Design Museum delights: Stanley Kubrick oddities, and the promise of your very own Mars mission

2001: A Space OdysseyLondon’s Design Museum is currently hosting Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, which includes some comic-related visuals inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey. running until 17th September. But the space age entertainment doesn’t stop there, because hot on the heels of this major exhibition, you’ll get the chance to travel to Mars without leaving London – in a multi-sensory adventure for all ages.

Supported by the Reuben Foundation and publisher Taschen, the Kubrick exhibition tells the story of Stanley Kubrick the meticulous genius, exploring his unique command of the creative design process of film making, from storyteller to director to editor.

You’ll see step by step how Kubrick created genre-defining worlds for his films and relive iconic scenes from The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey and more. Offering an exclusive insight into his mind through over 700 rare objects, films, interviews, letters and photographs, you also get the chance to explore Kubrick’s special relationship with England and particularly London, as his primary film location and source of inspiration.

Howard Johnson’s 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired children’s menu

Howard Johnson’s 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired children’s menu

One of the oddest exhibits, spotted by comics fan Michael Powell, is an uncredited illustrated children’s menu promoting 2001: A Space Odyssey. Produced by restaurant chain Howard Johnson’s, who also get a mention in the film itself. The art has been attributed by several fans to Alden McWilliams.

Beginning his career at Dell Comics, Alden McWilliams (aka Al McWilliams) many credits include work on several Gold Key comics, including Star Trek, and the newspaper strip “Twin Earths“, co-created with Oskar Lebeck. Together with writer John Saunders, he co-created the first African-American lead character of a comic strip, Danny Raven, for “Dateline: Danger!“, which ran from 1968 to 1974, He won the National Cartoonists Society’s 1978 award for Comic Book: Story.

Howard Johnson’s 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired children’s menu

Produced by the Amuse-a-Menu Company of Boston, Massachusetts, the menu features a comic retelling not of the film itself, but of the experience of attending the film’s premiere.

There’s more about this bizarre spoiler-free 2001 item, aimed at kids, here on the Dreams of Space blog.

Under current British advertising rules, it would never gain approval today, since it depicts the boy in the strip being inspired to become a space pilot (we told you it was spoiler free) and the girl a stewardess. Hardly very gender neutral…

Howard Johnson’s 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired children’s menu

Following up on the Stanley Kubrick exhibition , the Design Museum is to host Moving to Mars – inviting you to travel to Mars without leaving London in a multi-sensory adventure for all ages.

Step into a full-scale Mars home, immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the landscape and learn how rethinking daily life for a zero-waste, clean energy-powered civilisation might help future generations on Earth.

Children born today are the first who might witness a human mission to Mars in their lifetime. It’s one of humanity’s great challenges and everything will need to be designed – but should we even be going?

Moving to Mars Design Museum exhibition promotion. Artwork by Empire Design

Opening 18th October, the exhibition features immersive environments, about 200 objects including contributions from NASA, the European Space Agency and SpaceX; NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge winners, AI SpaceFactory; robotic builders by Foster & Partners; the first sustainable urban design for Mars, Mars City Design, the first spacesuit designed for the Mars surface; Christopher Raeburn‘s new fashion collection inspired by Mars – and much more.

As part of your visit, you’ll have the chance to visit a full-scale Mars home by HASSELL.

The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form from architecture and fashion to graphics, product and industrial design.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition runs until 17th September 2019. The Museum is open daily, 10.00 – 18.00 (excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) at 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8 6AG | Web:

The exhibition will be open late until 8.00pm on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th September, Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September.

Age guidance: The general age guidance is 12+. However, please note that the some of the exhibition film rooms contain scenes of an adult nature and are not suitable for those below the age of 18.

• Moving to Mars opens on 18th October and runs until 23rd February 2019| More exhibition details here

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Art and Illustration, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions, Film, Other Worlds

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1 reply

  1. Sure looks like McWilliams to me John!

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