Came across some really lovely illustration last month in various travels. I think I'm old enough that classic Golden Books still felt like normal, semi-current kids books when I was a child. Last month I came upon a friend's forgotten collection and found that they feel, now, like they are from a different age. Which is funny because you can see clearly that some of them probably felt very advanced when they were made – there are clear modernist touches in some of these with the emphasis on flat shapes and idiosyncratic self-conscious stylization. Others are more traditional and classic, of course. The bears and the rabbit(s) are early Richard Scarry, from when he was still lingering longer over his drawings.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Just got a clutch of photos from the Comic Tragics show at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth. From the looks of it they did an amazing job framing and matting everything I sent. Just one drawing alone is seven feet wide and almost five feet tall. It looks like an amazing show. The big drawing is Adam and Eve Sneaking Back into the Garden to Steal More Apples. Also shown here are a large rootball drawing, the originals from Me and the Universe, original art for posters I did for both Autoptic and the second Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, a bunch of pages from Dogs and Water, The End, Big Questions and Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, sketchbooks with some early versions of pieces from The End, a one-of-a-kind accordion book, Captain America Resting and a drawing of a car engine. Huge thanks to Robert Cook and to everyone who mounted the show.
Monday, April 18, 2016
I have a bunch of work in a show called Comic Tragics at the Art Gallery of Western Australia at the moment. The Guardian just did a nice little piece about it, showing a few pages by Ron Rege (who also did an amazing wall-drawing for the show), Gabrielle Bell, Dash Shaw and others, including one Emma Talbot, who I had not heard of before the invitation to the show. There are a number of reasons why I wish I could have made it out to see the show – not least because I've just never been to Australia – but I'm sorry not to be seeing Talbot's work in person. It looks pretty much unlike anything else – super strange and beautiful, sweet and creepy... and heartbreaking. She does really nice things with panels, something I've been thinking about a fair amount lately, and with facelessness, which is also a thing I can relate to, especially in dealing with similar themes. Surprised I hadn't come across her work before, maybe because she's in the gallery world, rather than the book world. Hopefully that will change.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
I'm working on a cover right now for a collection of short stories for children and young adults that the University of Minnesota Press is doing (in conjunction with the Mid-continental Oceanographic Institute/MOI). For that reason I just went back to look at some of the stuff I've come across over the last few months for inspiration – when I'm out in the world I generally try and keep my eyes open for interesting book covers. The images below come variously from the Miami Book Festival, a flea market in Paris, an antique market in Portland and a hotel in Astoria, Oregon... and elsewhere. Along with covers I'm also especially interested in ways designers play with a book's spine,. In my opinion it's an under-appreciated aspect of the package. If only contemporary books for adults were as playful and visually interesting as the old-school YA spines shown toward the bottom of this post.