Orlando's Punk Rock Flashback & Tattoo Art Book: Compiled by Orlando Januar, 128 pgs By Keith

Mar 05, 2007

Orlando is the guy who's published the Swiss fanzine Artcore for about a billion years. This book, like the title states, compiles tons of his tattoo flash, as well as everything from old shirt and poster designs to record covers and even Christmas cards he's drawn. It's obviously a labor of love; tons of work went into the visual presentation of the material here. Januar's style, if not his content, is pretty traditional; it's solid, mostly brush-drawn stuff that reminds me a bit of Crumb stuff or those old hippie comics, The Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. As far as the content: there's the requisite collections of skulls, punks with guitars, women with monstrous boobs, rats, etc. He's as consistent in his execution when he's doing color stuff as he is when he's just doing black and white images, and that's pretty amazing, considering there's material here that dates back twenty-five years. Subsections of the book include “T-shirts & Logos,” “Record Covers,” “Fanzine Covers & Illustrations,” and “Pin Ups”; the second half of the book is made up of his tattoo stuff, which I found to be less interesting, if only because the tats and sketches he included are less of a cultural and historical landmark of a lifestyle and type of music that I love, and more of just a series of images. Plus, his tattoo work, while solid, is made up of stuff like hearts, flowers, dragons, tigers; stuff that doesn't really interest me.

This thing's self-financed and limited to 1,200 copies—the love and care is totally evident. Hopefully he'll find good distribution for the book, sell out, and eventually even be able to reprint it. Someone who's been working this tirelessly for this long, I think, should have something like this—some kind of testament, some gathered collection of his output. My only complaints, and they're minor, is that some of the backgrounds of some of the images have so much Photoshopped alterations and coloring that it detracts from the actual image itself. And secondly, this guy has been around forever—I would have loved to have had at least a minor amount of information accompanying the images, beyond "Single Cover" or "A Quite Popular T-Shirt Design." But again, minor complaints; the book's beautiful and Januar's worked long and hard on the material in here; he deserves all the praise he'll undoubtedly get from this. –Keith Rosson (ZCM Records/Road To Ruin Europe, Josef & Shelley Loderer, Am Kesselhuas 9, 79576 Weil am Rhein, Germany, www.zcmrecords.com)

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