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Paul Julian’s Piccoli


One of the rarest children’s books illustrated by an animation artist is Philippe Halsman’s Piccoli (1953), with illustrations by Paul Julian. It’s rare no longer as Michael Sporn has scanned in John Canemaker’s copy of the book, and has made available all of Julian’s stunning artwork from the book. The painting of the boy hiding under the sheets reminds me of a similar scene in UPA’s The Tell-Tale Heart, which shouldn’t be surprising because Julian was creating his exquisite paintings for that film right around the time he illustrated this book. For more Julian animation art, check out these Warner Bros. backgrounds; Pete Alvarado told me that Julian set the WB house style (and the standard) that all the other painters followed at WB in the 1940s.

  • Pretty incredible illustrations. I had no idea how rare the book was, or that it even existed until Michael posted it, but I sure downloaded it fast enough afterwards. ;)

  • Piccoli was also a record album, narrated by Siobhan McKenna on Spoken Arts Records.

  • This book has been a high point of my collection for a few years now. I can’t believe how much it goes for these days, when they pop up. It’s worth it, though, as the Julian art is exceptional, and the book itself has a nice aesthetic, just to hold a copy.

  • Fernando Ferreira

    Amid, I’ve noticed recently that Paul Julian also did some title design for Roger Corman. All of them have the same stylized animation and the surrealistic-impressionistic layout that is present in The Tell-Tale Heart. Credit in Imdb is only the titles for “Not of this earth”, “Attack of the crab monsters” (both 1957), “The Terror” and “Dementia 13” (both 1963). But I think he’s also the title designer of “Swamp Women” and “The beast with a million eyes”, both from 1955. That is pretty amazing, because he’s innovating the titles the same time Saul Bass was doing “The man with the golden arm” and others. In other words, it seems that he’s not a Bass’ follower (as many who came after), but also a innovator in the design of titles sequences, putting the modern graphic look in Hollywood pictures. Do you have any information if Julian is really the designer of both “Swamp Women” and “The beast with a million eyes” titles? (Excuse any erros in my english)

  • Beautiful work and book. Thanks for posting Amid.