I hate when that happens

Filed under: Gallican Death Trip, ephemera — olivander April 20, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

From the Feb 15, 1914 issue of Le Petit Journal Supplément Illustré. Click for larger version.

Via the ephemeriffic Agence Eureka. Special thanks to the equally retroriffic Offices of Johnston for the tip. Every issue of the beautifully illustrated, violent-death-obsessed weekly supplement to Le Petit Journal can be read online at Gallica.


  1. Awesome. I prefer my copy of “The Martyr’s Mirror” for violent-death-obsessed illustrations, but they’re admittedly of an anabaptist slant and don’t usually involve cameras. Or guns. There are some lions, I think, courtesy of the Roman Empire.

    Comment by duffymoon — April 20, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  2. That is so funny, or surreal, or both. What’s absurd is that it’s not the tragically interrupted life of the filmmaker, but the tragically interrupted FILM!

    Actually, I think he was attacked simultaneously by an African lion and by a miniature Martian tripod.

    Comment by Richard P — April 20, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  3. Duffy, if you like Martyr’s Mirror, then you would would love Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

    Richard: You’re completely right, there is a surreal/absurdist quality to these illustrations. I have many more that I will probably post in themed batches. The combination of pulp adventure comic style, the obvious glee with which the illustrators depicted horror, and the banal captions challenge the viewer to separate empathy for the victim(s) from wanting to root for the disaster.

    There’s an amazing one of a train smashing a chauffeured car, and the front of the locomotive is coming right through the passenger cab. The two passengers are caught in the moment of horror an instant before they are pulverized, and all I can think when I look at it is, “My god, that’s beautiful.”

    Comment by olivander — April 21, 2011 @ 11:04 am

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