I still need to read the text, but the pictures (done by an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar) are a-maz-ing. Incredible composition, symmetry,I still need to read the text, but the pictures (done by an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar) are a-maz-ing. Incredible composition, symmetry, and color palettes. I also liked the sketchbook section in the back.
"From start to finish, this book took approximately four years to make, or roughly seven days per page. There are no shortcuts. The truth is, if you love scratching away on paper and organizing marks to make symbols that tell stories, you wouldn't want it any other way. Keep drawing; the art will reveal itself. It's inevitable; just trust the process." ...more
I didn't read all of this, but what a cool book. It contains many of the original sketches, which have so much motion and freshness and give such an iI didn't read all of this, but what a cool book. It contains many of the original sketches, which have so much motion and freshness and give such an interesting glimpse into the artists' process. Would be interesting to look at when studying comics, graphic novels, and anything to do with sequential art.
From the Introduction:
"Storyboarding was invented at Disney Studios and is today a worldwide standard procedure for the production of both animation and live-action films and videos. In a storyboard's sequential presentation of narrative and characters, weak spots are easily seen and changed, and the all-important storyline developed and strengthened.
Walt Disney recognized the story as the vital center of his films. 'If the story is good the picture may be good, but if the story is weak, good color, music, and animation cannot save it,' he once wrote." ...more
Talk about a book to make you want to sketch more.
"The artist Paul Klee refers to this simple act as 'taking a line for a walk,' an apt description oTalk about a book to make you want to sketch more.
"The artist Paul Klee refers to this simple act as 'taking a line for a walk,' an apt description of my own basic principles: allowing the tip of a pencil to wander through the landscape of a sketchbook, motivated by a vague impulse but hoping to find something much more interesting along the way. Strokes, hooks, squiggles, and loops can resolve into hills, faces, animals, machines -- even abstracted feelings -- the meanings of which are secondary to the simple act of making (something young children know intuitively). Images are not preconceived and then drawn, they are conceived as they are drawn. Indeed, drawing is its own form of thinking, in the same way birdsong is 'thought about' within a bird's throat."
"I was also interested in a spontaneity that can sometimes be missing from more finished paintings, which can suffer from excessive revision, polishing, and commercial compromise, leading to a familiar lament: 'Why isn't the finished work as good as the sketch?'"...more
The pictures definitely tell this story of toy ownership between a child, a baby, and a dog -- in fact, the only word is "Mine!" Brilliantly expressivThe pictures definitely tell this story of toy ownership between a child, a baby, and a dog -- in fact, the only word is "Mine!" Brilliantly expressive illustrations of jealousy turning into joy....more
2011 pub date -- very, very cool examples from international designers. "Are we in a golden age of infography?" asks one interview question. It would2011 pub date -- very, very cool examples from international designers. "Are we in a golden age of infography?" asks one interview question. It would be interesting to pair this modern book with the earlier books of Edward R. Tufte....more
Author/illustrator Allen Say depicts his childhood in Japan (which included getting his own apartment at age 12!) and his relationship with his senseiAuthor/illustrator Allen Say depicts his childhood in Japan (which included getting his own apartment at age 12!) and his relationship with his sensei, the famous cartoonist Noro Shinpei. An incredibly well-done visual memoir of independence, ambition, family, and mentorship. Pair with The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China for some interesting discussion.
p. 33 - drawing with charcoal and using fresh bread to erase (!!) -- "I made a lot of black smearing, wasted charcoal and paper, and ate most of the eraser."
p. 41 - "I felt jealous of photographers who could sneak up on strangers and snap their pictures on the run. But that seemed like hunting and stealing."
p. 52 - "'Traveling is the greatest teacher of all, so let your dear child journey.'"...more
Oooh, this was fun. Format-wise, it would be interesting paired with Chopsticks, though this one follows a more conventional plot which unfolds via aOooh, this was fun. Format-wise, it would be interesting paired with Chopsticks, though this one follows a more conventional plot which unfolds via a scrapbook of vintage 1920s ephemera. I think I enjoyed it more having just watched "Midnight in Paris." I also keep running into automats in my reading, something I just learned about (or, more likely, just re-learned) this year. Also, I didn't know (or, more likely, remember) anything about pneumatic mail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumati...
"The most congenial spot for the unemployed is the Automat in Times Square. Search the want ads, read a novel, scribble out a story without any dirty looks from a waitress. Sit undisturbed from 8 until 6 -- like going to an office. All that's required is spending a nickel every few hours on a bowl of oatmeal, an egg salad sandwich, a slice of pie (lemon meringue highly recommended), and yet another cup of coffee."
Disclaimer: I'm a romantic and the plot of this book hit really close to home. I set myself up to love this book (I love the author, I love the illustDisclaimer: I'm a romantic and the plot of this book hit really close to home. I set myself up to love this book (I love the author, I love the illustrator, I practically tackled Mickie when she got the ARC), and I did indeed love it. I get why people found Min annoying, but I identified with her a lot. Sure, there were lots of signs that she and Ed weren't a good match, but I saw the story as a unique angle on the coming-of-age process: Min coming to terms with looking at things in a real way. She was (don't say it) "artsy": she could see the beauty in a bonfire even though she hated the drunken jocks and mean girls around it. She felt the rush of being at a basketball game even though she also felt bored and out of place. She could see the sweetness and potential in Ed even though they were almost different species. Maybe this is why I identify with her, because I think this ability is both a blessing and a curse. If you can always find a silver lining, do you forget that you can hold out for things that are silver-all-over from the get-go? Are silver linings/rose-colored glasses ever "enough" when it comes to big things like relationships? Perhaps adulthood hits when you realize the answer is no. (Heh, maybe I'm not yet an adult, then...)
Kudos to Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket for writing in the voice of a girl. Somewhere I need to start keeping a list of authors who write in the other gender. It intrigues me.
"...and Ed, the thing with your heart's desire is that your heart doesn't even know what it desires until it turns up. Like a tie at a tag sale, some perfect thing in a crate of nothing, you were just there, uninvited, and now suddenly the party was over and you were all I wanted, the best gift."
"And then the third night [of lighting matches] was after we broke up, which was worth a million matches but instead just took all I had."
"I was stupid, the official descriptive phrase for happy."
p. 80-82 description of school -- whoa
"Oh, wherever it works, Ed, I thought with your hand on my hip and the not-fitting coin in my pocket. Wherever it's good, whatever strange faraway land, let's go there, let's stay in that place alone."
"...there was something wrong with the picture I was in. It was like an apple running for Congress, a bike rack wearing a bathing suit. I was cut and pasted wrong into a background you could immediately -- or, anyway, after fifteen minutes -- see didn't match up, was how I felt."
"'Okaaay,' Jillian said, with that weird curve she uses in her voice sometimes, airy but spiky like a bug-eating plant."
"...when I close this book to give it to you, I don't think about that, just us holding the book in our hands to buy it and take it here with us, because damn it Ed, that's not why we broke up. I love it, I miss it, I hate to give it back to you, this complicated thing, it's why we stayed together."
"'It tastes like somebody killed a spicy fig.'"
"Al said that one should have been called Are You in a Good Mood? We'll Fix That: The Movie."
"The chicken is saying pretty much the short version of this whole letter to you: ?#!* Ouch!"
"How wrong to think I was anyone else, like thinking grass stains make you a beautiful view, like getting kissed makes you kissable, like feeling warm makes you coffee, like liking movies makes you a director. How utterly incorrect to think it any other way, a box of crap is treasures, a boy smiling means it, a gentle moment is a life improved. It's not, it isn't, catastrophic to think so, a pudgy toddler in a living room dreaming of ballerinas, a girl in bed star-eyed over Never by Candlelight, a nut thinking she is loved following a stranger in the street."
Somewhere on the internets, I read that this was an amazing book, the latest by a contemporary photographer. Just from looking at the photos here, I lSomewhere on the internets, I read that this was an amazing book, the latest by a contemporary photographer. Just from looking at the photos here, I love Rinko Kawauchi's sense of light and color. I like how the photos are presented with a white border, no text, and a dialogue between the two on facing pages. There is also an unusual binding style (Mandy Knapp, you may know about this), in which the bound pages are folded on the outer edges (making a double page) and the spine of these pages is not attached to the hard cover. The Goodreads description calls this "Japanese binding."
Whoa. I don't even know what happened in this unique scrapbook of a mystery. It reminded me a little bit of Black and White, a little bit of Griffin &Whoa. I don't even know what happened in this unique scrapbook of a mystery. It reminded me a little bit of Black and White, a little bit of Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, and a little bit of the movie Black Swan (not in the scary sense, just in the sense of "what the HECK is going on?"). Intriguing and unusual. Has anyone tried the app???
"Reading Chopsticks is like watching people kiss in the street: it's private, it's beautiful, it's lonely, it's wild, it's secret, it's everywhere and you can't look away." --Daniel Handler
So glad Mandie Burns pointed this one out to me! We have it shelved as an adult book, but it's an alphabet book like no other that begs to be used asSo glad Mandie Burns pointed this one out to me! We have it shelved as an adult book, but it's an alphabet book like no other that begs to be used as a discussion starter (perhaps 3rd grade and up), whether purely to make up narratives, discuss the actual political context of the photos, or a mix of both. As the introduction says, "To look at a photo is always to recall or invent a story." With words like "unjust," "uprising," and "upperclass," there is a lot to talk about. Fascinating book.
Here is the Goodreads description:
"The alphabet book becomes a playful dimension through which to view the powerful images of master photographer Marc Riboud. The alphabets here are pointers, at once sharpening and diffusing meaning, taking us through landscapes marked by memory and history. Delicate, whimsical, and inexorably political, these timeless images of war, love, work, revolution, and the everyday recall ways of witnessing from the golden age of photography."
From the Prologue:
"So by placing the individual photograph into a narrative sequence, image, word, and meaning become part of an open ended collaboration, bringing us close to that rare thing: a deeply satisfying experience of the book form."
"[Riboud] recalls that when he was young, the great Henri Cartier Bresson told him that the best way to judge the lines of a good photograph was to look at it upside down." ...more
I think it was my third-grade teacher who introduced this book to us. My whole class puzzled and puzzled over what was going on. Just how are the storI think it was my third-grade teacher who introduced this book to us. My whole class puzzled and puzzled over what was going on. Just how are the stories connected? Utterly fascinating....more
I've heard lots of good things about this. Flipping through it, the art looks a-maze-ing. Who needs panels on a grid when you can tell a story in theI've heard lots of good things about this. Flipping through it, the art looks a-maze-ing. Who needs panels on a grid when you can tell a story in the shape of a bat or a stained-glass window?...more
In Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, there is a line in Frank McConnell's comments introducing The Kindly Ones that expresses so well the power ofIn Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, there is a line in Frank McConnell's comments introducing The Kindly Ones that expresses so well the power of visual storytelling:
"The Furies...chase down [Dream's] life throughout this book because he killed his son, Orpheus; at Orpheus' request, to be sure, but nevertheless, he has killed him...After he has left the sanctuary of the Dreaming, the fairy Nuala…asks him the question that may be the central secret of the tale. "You...you want them to punish you, don't you? You want to be punished for Orpheus' death." And the next frame, Dream's response, is simple a wordless, tight close-up of his tortured face. (That's an effect, by the way, that neither novel nor a film could achieve with the same force, since a novel would have to describe his face, and a film could only give us an actor trying to imitate that bleak mask of regret. The comic...gives us the thing itself...)"
I had several moments of goosebumps while reading this book that reminded me that I was seeing "the thing itself." Brian Selznick's narrative art is equally as good as it was in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and the plot, if possible, is even better, threading together two stories, two protagonists, and two timelines with more echoes and reflections than I could possibly appreciate in one reading. The research that he did (on a huge array of topics) is showcased in the historical detail of the images as well as the extensive resource list at the end. As I was reading the final Acknowledgements pages, he mentioned that a book involving kids in a museum had to credit From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, and that he'd added many references to it throughout Wonderstruck. I missed that on the first reading, but now I have a whole new way to study the book when I read it again!
Kids will be clamoring for this, and I can't wait to give it to them!...more
I read each of these three thought-provoking picture books (The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits) separately after I read The Arrival, but thI read each of these three thought-provoking picture books (The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits) separately after I read The Arrival, but they were no longer in print. So I'm extra-excited that this new volume brings them together and reprinted for a new audience! Shaun Tan is a brilliant visual storyteller who always picks compelling topics. ...more
I LOVE infographics. Numbers don't mean a lot to me, but numbers represented visually have instant impact. Like the great Pacific garbage patch on p.I LOVE infographics. Numbers don't mean a lot to me, but numbers represented visually have instant impact. Like the great Pacific garbage patch on p. 190 (shudder). Another suberbly-designed, information-packed book from DK.
"Half encyclopedia, half almanac, and 100% awesome, the book delivers the information with a stunning array of graphic and visual tools that encourage the reader not only to understand the world we live in, but to see it in a brand new light."...more
Wordless, horizontal-format, minutely detailed story of an island of pigs who are suffering from the heat and find a creative way to get some ice. ThiWordless, horizontal-format, minutely detailed story of an island of pigs who are suffering from the heat and find a creative way to get some ice. This one is worth some study! Would be a great tie-in to a cooperation theme or narrative skills (telling your own story to go with the pictures, including the small stories within the large one). ...more
I'm not sure I will get to read the text before returning this, but I am totally fascinated by the form, and by the glowing lines of the prints (cyanoI'm not sure I will get to read the text before returning this, but I am totally fascinated by the form, and by the glowing lines of the prints (cyanotypes, related to sunprints). The cover is printed with glow-in-the-dark ink, and you can see pages from the book here: http://laurenredniss.com/radioactive3...
"A Note on Cyanotype Printing
...Ultraviolet rays cause the paper's chemical coating to form insoluble ferric ferrocyanide, known as Prussian blue. This turns the paper blue in any exposed areas. When the print is washed with water and citric acid, areas that were protected from the sun by dark areas in the negagive are rinsed clear."
Using this process to create the images in this book made sense to me for a number of reasons. First, the negative of an image gives an impression of an internal light, a sense of glowing that I felt captured what Marie Curie called radium's 'spontaneous luminosity.' Indeed, the light that radium emits is a cyan-like, faint blue...
Cyanotype prints are highly sensitive. Depending on how they are cared for, over time they can yellow or fade. However, they also have regenerative capacities: even temporarily protecting a faded print from the light can restore its original intensity." ...more
This would be a really good book to read one-on-one with a child who knows the story of Goldilocks. On the right side, you have the classic story, asThis would be a really good book to read one-on-one with a child who knows the story of Goldilocks. On the right side, you have the classic story, as told by Baby Bear. And on the left side, you see Goldilocks' actions in small, wordless panels, colorless except for her bright hair. You see that she is out on a drab city street with her mother when she follows a balloon and gets lost. Things are looking pretty scary until she comes upon the Bears' blindingly yellow house. The rest, of course, is history, but this uniquely-told book gives an extra glimpse into Goldilocks' side of the story. Small details such as bear-shaped bedknobs and Daddy's nervous comment "After you, Mommy" (when the upstairs needs to be checked) give a little extra punch. ...more
Simply incredible. I can see why this book was six years in the making. There are so many layers and so much symbolism that I'm sure I missed some --Simply incredible. I can see why this book was six years in the making. There are so many layers and so much symbolism that I'm sure I missed some -- not to mention the sheer volume of 650+ pages of intricate drawings. This is a fairytale in the tradition of the very darkest out there, and not for the faint of heart, but you won't soon forget it.
I have always been intrigued by the geometry and pattern in Islamic art -- figurative representation is seen as competing with the creations of god and thus is forbidden -- but Craig Thompson unlocks some of this in Scott-McCloud-like asides, finding multiple symbols, stories, and images in Arabic calligraphy and tiled shapes (heaven is reflected on earth, p. 563; "the square is self-contained, but it breathes like lungs," p. 658). Word and picture are their own duality, explored here in epic style along with male/female, dark/light, child/adult, slave/free, rich/poor, and past/present. I don't know how Thompson's going to follow this, or if he even has working fingers left.
PS -- read it via flashlight during the power outage, so I think it hit me even harder than it otherwise might have. Gulp....more
This book, like Tender Morsels, is one that makes me wish I hadn't given out so many five-star ratings, so I could give the top rating to this one. ItThis book, like Tender Morsels, is one that makes me wish I hadn't given out so many five-star ratings, so I could give the top rating to this one. It is the story of one man's life, told through slices, moments, and deaths. Also like Tender Morsels, it is a book that I'd like to buy and re-read at different times in my life. I have a feeling the people who are parents would get goosebumps and tear up at totally different points than I did.
I find it extra-interesting that the creators, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, are twins. http://fabioandgabriel.blogspot.com/ I wonder who did which parts of this book? Words? Pictures? The gorgeous paintings between the stories? The coloring is by Dave Stewart and it's incredible. A brilliant piece of storytelling all around.
"Daytripper is an honest meditation on mortality." --Craig Thompson, from the intro
From the afterword by Fabio Moon:
"...above all, this would be a story about quiet moments. It would be about what you can tell from somebody's eyes.
...Every reference, every photo, every color and every character, everything was made to try to reproduce feelings. A feeling that you were alive, happy, lonely, afraid, or in love."...more
If you are ever looking for a unique picture book, look to Emily Gravett. This one teaches the Fibonacci sequence via a rabbit family multiplying in aIf you are ever looking for a unique picture book, look to Emily Gravett. This one teaches the Fibonacci sequence via a rabbit family multiplying in a field, has a unique monthly calendar format, includes many small flaps and mini-books, and ends with a spectacular pop-up. I bet Emily Gravett got sick of drawing rabbits, but darn they are cute. Lots of intricate compositions and hilarious asides make this a better lapsit than group book. ...more
Well, this just charmed my socks off. I laughed out loud several times. While the girl-goes-to-new-world-and-seeks-to-return-home-with-help-of-motley-Well, this just charmed my socks off. I laughed out loud several times. While the girl-goes-to-new-world-and-seeks-to-return-home-with-help-of-motley-crew-of-new-friends story will be familiar, it's a comforting kind of familiar, spiced up with creative villains, dialogue, and magic. Let's just say I really want my own tube of doorpaste.
If Zita looks familiar, you may have seen her in the anthology Flight: Explorer. Fans of Amulet, Bone, and Jellaby should love Zita!...more
Sometimes I wonder to myself if looking through photos online has replaced photos in a book; don't they accomplish the same thing? Then I read somethiSometimes I wonder to myself if looking through photos online has replaced photos in a book; don't they accomplish the same thing? Then I read something like this and am reminded again of the power of the book format. My following of Maira Kalman led me to this book, a compendium of issues 1-13 of her husband Tibor's magazine "Colors," which used a highly visual approach to get people thinking about societal issues. For example, Colors #13 is entirely wordless, "a non-stop pictorial tour of the universe, written entirely in the universal language of images. With the wonder, curiosity, and confusion of an alien discovering earth, Colors 13 passes through the realms of human experience, from sex, to fashion, to death."
Anyone interested in photography, visual communications, and infographics will want to take a look at this. Some nudity.
"I'm not against beauty. It just sounds boring to me." -Tibor Kalman...more
Superb book. From what little I know of a working farm, this book is dead on. Give it to a city kid who can't imagine the whole picture: the beauty, tSuperb book. From what little I know of a working farm, this book is dead on. Give it to a city kid who can't imagine the whole picture: the beauty, the work, and the huge, huge sky. I would like to hang the double-page spread of the night sky on my wall. I also love the heavy glossy paper used for this book.
We have this shelved in picture books but it could almost be nonfiction. Includes a Glossary.
"The tiller turns the soil, preparing it for planting. Dirt pops into the air, and the fields change from the color of milk chocolate to the color of dark chocolate."
"Then the rows grow together and the fields become an ocean of green. The farms are like islands on the ocean. The tractors are like boats."
"The smell changes depending on which way the wind is blowing."
"September shows that some things are not forever."
I spotted this on the "Umbrellas" Goodreads list, which is now one of my favorites. Umbrellas really are a cool shape, and this wordless book followsI spotted this on the "Umbrellas" Goodreads list, which is now one of my favorites. Umbrellas really are a cool shape, and this wordless book follows a group of children walking to school in the city, visible only via their colorful umbrellas from above, contrasted with the blue/gray/lavender of the rainy concrete around them. The accompanying CD, with original music by Dong Il Sheen, makes it even more of an experience, beginning with the sound of rain and continuing into a tinkling piano track. I found myself wanting to turn pages but making myself wait for the small silence that indicated a page turn, thus noticing more details in the paintings, like how the backgrounds aren't fully gray but have spots of color that match the umbrellas. There's a lesson here in slowing down and enjoying even the rain....more