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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Little Golden Books and other vintage illustrations

Alice in Wonderland Big Golden Book cover

If you’re a fan of Little Golden Books, or indeed the mid-century illustration by the likes of Mary Blair, Mel Crawford, Tom Oreb, Alice and Martin Provensen — to name a few — drag yourself over to the Golden Gems blog immediately.

Be sure to delve into the Walt Disney and Hanna Barbera stuff too.

I could honestly spend the rest of the afternoon pawing through the pages. (via John K)

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain DS

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Nintendo DS screenshots

While working this evening I downloaded and listened to the latest Retronauts podcast. I hadn’t listened to it before and was surprised to discover that it had been replaced with a podcast for another 1Up offering, The Grind — an RPG games blog. As I’m not adverse to such things (and because they mentioned Fallout at the start of the episode) I listened to it anyway.

But that’s not what this is about! When I was about seven years old I ordered a book called The Warlock of Firetop Mountain from the school book club. Probably because, to a seven-year-old, it sounded pretty cool and most likely because it shared a premise with my favourite game of all time, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons for the Intellivision.

Part-way through the podcast I thought I heard a reference to this book and — sure enough I had! It turns out that a company called Big Blue Bubble, developers of, uh, nothing really, are producing a game based on the original Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone-penned book for the Nintendo DS. It’s unlikely that the game will live up to the lofty heights my wide-eyed seven-year-old self held the book but the screenshots look promising.

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS is scheduled for release at the end of 2009.

Otaku magazine issue 5: Play

Otaku magazine spread

Just a quickie! Otaku magazine’s “Play” issue is now out.

“Serious play represents a feature of any otaku’s activity. Basically you play, but you do it with the greatest dedication, seriousness and interest. We don’t want to be the prisoners of the industries that bet on our ability as playful mammals, but we desire to know them and explore their limits. Otaku PLAY explores the universe of players and play of all kinds. How and when you play. What you learn while playing and where do you risk arriving when you remain blocked within the same play.”

Otaku is an independent magazine from Romania which promotes Japanese-inspired visual arts. This issue comes with an interactive DVD and a superb 60cm x 40cm New York EbOY poster.

Also check out their blog for much much more of the same! (via Sam)

Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found, Animated

Oliver Jeffers' Lost & Found

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog you’ll probably already be aware of my respect for illustrator and childrens’ book artist Oliver Jeffers. This, however, managed to totally slip under my radar.

A 25-minute CG-animated adaptation of his second picture book Lost and Found won the TV Special Award at Annecy a couple of days ago. Apparently it was shown over here in the UK over Christmas but this is the first I’d heard of it!

I was rather concerned when I discovered that it was CG and not traditional 2D animation because of Oliver’s incredibly stylised art style but it appears London’s Studio AKA and director Philip Hunt have done a wonderful job of adapting it to 3D.

Here’s the trailer, and it appears that it’s already available on DVD in the UK!

Terrible Yellow Eyes, illustration inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are

Clay Sisk's Terrible Yellow Eyes submission

With the Spike Jonze-directed movie forthcoming, illustrator Cory Godbey has started an awesome project, Terrible Yellow Eyes, to celebrate Maurice Sendak’s illustrated children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are. He’s invited numerous talented artists to contribute their own works, inspired by the book itself.

Over the coming weeks and months I’ll display a growing collection of works created by invited contributing artists and myself. We share a love and admiration for Sendak’s work and the pieces we present here are done as a tribute to his life and legacy.

Simply put, like a visual love letter to the book, with Terrible Yellow Eyes I am seeking to celebrate and promote the original masterwork by Maurice Sendak in the best way I know how — with pictures.

I was going to write a list of my personal favourites from the collection but there are simply too many to mention!

Maurice Sendak celebrated his 81st birthday on Wednesday. Happy birthday Maurice!

(discovered via Ward, who’s contributed this lovely illustration to the project)

Update: Lindsey just drew my attention to the We Love You So blog. It’s a diary of multitude of stuff that has inspired the making of the film adaptation by the film crew themselves.

Update Sept 3rd 2009: Terrible Yellow Eyes will now be running as an exhibition at the Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California between September 19th and October 6th, 2009.

John Hanna, Illustrator (1919 – )


Browsing through my backlog of blog feeds this morning a post by Nick Asbury caught my eye. He was looking for more information about the illustrator who created these beautiful covers for Country Fair magazine, signed “Hanna”, in the 1950s.

By the time I had found the post he had already managed to discover that it was an Australian artist by the name of John Hanna who lived in England from 1948 to 1962.

Surprisingly there’s very little the web about him, but I have managed to dig up a few additional scans of his work for Country Fair. (via Ace Jet 170)

Update 5th Sept 2009: Lots more lovely images here on the Delicious Industries blog. Frustratingly they appear to have been dug up at a boot fair very close to home! (via Drawn!)

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction

The Kraken Awakes - John Wyndham 1963 Penguin

I’ve just been browsing The Art of Penguin Science Fiction, a website “that explores the history and cover art of science fiction published by Penguin Books from 1935 to 1977.” I’ve always been a big fan of classic Penguin paperback books covers and this tied neatly to yesterday’s post on man’s vision of the future through the years.

The cropped image above is from the 1963 paperback of John Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes. It was scanned by Michael Bojkowski — he has a few more higher resolution scans of classic paperbacks on Flickr. If you’re into Penguin covers be sure to browse Penguin Paperback Spotters’ Guild Flickr pool too.

(discovered via Noisy Decent Graphics)

Illustrator Richard Wilkinson

richard wilkinson little brother illustration

Just stumbled across illustrator Richard Wilkinson‘s portfolio/blog via his speculative work for Head & Shoulders that Dustin posted on Think Faest.

He also did a number of superb illustrations for the Deluxe edition of Cory Doctorow’s latest novel Little Brother. If anyone has the £100 asking price spare I’d love to own a copy!

John K’s “Art of Spumco” book to be published in 2010

ren and stimpy

John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy and the Spumco animation studio, is currently putting together a book explaining how Spumco (and the “Spumco style”) came to be. The book will feature stories about the artists and animators that contributed along the way — “the definitive book of John’s work – from childhood through Ren and Stimpy to today” — hopefully it’ll contain plenty of artwork too!

The book is being published by PictureBox and edited by Amid Amidi (he’s the guy who produces Animation Blast magazine and who created the book on 50s animation style, Cartoon Modern) and John K has just posted a rough excerpt about his early interactions with Ralph Bakshi over at his blog.

Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves

Gyo Fujikawa's Lets Grow a Garden

Check out this wonderful blog entitled Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves of “vintage children’s books from thrift shops, library sales, book stores, online and elsewhere”. Image from Gyo Fujikawa‘s exquisite Lets Grow a Garden.

Incidentally, if you like Gyo Fujikawa, there’s a ton more images of her work on Flickr.