for wraparounds with bleed. (Reprise Records)".