Getting Our Hands Dirty Again

  • videoarchives
  • September 6, 2022

Did you have a chance to watch Dirty Hands since last week’s episode of the Video Archives Podcast?

It’s not easy to find! Gala didn’t have her own copy as of last week’s recording, but since then she was able to track her own VHS version down. Lucky for you, because on today’s After Show, you can hear Quentin, Roger & Gala get into all the twists and turns of Dirty Hands in more depth, along with even more insight on The Illustrated Man and Demonoid. I’ve got custom boxes, book covers and more on today’s Counter Talk…

Right off the bat, I have to show off the custom, hand-drawn box Roger created to house Gala’s promotional copy of Dirty Hands:

What a cool piece! Besides being an incredibly sweet father/daughter gift, I love the style and line work of this design. (The “Hands” made of hands is my favorite bit, it’s a very R. Crumb touch.) Roger talks more about his cartooning on upcoming episodes, but this was the first time I got to see his work - now I selfishly want Gala to track down more tapes with blank boxes so we can get more custom creations like this (and more content for me!). What would his take on the Demonoid art be? I have to know.

Speaking of Demonoid, I didn’t have a chance to include the Archives’ Japanese edition of Demonoid in last week’s newsletter. The Japanese subtitle and dripping blood from the upper frame only makes it look cooler:

Roger brings up his Bantam edition of Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man from 1976 on today’s episode; this was one of the most popular printings of this short story collection, but it’s a seminal sci-fi work that’s been printed many times. I’m fascinated by the many ways book cover artists have interpreted the look of the Illustrated Man over the years; here’s a little tour of my favorites, starting with the very first edition, a 1951 Doubleday printing with a highly abstracted, handless and footless creation that’s particularly alien:

This Corgi Books printing from 1969, the year the film was released, has a flamboyant title treatment and a blonde, punkish (but identifiably human) Illustrated Man:

This 1977 Panther edition is tattoo-less and Dr. Manhattan-esque, with a man-shaped utopian portal floating against a barren planet.

Different covers focus on different stories from the collection - this 1990 Bantam Grand Master edition is another bald Illustrated Man, highlighting the lions from The Veldt in photo-realistic detail:

(Is this the right place to say I completely buy that the virtual lions in The Veldt could kill people? Sure, it’s familiar Holodeck logic for Star Trek fans, but even here and now in 2022 we have haptic technology that provides touch feedback for events in virtual space. A couple centuries from now, that haptic tech could become strong enough to kill a person. End of nerdy tangent…)

This Topps graphic novel cover from 1994 is one of the few where you can clearly see the Man’s face, bespectacled and a little dorky - he’s surrounded by fans for some reason, and it’s hard not to fixate on the swastika’d skull in the center:

Finally, this recent Minotauro Spanish language printing returns to a stark, abstract Illustrated Man, with the awesome title “El Hombre Ilustrado”:

The Illustrated Man (as well as Bradbury himself) has even been depicted on The Simpsons! (Episode S25E2, “Treehouse Of Horror XXIV”)

Out of all these Illustrated Men, however, Rod Steiger’s tattooed body remains the most striking - just look at this wide version of the film poster, with Steiger in watchful repose:

This week's merch photo comes from @rosana_rosanna_danna on Instagram and features her and her husband Eddie. A family who Video Archives together, stays together.

We also have an At the New Bev submission from @savkelmanson -- she and her boyfriend Josh made their way to the New Bev to watch the Demonoid and The Brood double feature.

Finally, check out this exhaustive Letterboxd list from user @doperle of every film mentioned on the podcast so far! We love seeing you all help us define and document the Video Archives canon – keep ‘em coming!

That’s everything for this week – next week, get ready for a whopper of an episode with three all new films! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, rate us on Apple and Spotify, and keep telling your friends about the show! Start a Video Archives watch party with your favorites so far (and tell us if you do!) See you next time.