Cosmic Bookmarks & Cosmic Paper Project

The Cosmic Archive Site is officially searching for bookmarks to scan.

The Cosmic Aeroplane on First South invested heavily in printing premiums for the public. Besides their famous series of poster-sized calendars, they distributed free bookmarks.

(L to R) Artist unknown, commisioned by Jose Knighton; Art by Rob Brown; Art by George Metzger.

(L to R) Bookmark by Jose Knighton; Illustrated bookmark by Rob Brown, courtesy of Dave Faggioli; Commissioned art by George Metzger, courtesy of Steve Jones.



Bookmarks by (L to R) Nancy Caravan 1977; Mark Knudsen; and Nancy Caravan 1982.

Mark Knudsen also illustrated “Utah, Gateway to Nevada” (scroll down to see some examples) — Read his bookmark captions as a scalable PDF:

Three_Bookmarks (PDF File)

Cosmic giveaways started in the earliest days at 9th & 9th:

Rolling papers as a business car, 1967 to 1968 -- Image contributed by Sherm Clow

1967 to 1968: A packet of sample rolling papers, originally with plain white covers, stamped by hand and used as Cosmic business cards — Image contributed by Sherm Clow.

(Above) Contributor Sherm Clow described how the original Cosmic Aeroplane acquired a number of promotional rolling papers from a now-unknown wholesale company — each blank cardboard dispenser containing about a dozen delicate leaves. Steve Jones and Sherm made de facto business cards out of them with the aid of Steve’s “Cosmic Logo” stamp and an ink pad.


Smoking accessories were still advertised when the Cosmic Aeroplane opened the doors on its final location at 258 East South Temple


Advertisement from Utah Holiday Magazine — Artwork by Neil Passey circa 1976

The “Head Shop” or “Smoke Shop” was renamed “Tobacco Boutique” by the 1980’s.
“Boutique” manager Tony Martinez opened his independent “Blue Boutique” later in the decade, but the old merchandise was still sold downstairs — even after Richard Montague ran the west side of the defunct Cosmic Aeroplane as “Stargazer” until the end of 1991.


More examples of various business flyers, cards, and sundry items that the Cosmic staff gave away to promote books, art, music, and various events:

Art by Neil Passey

This image was also used as an advertisement in the 1976 Yellow Pages — Art by Neil Passey.

Sometimes smaller versions of calendars became cards and fliers.

Art by Rob Brown -- 4' x 4' image also used on the 1976 calendar.

Art by Rob Brown, lettering by Neil Passey.

Cosmic escapists chose many different adventures.

Art by Neil Passey

This image was also used as an advertisement in the 1978 Yellow Pages — Art by Neil Passey.  Courtesy of Harold Carr


Cosmic advertising could reflect the tastes of Cosmic Customers


Advertisement from the August 1978 issue of Utah Holiday magazine.


Special collaborations between the Blue Mouse and Cosmic Aeroplane —

Because of the clip art, this combination staff party (year unknown) must have been held after the release of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead in April 1978:


The Blue Mouse/Cosmic Aeroplane Halloween Horror Film Festival film in the fall of 1978 was a party that lasted all weekend, and showed George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) among other great flicks:

Art by Neil Passey.

Art by Neil Passey.

See the entire poster-sized ad as a scalable PDF

The Cosmic Aeroplane co-sponsored the Blue Mouse premiere of its long-running Rocky Horror Show on August 19, 1978:



The Blue Mouse also had an art gallery in their lobby.
They staged at least one group exhibit of works by artists who were employees of the Cosmic Aeroplane. The productive scene around this literal “Art Theater” drew people back and forth between these two interesting and neighboring locations.


Cosmic Calendar Artist Neil Passey presented a retrospective at the Blue Mouse Art Gallery:

art show150

Courtesy of Winston Weeks and Daniel Swadener.

Highly-capable Cosmic Aeroplane employee Michael Hatsis also managed the Blue Mouse Theater and worked with the late artist and teacher Patrick Eddington to curate many other shows at the Blue Mouse Gallery. She was a DJ too — co-host of “Smile Jamaica,” on KRCL 90.9 FM, spinning Reggae with Myron Fairbanks.


The announcement for “Witchcraft” was composed by Patrick Eddington.
Blogmeister Michael Evans contributed to the show as well.

witchcraft_front 150a

“Still Life” was another group show curated by Patrick Eddington:



We are seeking Blue Mouse Gallery materials to scan — Cosmic or otherwise!


The Cosmic Aeroplane supported KRCL 90.9 FM Community Radio from its inception in 1979 at 262 East 100 South Room 222 — above the neighboring Blue Mouse Theater, and continued its support after the station moved to a larger space. KRCL FM continues to broadcast throughout Northern Utah and over the Internet in 2016.


Cosmic Aeroplane/KRCL collaboration from 1984, Model: Lisa Verstieg. Courtesy of Bruce Roberts papers Accn 2598 Box 2 F6. Special Collections and Archives, University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Even routine Cosmic Aeroplane calling cards were not mundane.

Donattion from J. Taylor

Courtesy of J. R. Taylor — artist unknown.



Artist: S. Clay Wilson (no copyright) — Courtesy of Bruce Roberts papers Accn 2598 Box 2 F8. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Some pieces of paper were important to the fiscal health of the store —
mundane or otherwise:


Contributed by Craig Rosenberg on Stew Ellington’s Cosmic Aeroplane/Blue Mouse FB page.


Sean Igo found the following items “… in a pristine copy of The Silmarillion”
and scanned them for  Stew Ellington’s Facebook page devoted to the Cosmic Aeroplane
and the Blue Mouse. They are posted here, with his permission, with credit, and with thanks:

Everyone was offered a Cosmic Bookmark with their purchases — in this case “Pandora,” drawn by Nancy Caravan.


J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, posthumously edited by his son and fellow Inkling Christopher Tolkien, entered the New York Times Best Seller list at Number Three on September 25, 1977. It was Number One on December 25.

There was also a four page fold-out insert  from the publisher/distributor found inside —

Fully expanded foldout — Scanned by Sean Igo, with minor adjustments by M.E.


Two sections from the opposite side of the foldout — Digital scan by Sean Igo with minor adjustments by M.E.


Front and back sections of the insert when it was folded — Digital scan by Sean Igo with minor adjustments by M.E.


Special events like author’s lectures and book signings generated their own curiosities on paper.

Art by Michael Hague

From The Wind in the Willows, illustrated  by Michael Hague, an Ariel book, June 15, 1981 — Courtesy of Steve Jones and Becky Roberts.



Flyer from 1980 — Courtesy of Bruce Roberts papers Accn 2598 Special Collections and Archives, University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


The Cosmic Aeroplane sponsored a Bookmark Design Project for children in 1980, with mutual support from the local Public Library System.


Peruse the entire delightful four page booklet at a higher resolution:

Cosmic Bookmark_Contest_1980 (PDF File)

Two winning entries, along with a special bookmark honoring the 13th Intermountain Conference on Children’s Literature —



The publisher of Utah, Gateway to Nevada utilized a variety of promotional items.

Art by Neil Passey

From a series of postcards advertising the book Utah, Gateway to Nevada published by Dream Garden Press — Art by Neil Passey and Mark Knudsen.


Utah, Gateway to Nevada — Art by Neil Passey and Mark Knudsen.


Utah, Gateway to Nevada — Art by Neil Passey and Mark Knudsen.


Mark Hoffman wove an elaborate web of forgeries over many years, defrauding antiquarian collectors and book sellers from coast to coast. A purported letter from the early 1800’s describing a “White Salamander” guarding a famous golden treasure in New York State made nationwide news and caused a lot of laughter at first, for a variety of reasons, but as the back-story developed, it suddenly wasn’t funny any more. Two people died. Their murderer was convicted, and sent to prison for life. The Cosmic Aeroplane hosted a talk by the authors of an early book about those tragic crimes.

See the first public display of the forgery art of Mark Hofmann, including several incriminating letters and signatures entered as evidence in Hofmann’s preliminary hearing.


Partial reproduction of the “White Salamander” letter on a poster for this combined Author Lecture and Art Show in 1988.


It’s in the bag: Almost every Cosmic Customer took these images home:

Thanks to John Reese, for sharing his bag on the Cosmic Aeroplane and Blue Mouse. (Facebook site)

Bag thanks to Marko Johnson via John Reese and the Cosmic Aeroplane/Blue Mouse FB site.

Thousands of bags were printed over the final decade of the store’s existence.


Thanks to Kenneth Olsen for this scan of his now-antique bag. (7.5 X 11.5 inches) Acknowledgements to Ryan Workman for his earlier version. Art by Neil Passey. Commissioned by the Unholy Trinity circa 1980.

As the 1980’s progressed toward the 90’s, Cosmic graphics tended toward Art Deco on bags, and in the Yellow Pages:


Scanned from a contribution by David Faggioli

These bags were of different sizes, of course, for different products.

Scanned from a contribution by David Faggioli.

Scanned from a contribution by David Faggioli.


Any Cosmic  premiums are welcome, and the stories about them too.


(L to R) Unknown artist, possibly Robert Williams; Layout by unknown artist; Cat by Patrick Eddington.

(L to R) Dale Enzenbacher; Layout with clip from artist Alex Schomburg; Kitty Kitty by Patrick Eddington — Images courtesy of Steve Jones and Dave Faggioli.


Uncredited B&W reproductions of Neil Passey’s artwork courtesy of David Faggioli. Two-tone Blue Mouse Gallery announcements contributed by Michael Evans.
Cosmic Aeroplane / Blue Mouse Horror Festival poster courtesy of Special Collections and Manuscripts at the Marriott Library, University of Utah. Additional materials courtesy of Bruce Roberts papers Accn 2598 Special Collections and Archives, University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
We are always in contributions of pictures, memorabilia, and oral histories concerning the Cosmic Aeroplane — please contact our Blogmeister:


258_logo_combo000wwDISCLAIMER: Any advertisements you may see below this page are artifacts of our blog-hosting service and are totally unrelated to this project.

About Michael Evans

Michael has lived in Montana, Washington State (East and West), Holland, and England, but he was born in Salt Lake City, and graduated from the University of Utah.
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