The term “Flying Saucer” was coined in 1947, when a US pilot claimed to spot a flock of them over the Cascades mountain range in North America. The sighting was covered in the national press and spawned the world’s first conspiracy theory — not to mention thousands of books on the subject.
Flying Saucers Are Real! is a new book by author Jack Womack featuring 257 images from some of these publications, celebrating in particular the hugely varied cover artwork of the sensationalist tomes. The book titles themselves are brilliant, and visually represent their era, from the 1955 novel Round Trip to Hell in a Flying Saucer, to 1987’s Elvis UFO Connection: non-fiction account of alien intervention. They also verge on the fear-inducing in UFOs Satanic Terror and the scandalous in Those Sexy Saucer People.
Jack’s collection features a glorious mix of retro type and illustration, and some incredible photography. In one shot taken from 1982’s The Universal Hierarchy. A Pictorial Tour of Unarius a gold lamé-clad lady in a crown holds a saucer tower, and in another, scantily clad ‘space men’ ride the bonnet of a car. It’s a veritable visual feast of bonkers subculture.
The author’s collection comprises hundreds of books, including a number of publications from the Saucerian Press, as well as typescripts, pamphlets, tracts and magazines published mostly between 1948 – 1980. Next year, 242 items will also be archived in the Jack Womack Flying Saucer Library at Georgetown University, US.
Flying Saucers Are Real is published by Anthology Editions on 16 September.
- A sneak peak into Patrick Kyle’s new comic, Night Door
- Liam Cobb illustrates the collapse of the Heygate Estate in latest comic Conditioner
- “Imagination doesn’t compare to our real life design history”: Annie Atkins on the art of graphic design for film
- X-Rated Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s celebrates gloriously crude B-movie artwork
- Studio Frith on designing Alexa Chung's "formal but playful" fashion label
- Nathaniel Russell adapts his woodcut technique to create positive propaganda posters
- The New York Times Magazine’s new cover is actually a painting
- BBC’s new typeface BBC Reith is designed to improve legibility on screen
- “It needs to be normalised that women masturbate”: meet illustrator Jordyn McGeachin
- Life through the lens of enchanting photographer Vicki King
- Six months in the (enviable) life of photographer Ryan Lowry
- We get to know hilarious and thoughtful illustrator, Ruby Etc