Good Minds Suggest—Christoph Niemann's Favorite Books that Combine Words and Images

Posted by Goodreads on April 2, 2012
With German artist Christoph Niemann, the mastermind behind the New York Times visual blog Abstract City—now known as Abstract Sunday—no subject is safe. The illustrator pokes fun at the nuances of spooning, Newton's laws, even the perils of transcontinental airline travel. Along with New Yorker covers and images for Wired, the artist has also won scads of awards, including one from the American Institute of Graphic Arts. His latest book, Abstract City, spears every aspect of metropolitan life. Niemann shares with Goodreads his top five books that match words with images.

The Rare and Extraordinary History of Holy Russia by Gustave Doré
"Doré wrote and drew the book more than 150 years ago. Not only is it a hilariously funny and witty graphic novel, he also invents much of the storytelling tools that every comic book artist after him uses to this day. This is the mother of all witty visual storytelling books."

Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist by Peter Hall & Michael Bierut
"I remember seeing Kalman's work for Colors [magazine] as a student in the 1990s and being blown away by his ability to make powerful statements with simple copy and surprising photo editing. It's stunning to see that 20 years later the visual language he helped move forward has not lost its impact one little bit."

Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden
"Like a lot of designers, I have a short attention span, but for some reason I can happily study a couple of colored lines that represent the public transportation system of Mexico City or Madrid for hours. Luckily I share this fascination for maps and subways with my kids, and Transit Maps of the World may easily be the most popular book in our house. We're in the process of wearing down our third copy."

Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years Of Painting by Ed Ruscha
"I don't understand Ed Ruscha's art. His words don't mean anything to me. The typography is beautiful but very straightforward. Yet somehow the way he integrates language in his art results in a mystic poetry, making me want to jump to the next airplane to L.A. to go for an early morning walk down Sunset Boulevard."

The Completely MAD Don Martin by Don Martin
"The images alone make Don Martin one of my greatest influences (I have spent years of my youth marveling at the strange way he draws feet). The words, especially the sounds ('Grunch grunch gashlikt!', 'Stroinggoink'), are just as wonderful. But the way he combines words and images into absurd but poignant puns is truly unique."

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Transit Maps of the World - just added to my buy list. Thank you!

message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen "The Little Prince" would certainly be on my list.

message 3: by Tanja (new)

Tanja Traber Eloise by Kay Thompson/Hilary Knight illus.
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White/Garth Williams illus.
The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell/Maurice Sendak ilus.

message 4: by Hilary (new)

Hilary The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster.
Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau, Illustrated by Hilary Knight.

message 5: by Dorien (new)

Dorien The Invention of Hugo Cabret

message 6: by Lori (new)

Lori Dyer Wonderstruck

message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve Have followed Christoph Niemann's work for more than a decade, always marveling at his curiosity and inventiveness. But now all is made clear -- the influence of 'The Completely MAD Don Martin' !! As one of only a handful of others who invested in this 40-pound wonder, I will now follow CN's future work with a finely-tuned sensitivity. And a resounding "SPLOYDOING."

message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary I loved Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. Also loved ...Hugo and Wonderstruck.

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