Saturday, January 29, 2011

Youth Reclamation Project - Part 2

OK, here we go. Another self-indulgent trip down memory lane.

This issue, from June 1981, was apparently the train issue, as is obvious by the excellent scratchboard steam engine on the front cover by Leonard Everett Fisher.

This beautiful two-page spread is actually a standalone feature, condensing the entire fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears into a single, stunning image. The idea, apparently, was to have kids tell their own stories by "reading the picture," a clever idea to both engage the young imagination and also get kids to fully immerse themselves in the detailed drawing. The illustration is by Hilary Knight (creator of the Eloise books). Unfortunately, the far right-hand side was slightly truncated by my scanner, but you get the idea.

Gail Owens provided these tight pencil drawings as spot illustrations for Eve Bunting's tale, "The Robot Birthday." From the robot design, to the careful staging of the seven children, this is a great composition.

Here's another great scratchboard drawing by Leonard Everett Fisher from the feature article on the history of railroads in the United States.

This rendering of the "Twentieth Century Limited" is one of many photo-researched train reproductions by Joe Servello, from an article on the history of various train models over the years.

This beautiful collage drawing of a train is by the husband and wife team of Leo and Diane Dillon. Having won every major children's book award, this duo was also featured in a 1981 high-end art book by occasional comics publisher, Byron Priess.

Here's another fine illustration by George Armstrong, who did the alien drawing in my last post. There's something about the texture of Armstrong's work that I find appealing.

This heavily cross-hatched portrait of the neighborhood baseball legend, posed with his trusty mop handle bat, is by Mike Eagle.

Glen Rounds provided a series of loose sketches, mostly of farm animals, for Jim Aylesworth's story, "Hush Up!" Rounds, who died in 2002, was best known for the series of "Whitey" books back in the 1940s, though personally I never read any of them.

Finally, this one-page comic strip by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman was typical of the kind of gag comics featured in Cricket. As a kid, I didn't particularly care for Blake's minimalist, jittery style, with the rushed hand lettering, but as an adult, I can appreciate the technique and rendering skill more fully.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

58 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2011

OK, I know I should be working on my Best of 2010 list, which is forthcoming (I still have 5 or so books left to read), but this was a lot more fun...

Supposedly "the definitive" book about Alan Moore, by Strangehaven's Gary Spencer Millidge.
The first volume of this series was a well above average horror book, so I'm likely to check this one out. Though it seems like Stephen King is no longer involved, so we'll see what happens.

New stuff (or just new in English?) from the great Lewis Trondheim.

First of two new Tardi translations from Fantagraphics.

New David B. book.

Bat Boy is fun, but not my favorite work from Peter Bagge. Still, I'll probably check this out (assuming its not all reprints from the Hate Annuals).

I held off buying the singles in anticipation of this collection. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the overwhelming favorite for book of the year in 2011.

This should be great. Marti's an underrated artist, I think. I've read some of these stories in the old '80s Catalan Communications collection, and also liked Marti's Ignatz book.
New Dave McKean GN! Or art book! Or some sort of mixed-media hybrid.

I have an article in this one.

I read the first issue of this series and liked it a lot, but decided to do the whole wait-for-the-trade thing.

I own all the original issues, but still will probably get this collected version. I wonder if Fantagraphics is planning on collecting all of Gilbert's solo stuff in this format, too? I hope so.

The first of two Toth retrospectives. Will be interesting to see which one gets the higher praise.

I know nothing about this book, but what a striking cover!

I never miss a new Jason book.

My son will go nuts when I bring this home.

The other new Tardi translation.

I haven't read any of this latest series yet, but I'm sure I will. I loved the first two LOEG series, but was underwhelmed by the Black Dossier.

This is called Louis Sullivan's Idea. It's by Tim Samuelson and is a biography about Sullivan who was a famous architect. The book apparently has some new work by Chris Ware. Not sure if it's a graphic novel, or just some spot illustrations. Probably the latter. Either way, I'm in.

Gilbert's latest Fritz B-Movie book.

Oliver Schrauwen's first GN should be great.

I should be able to relate to this one.
Collecting and hopefully expanding on the awesome NY Times Funny Pages story.

This one has a new short story by Xaime.

I don't know anything about this, but it sounds like it may be Harvey Pekar's final book. Not sure if it's illustrated or straight prose, but definitely worth picking up either way.

This might be my most anticipated book of the year.

I'm very curious about this book.

The other Toth book.

This one supposedly will have some new work by Paul Pope.

This one is going to surprise a lot of people, I have a feeling.

This series was just ok, but I thought Gilbert's art looked outstanding in color.

*Most of these were culled from hours of searching around (and sorry if it took way too long to load the page; I got a little carried away). I'm sure I missed a bunch of worthy books, but still, this is a formidable list. And it shows how far the medium has come in terms of consistent high quality (yes, I know that's an assumption, but I feel confident it's a safe one).

**I'm also highly anticipating the second installment of Charles Burns' X'ed Out and the final book in Carol Tyler's awesome You'll Never Know trilogy, but couldn't find cover images for either one yet.

***If that weren't enough, my favorite prose writer, Steven Millhauser, has a new collection of short stories due out in the summer called We Others.

****And finally...Meta Maus!!! This site is reporting that some kind of major docu-retro-whatever on Maus is coming: "In fall 2011, Pantheon will publish Meta Maus, a companion toThe Complete Maus – it is the story of why he wrote Maus, why he chose mice, cats, frogs, and pigs, and how he got his father to open up (the new book will come with a DVD of the transcripts of Art’s interviews with his father; it is not a graphic novel, but it is populated with illustrations, photos and other images)." Should be VERY interesting...