Nov 29

The English Ass, as in ... Click for full image

Good Show Sir Comments: The Moorcock Family Coat of Arms.
Published 1973

You might remember this from here.

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.65 out of 10)

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28 Responses to “The English Assassin”

  1. Bibliomancer Says:

    Those fish look like chubs.

  2. David Van Domelen Says:

    Needs a sheep.

  3. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Putting the ‘ass’ and the other ‘ass’ in ‘assassin’, I see.

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @TW: are those ladies cyclopses?

  5. JuanPaul Says:

    This has got to be a tale of two artists. The time lord looks like he was painted by an art school drop out.

  6. B. Chiclitz Says:

    That crab in the lower right corner looks distinctly depressed. His agent told him this would be a “classy” photo shoot.

  7. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Funny how just about everything on this cover is highly stylized, ornamental, symbolic even (maybe), except somehow that perfectly rendered realistic boob—even down to the delicate shading of the areola. Now this is art for you!

  8. Bibliomancer Says:

    @B. Chiclitz – Yes, he thought the art director sent out a call for crabs with good taste, but he really only wanted crabs that taste good.

  9. THX 1138 Says:

    I can lip read… they’re saying “Sh…” something, but whatever could it be?

  10. THX 1138 Says:

    By the way, is it Space Sheep’s day off?

  11. Ray P Says:

    The romance does begin with a salty mouthful. Have sex with this pair, end up with crabs.

  12. fred Says:

    As far as stylized nuclear mushroom clouds go this one is pretty good.

  13. B. Chiclitz Says:

    The depressed crab is reduced to reciting poetry to pass the time:

    “I should have been a pair of . . . oh, wait a minute,
    I am a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”

  14. Ray P Says:

    Jerry Cornelius the Disney animated musical and Disneyland Paris attraction.

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    I think Juan Paul is right about there being two artists. One of them did the background and wanted to paint a crab cover. One of them did the legs and wanted to paint a carp cover. They pooled their talents for the top of the picture and painted…

  16. Ray P Says:

    “I’m a little teapot, here’s my spout.” The yellow man has a Willy Wonka look about him.

  17. A.R.Yngve Says:

    How could the publisher afford Salvador Dali??

  18. Anna T. Says:

    I have no words to properly convey my astonishment at this tangle of humans, grape vines and aquatic life. Except this: Is that Michael Jackson trying to cosplay as the Seventh Doctor? Because we really did not need that mental image.

  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Well fun is fun but this cover really has some disturbing aspects. Like, at first you think the main figures are kneeling, and the fish heads are their knees, but then you realize they have no lower legs and in fact they are standing on the fish heads and this is very, very weird to try to visualize. I also just realized (a bit slow on the uptake), that their arms are not attached to their bodies!

  20. Tat Wood Says:

    Published 1973. The same year as the film of ‘The Final Programme’. And yet so few people went to see it.

  21. Ray P Says:

    Even Moorcock thinks the film crap. He likely warned people to stay away. It plays like Joe Orton meets Modesty Blaise in a mordant key.

  22. THX 1138 Says:

    The Final Programme is a fantastic looking film, if a movie could be made of GSS covers it would be that one. Trouble is, it’s not very good to listen to.

  23. Vyrmis Says:

    Weird Al’s album covers always go a bit OTT.

  24. Tat Wood Says:

    @THX 1138: the film isn’t good to listen to? It’s got Gerry Mulligan playing sax. Some of the dialogue’s quotable too. And it has lots of McVitie’s dark chocolate digestives.

    @Ray P: ” It plays like Joe Orton meets Modesty Blaise in a mordant key.” You say that like it’s a bad thing. It’s a huge improvement on the book.

  25. Ray P Says:

    Well, I’ve known a few persons whose view of Mr. Moorcock’s prose was “The English assassin? Quite.” He aimed at becoming the latter day Meredith, Conrad, G. B. Shaw, Ronald Firbank with a slice of Wodehouse. Orton is a bit lower.

  26. THX 1138 Says:

    @Tat Wood: You know, it’s ages since I saw it, so my memory of needlessly obscure dialogue might be incorrect, but you’ve convinced me to give it another try. I do remember Jon Finch being pretty great in it. *Checks* It’s on DVD! Hooray!

  27. RachelJ Says:

    So, the element common to both versions is “fish”. More specifically, “fish replacing body parts”.


  28. Rod Serling With Big Teeth Says:

    Consider RachelJ. An anonymous person on an anonymous part of an anonymous network. She could be anyone. But RachelJ’s life has been turned down when she smells something fishy in her life. One she surfed from scene to scene, now she surfs to something piscine. For RachelJ is swimming in…The English Assassin Zone.

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