Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mike Hinge 133 - 138

A Happy Christmas and A Happy 2012  to You All. And A Special Thank You to Everyone that has contributed to Onyxcube .
A little bit of a reference to Christmas in these Mike Hinge, roughs for what looks like an in house promotional brochure for Chrysler "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" and "The Bob Hope Christmas Show". I only have 5 of these roughs, what seems that there were more, there's some staining on the first page.

 Mike Hinge -   "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" (1 of 5) . Pen on white paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date 1967-68?. Unsigned.

 Mike Hinge -   "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" (2 of 5) . Pen on white paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date 1967-68?. Unsigned.

 Mike Hinge -   "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" (3 of 5) . Pen on white paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date 1967-68?. Unsigned.

  Mike Hinge -   "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" (4 of 5) . Pen on white paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date 1967-68?. Unsigned.

 Mike Hinge -   "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" (5 of 5) . Pen on white paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date 1967-68?. Unsigned.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Mike Hinge - a christmas card

It's nearly Christmas! Thanks very much to Alex Jay for sharing his 1981 Christmas card from Mike

Alex wrote "Mike's 1981 holiday greeting card measures 14 x 17 inches / 35.56 x 43.18 centimeters". 
and "Photocopy colored with markers. The card was scanned in four sections and stitched
together; the alignment is a bit off. Back in Christmas 1980, I visited my parents who lived
in Arizona; we spent a few days in San Francisco with my father's sister. That's what Mike
was referring to in his note".

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Mike Hinge - Nigel Rowe and Mike Kowalski

I was recently put in touch with Nigel Rowe who is a writer, researcher and SF fan. Nigel has written several fanzines and a book Timeless Sands - A History of Science Fiction in New Zealand and contributed to Tom Cardy's obituary for Mike. Nigel told me that he first met Mike in the early 80's and here I am publishing his email to me which include some wonderful memories of Mike. As well Nigel included this rather nifty "Lawrence of Arabia" passport photo of Mike and a very special short story  "The Quest For Mike Hinge's Boxes" by Mike Kowalski drummer of The Beach Boys on a 25th anniversary tour in New Zealand in 1984.

I really hope that we can hear those tapes one day and view some of Mike's early art. Many Thanks to you Nigel.

Mike's passport photo circa 1978.
Mike was a friend of mine who I met in New Zealand in the early 80's. He was amazed when after introducing himself as "Mike Hinge" I replied "Oh, not *the* Mike Hinge who immigrated to the States in 1958..." As a researcher and SF fan for some time I was probably one of the few people in NZ who knew who he was and his subsequent success overseas.

Over the years we kept in touch after he moved back to the East Coast. And when he unexpectedly passed away, I volunteered to take his ashes back to NZ on my next trip. And I delivered these to his brother in the rural wilds of NZ in 2004.

I subsequently bought some of his artwork from his collection as it was sold on eBay. I also own some of his original artwork from the 50's that he gifted to me when we spent a long time sorting through his original NZ possessions that had been in storage down there for the 30 odd years he had been away. I'm including here a story written about the trip to reclaim his stuff from his elderly aunt.

I also owned a bookshop for many years, and Mike helped me get it going.
Including designing the store logo, signs, and selling books when I went off to get lunch. We spent a lot of fun times together before he headed back to the States. I have several hours of him on tape talking about his early days, the Time covers and other interesting stuff that was intended for a magazine interview that never eventuated.

My one regret is that as I too moved overseas (Chicago) I had to part with some cherished possessions including the hand made wooden art drafting table he built in the 50's and left with me. Unfortunately it had too much wood borer after being in storage in humid conditions. Oh well, I enjoyed it while I could.
And it was fun seeing him draw my store logo on it, much the same as when he last used it 25 years earlier.

Enjoy the enclosed. I can't wait to check out your site! He would have been chuffed that 8 years after he shuffled off this mortal coil that people were still enthused and talking about him.


August 1984

Mike Kowalski

We drove down through the rain and hills to Huia.
"This is just like Wellington," said Nigel as we descended. Easy to imagine the bush-clad hills covered instead with houses and winding streets, and aircraft passing through the huge gulf of air between the headlands. The windscreen on the hired station-wagon kept misting up, and it was hard to see through the heavy rain.

The blue Skoda we were following pulled over to the side. Across the road was a row of houses. We clambered out of the car, and I unfolded my umbrella.

The tide was out and the mudflats stretched out past the headlands, which were like a row of great grey spikes fading in the rain.

Mike Hinge, itinerant SF artist, hopped out of the other car and ran to the gate. The driveway was two strips of concrete but ran only from the other side of the gate. Before the gate was a stretch of spongy grass slowly puddling up with water. Mike swung the gates open, and I backed the wagon across the grass, leaving deep muddy ruts, and down the long driveway. The shed doors opened after a fair bit of pushing, and the wagon backed up half inside the garage. Mike went into the house and talked to his aunt and then came back out and showed us to the rear of the shed. The boxes were stacked to one side. They were each a metre and a half long and more than a metre high. The bases of some were damp and rotted; most had been riddled by silver-fish around the metal bands on the ends. These boxes had been sealed for twenty-five years.

We dragged them out one by one and prised them open with a crowbar and a hammer. Dust soon gathered in the rear of the shed, already festooned with cobwebs. Outside the grimy window sat a water-tank grown around with weeds. Mike com plained steadily and bitterly about relatives with no appreciation for the value of culture, as we unearthed time and again some especial treasure damaged by time and age.

The bottom-most crate was full of art material, and this had almost all perished, the most crushing blow to Mike. But three or four boxes of jazz 78's had weathered well, and a few boxes of books. Here were first editions of Arthur Clarke and others, an early Arkham Lovecraft collection, a first British edition of Foundation amidst a whole bundle of books about the saucer craze which had once occupied Auckland fandom. It was hard to guess what, if any, was valuable, but there was a lot that was very interesting. A booklet put out by the ARA (Auckland Regional Authority) in 1955 mapped out proposed changes to the public transport system, most of which still haven't got off the ground.

Finally the wagon was loaded, and the last box went into the other car, after the back seats had been taken out. The ground between the driveway and the road was very soggy by now, and the wagon heavily laden. It didn't seem likely we would be able to get out. So we carried down old planks from the box lids and placed them on the grass. Nigel drove the wagon down the drive and across the grass, managing to miss every single plank. For a moment one of the wheels slid, but he made it to the road. By this time we were all very wet, very tired.

We unloaded the boxes on Queen Street and took them up the lift to Martian Way Press. Mike shouted us dinner at the Hungry Horse. Over coffee we argued politics. It was the day of the General Election (I didn't vote, of course). Back at Nigel's office we phoned the Values Party party at Cathryn Symons' house to find the election result, and to learn that Cathryn - who had stood for election - was not destined to become New Zealand's first fannish politician.

Mike Hinge - a biography

Mike Hinge in his own words, a short biography circa 1980. This glimpse into Mike's life tells about the exciting era and of the interesting places where Mike lived and worked and his ideas. Thanks very much to Sanford Meschkow and Matt Howarth for sharing this. The front cover is a Mike Hinge ASCII art portrait.

Mike Hinge - an obituary

Thanks very much to Andrew Porter  for sending me the obituary, Mike is very much missed.

After a long delay, Tom Cardy's obituary for Mike Hinge was published in New Zealand's second largest daily paper. The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand) December 11, 2003

Michael Barry Hinge, illustrator and graphic designer. B Auckland, August 9, 1931, d Philadelphia, August 2003.

DESPITE success as an illustrator and graphic designer after moving to the United States 44 years ago, Mike Hinge remained virtually unknown in New Zealand. His success included portraits with a distinct pop art influence for the cover of Time magazine -- Japanese emperor Hirohito in October, 1971 and Richard Nixon, as the Watergate crisis deepened, in November 1973. The artwork for both covers are now held by the Smithsonian. Film-maker Stanley Kubrick hired Hinge to design a "cryogenic module" for a display at cinemas to promote his 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the display was never constructed.

Hinge illustrated many covers and interiors for American science fiction magazines Amazing Science Fiction, Fantastic and Analog in the 1970s, as well as book covers. A comic strip, which he also wrote, appeared in the graphic magazine Heavy Metal in 1982.

As a professional artist, Hinge was nominated for a Hugo Award -- sci-fi's most prestigious trophy -- in 1973. New Zealand has featured in the awards only twice since then, when Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring won best dramatic presentation last year and The Two Towers this year. Hinge was also nominated six times for the Locus Awards bestowed by American sci-fi news magazine, Locus.

Hinge grew up in a state house in Mission Bay, Auckland. His English father was a bus driver and his South African mother was a former nurse. Hinge's twin obsessions were sci-fi and everything American. As a child he would stay up till 3am, drawing spaceships and futuristic vehicles. By the time he was a teenager in the late 1940s, he regularly wore a cowboy hat, listened to the blues and Louis Armstrong and was learning to play jazz trombone.

By the standards of the day, he was a maverick. To the consternation of audiences at Auckland cinemas, the Americanophile refused to stand when God Save The King was played before each film. He hated the Union Jack on the New Zealand flag and suggested a koru design instead. Hinge studied at Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 1947 and 1948, then worked as a commercial artist at the Farmers Trading Company and advertising agencies. In his spare time he helped illustrate several New Zealand amateur sci-fi publications.

Hinge remained fixated with the US. In 1952, he had applied for a green card to work there. In 1958, he was granted one and left in June. Until he boarded a ship to America, the only place he had visited outside Auckland was Waiheke Island. He enrolled at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles. Commissions included record covers, fashion layouts for JC Penney and supermarket interiors.

In New York from 1966, Hinge worked in advertising agencies as an art director and designer. His designs for typefaces and graphics won him several awards and were exhibited, including a show at the Brooklyn Museum. A book about his art, The Mike Hinge Experience, was published in 1973, and his work featured in the anthology The New Visions, in 1982.

Hinge returned home only once. In 1984, his brother Noel, who had won $333,000 in Lotto's predecessor Golden Kiwi, paid for the trip and bought him a house in Orewa. But Hinge found the pace too slow and advertising agencies would not hire him. He returned to New York the following year and resumed work as a freelance illustrator. His last professional work was the cover of Amazing Stories in 1993.

Hinge was based in Philadelphia for the past 10 years. He never married, fearing he couldn't support a family as a freelance artist.He lived alone and friends became concerned after they had not seen him for several days. Police broke into his apartment and found his body. He had died of a heart attack, most likely about a week earlier, around his 72nd birthday. His ashes were interred in Auckland.

 -- By
Tom Cardy. Sources: N Hinge, N Rowe, S Meschkow, Locus Online, The Mike Hinge Experience by James Steranko.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mike Hinge 132

Mike Hinge - Robot Hand with Lever. Pencil sketch on white paper. Approximate size 60x70cm. Date: Unknown. Unsigned.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Mike Hinge - The Warrior Robot

Last week I posted the Algol warrior robot cover published in the summer of 1975 and an unpublished version undated. I started wondering when did Mike first draw this particular robot with the arm weapon attachments and its distinctively shaped head and what might be the story behind this drawing? 

Putting aside Mike's other robot illustrations that have a similar build, I have made a chronological collection of illustrations of the warrior robot.There are quite likely a lot more but these are the ones that I know about. The robot's first published incarnation seems to have been in Amazing Stories, November 1969. Ted White had recently overtaken the role as editor of Amazing Stories and Fantastic Stories and updating the look of the magazines he engaged Mike with the duty of producing a series of 10 headers for the regular features. Amongst the 10 headers (5 for each magazine) the following three images are the robots published d├ębut.

Published in Amazing Stories November 1969
Mike had a regular display of the 10 headers in Amazing and Fantastic up until at least 1975 although I'm not entirely sure when they exactly came to an end I'd be interested to know.

I read that Ted White shared an interest in experimental music with Mike and had also offered Mike a job as art director for Amazing and Fantastic but Mike declined the offer.

Sketch 23rd April 1970
A sketch by Mike Hinge, front and side view of  robot. White paper with black pen and yellow wax crayon. Approximately 50x70cm. Dated: 23rd April 1970. Unpublished. Signed.

Published in Algol May 1972
Algol interior header for Ted White's column. Interestingly the signature has written (C) Jones/Hinge 1970 and a nice quirky detail where it says Patent Pending. I emailed Andrew Porter former editor and publisher of Algol and he confirms that it was quite likely Jeff Jones as he remembers him living in New York at the time. Also Alex Jay believes that it is also quite likely a collaboration with Jeff Jones as he also remembers Jeff living in New York around about this time and says that Mike also spoke highly of him. Andrew also mentioned that this illustration was also used for a flyer or other printed piece. Within the spirit of collaboration the individual influences are lost over time but the final result is stunning.

Published Assignment in Tomorrow 1972,
Perhaps this robot shouldn't be included here as it hasn't the same shaped head but I have included it because of the weapon attachments.

Published front cover Fantastic Stories October 1972,

Published in Comic Media March 1973.
Alex Jay sent me this image scanned from a rare British SF publication called Comic Media edited by Nick Landau. It was used to illustrate an article "A History of Science Fiction" by Lee Hopewell. The illustration is the same as the original Algol version but now minus the credit Jones/Hinge 1970 and replaced with a large plaque with Mike's name.

It might be that the plaque was added by someone else other than Mike but saying that I do quite like the font and the detail of the screws. Alex pointed out that he hadn't seen any other art by Mike signed this way in large letters and told me that the font isn't designed by Mike but is a comercial font. Andrew Porter wasn't aware of this reproduction but it is possible that it was an official repoduction. Andrew says that there was a lot of swiping back then; people took stuff, from tear sheets or other places, and reproduced them via offset.

Published in The Mike Hinge Experience 1973
Two illustrations of the warrior with a circular saw attachment. The two illustrations are undated but are from somewhere between 1969-1973. 

Published in Heavy Metal 1979

Undated, unpublished, original art
Original art by Mike Hinge - robot "Gravimat" cyborg design on illustration board, black ink and letratone, approximately 40x70cm.Unknown date and unsigned. 

Undated sketch
A sketch by Mike Hinge - Robot Maintenance. Pencil on white paper. Approximate size 60x70cm. Date: Unknown. Unsigned.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Mike Hinge - The Robot on the Algol Cover and a different view.

Mike Hinge A4 photocopy (From the  Mike Hinge photocopy collection)

I was delighted to see this image having had been so familiar with the striking Algol cover. It is from part of a collection of photocopies that Mike made of some of his work. We can now see the whole robot as if looking up from the reflection. A wonderful image as also the Algol cover. I wonder where and who owns the originals?

ALGOL: THE MAGAZINE ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION, Vol. 12 No. 2, Issue No. 24, Summer 1975

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Mike Hinge and his participation with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.)

At last, I can say we have something on Onyxcube about Mike's sculptural work! It is known (through these pages) that after Mike's death most, if not all of his sculptures were junked and up until now I have not been able to track down any documented work. That is until recently when Alex Jay sent me a selection of scans from the exhibition catalogue  "Some More Beginnings" organised by  "Experiments in Art and Technology" (E.A.T.). The exhibition took place at the Brooklyn Museum in 1968, with the public viewing from November the 26th to January the 5th 1969. Mike exhibited a kinetic light sculpture titled, "2000 Light years from home". The title is borrowed from The Rolling Stones, 1967 song of the same name. A cool indicator of Mike's appreciation for music and this particular Space Rock classic! The exhibition catalogue's original size is 27 x 42 cm.

The photograph of Mike's work looks incredible and the following descriptions from catalogue are intriguing "Mike Hinge New Zealander: Born 0000. 2,000 Light years from home 1968. Aluminium, synchronous motors, cam timers, wood, electric lights, 24"x24"x14" Category: C:1.2".  

And "The piece consists of a number of perforated discs rotated by synchronous motors. The major discs are 13 1/2" in diameter spaced 1 1/2" apart and are powered by 10 different motors of various slow speeds. The second set of discs is mounted below as a reflector for the first set. The discs are illuminated from below by coloured thermal flashing D-26 bulbs mounted on a 2" square with holes punched for wiring and ventilation: 20 surrounding discs are rotated by 20 motors and are sequentially illuminated by colored bulbs on a 12-hour cycle". 

Once again, thank you very much to Alex for his contributions. 

Front Cover

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mike Hinge 131

Mike Hinge - Parsec City 4 (4of4). Pen, Ink and Pencil on heavy water colour paper. Approximate size 45x30cm. Date unknown. Unsigned.

detail 1

 detail 2


The above image has an acetate overlay like the Varuna Parsec City 1 image (Mike Hinge 128)

with a rough caption stuck on top. 
The quote is from a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).