As the designer of Paul Karasik's "I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets" I can tell you that there were dozens of directions considered for this cover design. I share Karasik's reverence for Fletcher Hanks and this final, spare white cover design [above, left] resulted from our joint response to how Hanks' work is most succinctly communicated. At the core his style is awkward but unmistakable and carries with it a baron, iconic force. His superheroes are omnipotent and dramatically unpredictable/unknowable.
For my dad's recent 60th birthday I thought I was being very thoughtful when I sent him a mousepad featuring a picture of his first car-- a damaged picture that I had reconstructed for him in Photoshop. When I called him he laughed since even he hasn't used a mousepad in years.
BUT that's all the more reason to get your highly collectible Jordan Crane mousepad before everyone realizes that it's the last mousepad that will ever be made. PLUS you help out Jenny Ryan's Felt Club.
Or, at the same site, you can buy a pretty mirror with art by Johnny Ryan.
Ray recently guest blogged on one of my favorite sites, Book By Its Cover. There he has summarized his love of Mat Brinkman as such: "I'm always searching for art that gives me both something I understand and something I don't."
I proudly own this enormous etching by Lizz Hickey of an unsettling, beautiful and overwhelming slice of extraterrestrial landscape. It's one of the most dense worlds I could imagine creating, brimming with details that all seem to insinuate life-going-on. Unfortunately that image is not on her Flickr page. BUT, now she's cranking out nearly 100 different prints that seem to be microcosms within that crazy world. Close-ups of vague organic forms doing uncertain things. I like it. As an acquaintance of mine might say, I understand it and I don't understand it.
Don't forget: Adrian Tomine appearing 7 o'clock tonight at the University Bookstore, chatting with Fantagraphics' third arm, Eric Reynolds.
In Florida: "Small Stuff" at Bear & Bird Gallery on Nov. 24th. Features a bunch of artists selling work in a "cash and carry" format. A great way to buy some art for the gift-giving season. One of my favorites, Scott Campbell is in the show, as is Australian cartoonist Benjamin Constantine. Constantine (Ben Cee) recently sent comics to the office that I really enjoyed. His work has shades of Kevin Scalzo hanging out with Dave Cooper. He seems to be hitting a stride with his series "Plump Oyster" and I'm looking forward to seeing more from him.
The Closed Caption Comics crowd is doing some interesting work in the Ft. Thunder vein (shorthand shortcut I know). The group is hit and miss but the hits are heavy. I'm an idiot not to find the cash to buy Noel Freibert's new Troggy's Little Brother" silkscreened comic or art book or whatever.
Tom Spurgeon posted a response to Eric's post about the New York Times article mentioned below. Both posts are historically helpful to read and makes one marvel at how completely indifferent some people are to ethics and mass disdain.
From Grass Hut: "This Saturday at 6pm we are having a special instore accoustic set with Kid Mud, and most special of all Souther Salazar will be here with some bells on. He is going to draw pictures and sign books and have some good times with us. We are going to raffle off the drawings to you. 10% of all proceeds will go to Scrap. A local space that recycles all your old art and craft supplies. Oh, and we turn one this month. So if you live in the portland area, please come by, eat some pie, say hi, win some prizes and celebrate with us. It's been a really awesome year, with more to come."
SOUTHER SALAZAR DRAWINGS AT AUCTION! In an environment like the sweet li'l GH store you're sure to walk away happy. (And you won't be bidding against me because I can't make it.)
I know it's bad form to urge you to buy another publisher's books but I finally got ahold of Moomin 2 the other day and I can't recommend it enough. Up at the top of my list (next to Peanuts, Fletcher Hanks and Popeye) for reprint collections. It is every entry for amazing in the thesaurus. I still have only seen a little of v.1 as I can't find it in local shops or the B&N. Go figure.
A great site that features nothing more than illustrators creating superheroes whose talents conquer the previous hero. Hilarious and endlessly time-wasting. The Superest features mainly the art of the talented Mr. Kevin Cornell and Matthew Sutter.
I was totally unfamiliar with Dash Shaw until his 720 page graphic novel showed up on my desk (to be published by Fantagraphics next season). And I confess I haven't made it through the book yet but just reading what I have I'm sold that this is going to be an amazing book that will create a hell of a lot of Shaw fans. Mike Baehr also pointed me to his weirdo drawings of Ninja Turtles from his childhood. And I repeat: 720 pages!
I'm very pleased to be a part of the AIGA speaker series at my alma mater next Tuesday evening. I'll be talking about my adventures in graphic design and giving helpful advice on what I've learned through costing my employers thousands of dollars via production screw ups. (My personal low: Typing the wrong contact information on every single page of an international sales catalog while, apparently, the copy editors slept.)
Tips on nepotism, back-stabbing, and charming self-deprecation to follow in the Q & A portion.
If you're in the area please come out. I'm begging you.
[Note: Eric, please stop making fun of me. I know it's ridiculous to put my name in 750 point type.]
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