An Bó Bhuachaill Bómánta

November 12, 2009

BoBuacaill480I picked up this booklet a few years ago for the princely sum of €1 – drawn in by the amazing cover rather than the promise of the story within (my Irish is not great). Published in 1960 by Oifig an tSolátair, this is the sort of artwork which makes serious designers cringe but is really a wonderful piece of vernacular design.

The title translates as Eamonn Róg, The Half-Witted Cowboy and we can only imagine the shenanigans our hero gets up to after he hitches his horse outside the GPO and moseys on up O’Connell Street. What a great juxtaposition of iconography – the GPO, Tri-Colour flag, Nelson’s Pillar, the green double decker and the Garda looking on while the sheriff steps straight out of a Western movie and onto the streets of Baile Átha Cliath.

Yet again the cover artist is uncredited but more examples from the same hand – with one credited to a mysterious L.M.S. – can be found in this gallery of fantastic covers from An Gúm/Oifig an tSolátair publications.

3 Responses to “An Bó Bhuachaill Bómánta”

  1. […] dates from 1861. The centred figure typifies the snapshot aesthetic and the hat brings to mind the Western novels and films which were so popular in Ireland during the 1950s and […]

  2. I’m guessing that LMS is the same as L mac S, the initials signed in the lower left hand corner of Cathal Ó Sándair’s Réics Carló, Taighdealaí Príobháideach?

  3. hitone Says:

    I think it is the same artist that did a lot of the Cathal Ó Sándair Réics Carló covers. The Twitter account of the Ó Sándair archive credits the covers to William G. Spencer which would be Liam Mac Spealáin as gaeilge hence LMS/L Mac S. Thank you for pointing this out Pádraig, I wouldn’t have copped this otherwise!

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