Cinamon Hadley, who was Neil Gaiman’s visual inspiration for the design of his character “Death,” died on January 8th. She was 48 years old.
Omni in the 1980’s was an absolutely unique magazine dedicated to science fiction and science fact — it was always weird and occasionally wonderful. Its content was consistently a good deal trippier than anything you’d find in more mainstream contemporaries like Scientific American or Discover — futurism, the paranormal, and short stories that were pretty damned abstract. (I remember Patricia Highsmith’s “The Legless A” being a real head-scratcher for me.) And the covers to Omni were frequently awesome.
I had a subscription around 1989 or so — I believe I got a year’s subscription as either a Christmas or birthday present. I still remember it arriving in the mailbox. I think I had all of the issues you see below — except the third one. That issue is from January 1983, and I never had it. I’m including it here because it’s too interesting not to share.
Stephen King fans will recognize Don Brauitgam’s artwork for the cover of King’s classic 1978 short story collection, “Night Shift.” Brautigam apparently sold it to the magazine later. (Interesting, too, is the similarity of the artist’s name to a key character in King’s subsequent “Hearts in Atlantis” and his “The Dark Tower” series — the kindly psychic, Ted Brautigan.)
Anyway, if you were geeky enough to enjoy this back in the day, the entire run of Omni is currently available at Amazon for $3 a pop. It was available online for free for a while, and I think you can still find all of the short stories uploaded in pdf if you google them — I found a bunch, including Highsmith’s story. (I wonder if I’d get a better sense of it if I read it today.)
I’m not 100 percent sue of the artist here, but I believe it is Tommy Patterson.
I’m having a little trouble verifying that this comic cover is actually real. But I believe it is, and I believe it was published in the early 1950’s. I have no information about the artist.
[Update: Blog Correspondent Pete Harrison informed me immediately after I posted this that the “cover” indeed appears to be a fake. The GCD (Grand Comics Database) contains no record of this title, and it looks like a gag constructed by the “Atomic Romance” website. (I was confused because I had actually seen it at several other websites too.)]