Cornelius – Fantasma by Robert M Ball

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The original cover

When did you first hear this album?

That’s a good question, let me think… (quickly has a look at release date on Wikipedia)… I’d say somewhere around 1997. That makes it my last year of college. I seem to remember music press at the time bandying the phrases ‘Japanese Brian Wilson’ about.

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Sketch idea

Why did you choose this album?

I started off leafing through one of those massive Album Art books that are heavy on Hipgnosis covers, desperately looking for a pun or reference to superheroics that I could use. I alighted on Blur by Blur, reasoning that by changing two letters I could get ‘Four’ and produce portraits of the Fantastic Four. This idea was dashed when a google search revealed it had already been done, so I decided to stop trying to be a smart arse and choose a record I actually like instead.

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Layout Test

 
If you had to suggest one track from it, which would it be (and why?)
Magoo Opening, as the title suggests is a remix of the Mister Magoo theme tune. It has screeching monkeys overlayed, Planet of The Apes samples and machine gun fire. Trust me, this description doesn’t do justice to how bananas it actually is.
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What is your favourite album cover(s)?
I have a soft spot for Three Imaginary Boys by The Cure. Humour rarely works well on record sleeves, but the stripped back styling makes it the visual equivalent of deadpan humour. Makes me smile every time.
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Colour test

What is your favourite cover version?
Crikey, this is the kind of question you suddenly think of the ultimate answer to. A week later.
 Yo La Tengo do a great version of Be Thankful For What You Got and I love Sebidoh’s grunge take on Pink Moon.
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Font progress

What is your own personal theme song?

Florida Fantasy by John Barry

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If the album you chose was to soundtrack a comic, what would it be?
Definitely an anthology. Maybe classic 2000AD – eccentric pop music with a ton of influences rubbing shoulders that shouldn’t really be together, and the gratifying sensation that the whole thing might just be a bit childish.
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The Cover

Buy the print here

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