Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Really Old Old-school Artist: Austin Molloy
(aka Austin Ó Maolaoid, AóM)

Many of you may notice that the art of today's featured artist Austin Molloy (1886–1961) bears a striking resemblance to illustration legend Harry Clarke. So it may come as no surprise that Molloy was friends with Clarke; they met at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art (now named the National College of Art and Design) as students, then Molloy went on to teach there. Tell me the last image below doesn't reek of Harry Clarke.

Molloy (aka Austin Ó Maolaoid, AóM) had a pretty prolific career, serving An Gúm (The Scheme), a government initiative in Ireland started in 1925 to publish books in Irish, as his main client for many years. All the images below pre-date 1925, but many of them could have been done in the last 40 years by someone like Russ Nicholson (specifically the boy fighting the hound, or the Grummsh-looking mother-effer below it).

I can't remember exactly how I stumbled across his work, but I do know it was during a recent "Archive.org expedition" (what I call those times I sit front of the TV with my feet up, my laptop in my lap, and I just keep poking around Archive.org until I find something relevant-but-previously-undiscovered-by-me).



  1. Wow! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. You are correct with the Russ Nicholson comparison.

  2. I'm guessing the Grummsh-looking guy is actually Balor (the Fomorian), notable for his one eye that had terrible powers...

    I wonder how strongly influenced, if at all, Jeff Dee was by this piece in his work on Gruumsh for Deities & Demigods...

  3. I'm seeing a little Jim FitzPatrick (The Book of Conquests, The Silver Arm) there, too, although that's probably attributable to him covering the same territory (Irish myth.)

  4. Sources here. Nice work btw - thank you.