fuck my life, that’s me.
11 months ago on July 17, 2012 at 04:38pm with 18,547 notes
fuck my life, that’s me.
“1909-2011” by fiona banner
[97 jane’s all the world’s aircraft books]
Weapon of Mass Instruction
Built from a welded frame atop a 1979 Ford Falcon, Raul Lemesoff drives around the streets of Buenos Aires distributing free books to anybody who wants to be assaulted with some serious learnin’.
This DIY camera was made from a stack of books on photography. Heh.
It’s part of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs’ photo book titled As Long As It Photographs It Must Be a Camera. More at American Photo at the link!
Thanks Dan for the heads up!
“She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.”
Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway
This piece was created by Kyla McCallum for a project mentored by the German Fashion Designer Eva Gronbach in Cologne, 2007. The skirt holds 67 books with a total of 20,000 pages, each one folded by hand. Photography by Natascha Aplas.
To see some more of Kyla’s work go to…
A rare book collector managed to find a copy of William Blake’s masterful Songs of Innocence & Experience and scan the book in its entirety. I found these images online a while back, and since it looks like the site is no longer hosting these files, I think it’s safe to post.
2011 was another great year for books. As has become an annual tradition here are my favourite books from the past year, just in time for your holiday shopping — every one of these, perfect for the cartoon/illustration/design nerd on your list. Or get yourself a little something. Treat yourself.
Okay, I’m a little biased because I am contributor to this hefty and colourful book (as is Drawn’s Matt Forsythe). But even if I weren’t a contributor this would top my list. Nobrow expanded their biannual art magazine to a magnificent double issue, now with comics, named, fittingly, The Double. The entire thing is masterfully produced using Nobrow’s signature attention to the printing process. And that lineup! Tom Gauld, Michael DeForge, Gemma Correll, Joseph Lambert, Kevin Huizenga, Luke Pearson, and a zillion others.
Not much can be said about Kate’s comics that hasn’t already been said this year. Her monstrously successful release and tour of this book, a collection of her best and most hilarious strips from her webcomic of the same name, is inspiring to anyone who creates content on the web.
A perfect (yes, perfect) picture book. Jon Klassen’s artwork is both lush and minimalist, and his writing is succinct and hilarious. Your kids’ eyes will widen, as will their smiles, when their little brains figure out the grisly (yes, pun intended) ending.
The Death Ray and Mister Wonderful by Daniel Clowes
2011 gave us two hardcover Daniel Clowes books, so that’s pretty alright, huh? I didn’t read The Death Ray in its original incarnation as Eightball issue 23, nor did I read Mister Wonderful when it was serialized in the New York Times Magazine. I’m clearly in the “wait until it comes out as a book” camp.
Mister Wonderful is Clowes’s most understated work. It may not be as funny as his usual output, but that doesn’t stop the main character from letting Clowes express his usual neurotic, cynical voice.
The Death Ray is a masterful non-superhero superhero story, and a rare graphic novel (if 42 pages sandwiched between two pieces of book board can actually be called a novel) that made me want to re-read it the minute I finished. Clowes is increasingly becoming the cartoonist I most want to study and dissect. I am constantly asking “how did he do that?” when I’m reading his work.
Paying For It by Chester Brown
Chester Brown’s autobiographical graphic novel about his experiences with prostitutes is surely the year’s most polarizing cartoon book. But regardless of your opinions on the subject matter, there is no question Chester is a powerhouse of a cartoonist. There’s no reason such a dense hefty book should be such a swift read — a testament to his talents as both a writer and a draftsman. His careful precise drawings are practically typographic, and any given panel reads as natural as words.
Everything Goes On Land by Brian Biggs
You can read my original review of Everything Goes on Land, but trust me — this is what you give to a kid when you want him to get lost in a book for a few hours in the other room. It is packed with fun drawings and enough details and interactive scavenger hunts to keep a car-and-truck loving kid occupied for days.
From my original review:
I unabashedly love Seth’s new book, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists. It’s a prequel of sorts to Wimbledon Green, and sets the scene and describes the world in which Seth’s made-up history of Canadian cartooning and comics takes place.
This is the one non-book entry to this list. I have such nostalgic feelings for NFB animation collections. As a kid I’m pretty sure I wore out every VHS tape with The Cat Came Back or The Big Snit on it. The latest in this tradition is Animation Express 2. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, as these things always are, but the NFB produces some truly great animation and my favourites are Patrick Doyon’s Sunday, Marv Newland’s experimental and abstract CMYK and Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby’s marvelous Wild Life.
Amazing Everything by Scott C.
From my original review:
Scott manages to infuse each brushstroke, each little dude with happiness, optimism, and joy. His is a refreshing and original voice in the world of picture-making, and this book is a sure-fire pick-me-up, reminding everyone who reads it just how fun drawing can be.
Comics Class by Matthew Forsythe
Drawn’s own Matt Forsythe released two splendid books this year. The most recent is Comics Class from Koyama Press, which makes its official debut this weekend at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. The strips, inspired my Matt’s experiencing teaching comics to kids, are so funny it makes me wonder why he doesn’t do more non-wordless comics.
My Name is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee and Matthew Forsythe
My Name is Elizabeth is Matt’s first picture book, and I’m not surprised it was a New York Times notable kids book. Matt’s two-toned gouache illustrations perfectly compliment the playful story about a young girl who expresses her displeasure with people taking liberties with her name.
Forming by Jesse Moynihan
From my original review:
Forming is an epic sci-fi creation myth that will have you chuckling like an idiot. Get a taste of the webcomic version, then add this bad boy to your bookshelf.
The First in Line by Mattias Adolfsson
Mattias’s effortless-looking sketchbook drawings are some of my favourite things to invade my Google Reader (his blog is here), and this independently-published collection is a great way to view every detailed ink line and watercolour splotch.
I Will Bite You by Joseph Lambert
Joe Lambert is one of my favourite cartoonists, and we’re seeing just the beginning of what will be a very interesting career. I Will Bite You is a collection of short comics pieces, each one showcasing Joe’s beautiful sketchy pen lines and poetic treatment of the medium. And just check out his sketchbooks on his blog.
Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham
The oft-imitated Saul Bass is probably cited as an influence by more graphic designers than any other figure. So it’s surprising that this is the first book dedicated to his work. You know him best for his title sequences and posters for movies like Vertigo and Anatomy of a Murder, and his identity work, designing some of the world’s most well-known logos (AT&T, Kleenex, United Way, Quaker Oats, and United Airlines, to name a few). This big book, designed by his daughter Jennifer is the authority on his life and career. It belongs on every designer’s shelf — especially those who fart out “minimalist movie posters” in half an hour and call it a day. Let the master show you how it’s really done.
Custom Lettering of the 40s and 50s by Rian Hughes
Its predecessor, Custom Lettering of the 60s and 70s made my list last year, and this prequel is just as wonderful a resource. Culled from advertising and other ephemera, there are thousands of different examples of lettering and calligraphy — all organized by style.
The Art of Pixar: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation by Amid Amidi
A must-have for animation and illustration fans. Author Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew has a solid track record, and even for their lesser films, these Pixar Art Of books, usually devoted to a single film, are always brimming with wonderful art. What sets this particular book apart is that it spans the studio’s entire catalog and reproduces each film’s colour script — a series of lush, colourful preliminary paintings that are to the emotion of an animated film what storyboards are to the action. When I had the privilege of visiting Pixar a few years ago there was an area literally wallpapered with the colour script from Wall-E and I could have stared at it all day.
Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth and Drawing the Head & Hands by Andrew Loomis
Titan Books re-released two books by master illustrator Andrew Loomis this year: Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth and Drawing the Head & Hands. Originally published in the 1940s, these how-to books are time capsules of the golden age of advertising illustration. Modernist, abstract and avant-garde illustration styles were nowhere to be seen, Photoshop was science fiction, and realism was king. These faithful reproductions are as much beautiful art objects as they are practical resources. They’re only missing that wonderful musty old book smell and brittle dust jackets, but if that’s what you’re looking for, original copies will probably set you back a few hundred dollars on eBay.
Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine
From my original review:
Adrian Tomine’s Scenes from an Impending Marriage is a perfect little book. It chronicles the planning and build-up to Tomine’s wedding in comic strip form, and the occasional single panel gag.
Until now I have never really connected with Tomine’s work. But there is something just right about these little stories presented in a 9-panel grid. Reading the strips is a master class in cartooning. The figures and backgrounds are drawn with precision and masterful minimalism, the punchlines are timed just so, and the lettering and panel sizes are measured and considered to near perfection.
Tomine’s also released issue 12 of Optic Nerve this year, and it continues with this stripped-down comic strip style of cartooning.
Pinocchio by Winshluss
I nearly forgot to add this to my list, primarily because my copy is actually a few years old, and in French. But this English edition was released this year, and you really should snap this one up. It’s primarily wordless, which is why I have kept the French version, and it’s a master class in economical visual storytelling. Not a panel is wasted here in this modern retelling of Pinocchio in which he is, of course, a robot. It’s one of my favourite books period.
I’ve been enjoying Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu’s Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People. It’s a collection of short stories about miscreants and ne’er-do-wells, illustrated hilariously by Graham, who is probably most known for his laugh-out-loud funny Bigfoot books. It reminded me of how much I loved Roald Dahl’s The Twits as a kid, and all of the terrible things they did to each other.
I didn’t love every story (my favourite was Hans, the Weird Exchange Student) but whenever the narrative faltered, Graham’s illustrations amped up the funny. If you’ve read the Bigfoot books (or follow Bigfoot’s tweets) you know Graham is funny, but I am always envious of his ability to draw funny. His illustrations may appear dashed off, but their simplicity and energy only serves his funniness even further. He may very well be a spiritual successor to Quentin Blake, whose sketchy drawings decorated the pages of Roald Dahl’s books.
I also found it interesting that this book is not credited to Coupland as author and Roumieu as illustrator — but that they are both given equal credit. Certainly the illustrations add to the stories, and are as much a part of the reader’s experience as the words. We illustrators know that. But it’s nice to see the author/illustrator relationship treated as an equal collaboration on the book jacket itself.
I’ll take a wild guess and say that because you’re reading this on a comics & illustration blog, you’re already familiar with Kate Beaton’s comics. I’ll also guess, since it’s been reviewed everywhere from NPR to Time Magazine that you also already know about her new book with Drawn & Quarterly, on sale today.
I’ll refrain from reviewing the book itself, which is a nice, big, beautiful, hilarious thing because there’s not much I can say that Dustin Harbin didn’t already put so perfectly in his review.
But I did want to draw attention to the book because I know that readers of this site are cartoonists themselves, both professional and aspiring. Kate’s book, which topped the comics and graphic novel sales chart on Amazon well before it was even released, is a notable Internet success story, and it’s worth trying to steal her secrets.
Okay, yes, talent. Talent aside — and she has it in boatloads — I think Kate’s secret is in how thoughtful a cartoonist she is. It’s a thoughtfulness that informs her work, and gives her the observational skills that allows her to capture the expressions, emotions, body language, and speech patterns of real people that makes her comics about historical and literary characters so funny.
But if you know Kate, have seen her speak, or follow her on Twitter, you’ll know it’s her thoughtfulness that also gives her autobiographical comics such heart, her thoughtfulness that gives her opinions on comics, humour, art, and culture such weight, and her thoughtfulness that makes her fans love her:
Let’s all buy her book.
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