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.
- Hey presto, it's Best of the Web!
- Paris-based Studio Jimbo creates "impact and power" with punchy poster designs
- Minju An's oddly sinister illustrations depict strange characters and floating bread
- Friday Mixtape: Warpaint's Glastonbury picks
- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design