If you don’t know what Jim’ll Paint It is then SORT YOUR LIFE OUT. Just kidding, have a look at his website and see the magical commission-based, Microsoft paint world that is his pasttime. From requests ranging from “Please paint me the T-Rex attack scene from Jurassic Park, but the T-Rex is the band T-Rex.” to “paint me Timothy Dalton having an intense arm wrestling match at Stonehenge with Oprah Winfrey as William Shatner forcefeeds her Spandau Ballet cassette tapes” Jim makes people’s dreams a reality. So what’s on his bookshelf? Well, it’s a nice mix of sci-fi, soft porn and Doctor Who merch. Enjoy!
John Peel: Doctor Who: Mission To The Unknown
This is on the list not because of John Peel’s* writing but rather Andrew Skilleter’s trademark photo realistic artwork. I’m a huge classic Doctor Who nerd so I obviously had to include a Target novelisation on this list. I’ve got a pretty huge collection of these, most of which I’ve never actually read. But the artwork on nearly all of them is phenomenal and one of the driving forces in my Who fandom. This one is a novelisation of one of the stories infamously destroyed by the BBC. The cover features a bunch of weird looking monsters that as a kid I knew I would never actually see in context. As such, I was completely obsessed with it and had it on loan from the school library almost permanently.
*…no, not that one.
Brad Benedict: The Blue Book
This bizarre collection of erotic art was given to me by a friend who knows me all too well. Published in the early 1980s, it features colour prints of some of the more obscure work of famous masters of erotica such as Sorayama and Mel Ramos as well as paintings and cartoons by complete unknowns. It’s all very kitsch, instantly dated and completely hilarious. Favourites include an “office party” featuring filing cabinets bursting with streamers and erect penises rendered in beautifully garish carnival-ride airbrush.
TV Century 21 Annual
Can you tell that I still haven’t grown up? This book, falling to bits as it is, is one of the most comforting objects I own. It’s not the beautiful paintings of my three favourite Gerry Anderson inventions on the cover or the trademark two-tone comics and long ago filled-in puzzles inside. It’s that unmistakable smell. A smell that only these kind of annuals seem to give off and one which instantly takes me back to hours spent refining my love of all things deeply uncool in the “kids section” of some musty bookshop I’d been dragged into by my Dad.
Nigel Wingrove and Marc Morris: The Art of the Nasty
Incredible book from ultra low-brow cinephiles FAB Press. Featuring 400-odd pieces of pre-certificate VHS cover artwork including those of the infamous 39 video nasties, this is the book I find myself reaching for when I’m half cut and need something to flick through. As a collector of grindhouse I can confirm that many of the covers are more outrageous (and often better) than the actual films themselves.
Jody Duncan: The Winston Effect
It’s quite apt that this book be on the list given that one of Stan Winston’s creations appears in nearly every other Jim’ll Paint It request I get. Indeed I’ve painted 4 out of the 5 on the cover alone. Aside from that, this is an absolutely incredible tribute to one of my all time heroes. I genuinely shudder to think what my childhood would have been like without Stan Winston. Rather than being a posthumous biography this book tells the story of the studio’s formation and it’s groundbreaking FX work with enough behind the scenes photos and concept artwork to make a grown man audibly squeak with delight.