Friday, November 26, 2010

Art Book Recommendations

I own and adore most of these. A few of them are on my own wish list.

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants: The Art of the Paperback:

A visually dynamic homage to the paperback. In 1968, John Leonard, then editor of The New York Times Book Review, listed the many merits of mass-market paperbacks: "They can be stuffed in purses, left in buses, dropped in toilets, used as coasters, eaten and thrown away. Their covers can be ripped off! Their spines can be broken! To buy a paperback today is to buy the means of revenging oneself on Western culture." Fast-forward forty years. Leonard’s affectionately flippant assessment may need to be revised as the explosion of digital media threatens the livelihood of the printed word. More than an act of revenge on Western culture, to buy a paperback may be a means of preserving one of its more charismatic—and socially, politically, and aesthetically influential—species. Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants celebrates the mass-market paperback and gives it its due. A vibrant tour that starts with books from the late nineteenth century up to today, examining the most popular genres—mystery, romance, Westerns, how-to, cooking, and diet, and highbrow literature packaged for the broader audience—it focuses on the history of the art and design of the format and how it is inseparable from the history of American literacy, tastes, and mores of the twentieth century.
$16 at Amazon.

52: The Covers:
Acclaimed artist J.G. Jones delivered on what seemed to be an impossible task -- 52 consecutive, weekly covers for the weekly comic book 52, DC Comics' biggest project of 2006 -- and he delivered in incredible fashion!

Now, readers can enjoy every one of these stunning covers in one volume, complete with commentary by the artist, thumbnail sketches, background information and more. Also included are the covers Jones created for the 52 novel and the four 52 graphic novels!
$16 at Amazon.

Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006:
Described as "the closest thing to a rock star" in graphic design today (USA Today), Chip Kidd is universally recognized as an American master of contemporary book design. At the forefront of a revolution in publishing, Kidd's iconic covers, with their inventive marriage of type and found images, have influenced an entire generation of design practitioners in many fields.Chip Kidd: Book One collects all of his book covers and designs for the first time, as well as hundreds of developmental sketches and concepts-annotated by Kidd and by many of the best-selling authors he's worked with over the years. The result is an important contribution to the design canon today as well as a visually dazzling (and often hilarious) insider's look at the design and publishing process.The book also showcases Kidd's work with comics and graphic novels, including his collaborations with leading artists and writers in the field. Featured are projects for DC Comics, including Batman and Superman, as well as Kidd's award-winning exploration of the art of Charles M. Schulz. Chip Kidd: Book One is sure to enthrall design aficionados, book lovers, pop-culture fanatics, comics fans, and design students.
$26 at Amazon.

Star Wars Art: Visions:
Just as George Lucas drew upon the work of N. C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell for his own visual inspiration, he has now invited more than 100 well-known and promising artists to draw upon the entire Star Wars galaxy for inspiration. Star Wars: Visions collects these magnificent artworks for the first time. Featuring pieces by renowned artists such as Amano, Allan R. Banks, Harley Brown, Gary Carter, James Christensen, Michael Coleman, Kinuko Craft, Jim Dietz, Phillipe Druillet, Donato Giancola, Ann Hanson, H. R. Giger, Daniel Greene, Ron Kleeman, Arantzazu Martinez, Syd Mead, Moebius, Paul Oxborough, Alex Ross, Anthony J. Ryder, Dolfi Stoki, William Stout, Dan Thompson, Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo, Scott Waddell, and Jamie Wyeth, Star Wars: Visions is a breakthrough tribute to the worldwide inspiration that is Star Wars.
$26 at Amazon.

Fables Covers by James Jean:
Now, for the first time, the exquisite FABLES covers by James Jean, winner of multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards, whose diverse clients include Prada and Pepsi, are collected in one extraordinary volume!Perfect for any art-book library or FABLES completist, this volume includes never-before-seen sketch material, along with insightful commentary and remarkable insights into Jean's creative process. Also included is a afterword by celebrated FABLES writer/creator Bill Willingham. Designed and annotated by the artist, this deluxe, oversized hardcover includes ten vellum sleeve inserts, an embossed case and other fine art details that make FABLES: COVERS BY JAMES JEAN as elegant and unique as the FABLES covers themselves.
$32 at Amazon.

The Fat Duck Cookbook:
The cookbook hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “showstopper” and by Jeffrey Steingarten of Vogue as “the most glorious spectacle of the season…like no other book I have seen in the past twenty years” is now available in a reduced-price edition. With a reduced trim size but an identical interior, this lavishly illustrated, stunningly designed, and gorgeously photographed masterpiece takes you inside the head of maverick restaurateur Heston Blumenthal. Separated into three sections (History; Recipes; Science), the book chronicles Blumenthal’s improbable rise to fame and, for the first time, offers a mouth-watering and eye-popping selection of recipes from his award-winning restaurant. He also explains the science behind his culinary masterpieces, the technology and implements that make his alchemical dishes come to life. Designed by acclaimed artist Dave McKean—and filled with photographs by Dominic Davies—this artfully rendered celebration of one of the world’s most innovative and renowned chefs is a foodie’s dream.
$31 at Amazon.

Essentially Odd: A Catalog of Products Created For and Sold at the 826 Stores:
One of the ways that 826 National funds its tutoring programming is by running storefronts in each city. Essentially Odd is a catalog of innovative and humorous products designed for and sold in the storefronts of 826 tutoring centers. Items include Scurvy-Be-Gone and Peg Leg Oil from the Pirate Store and Speed of Light (in a can) and a Secret Identity Kit from the Superhero Supply Company. The catalog also features notes and anecdotes about the design process from designers and artists with an introduction to 826 National’s programs and facts about each center. Contributors include by Sam Potts, Dave Eggers, Chris Ware, Colorquarry Design, Stefan G. Bucher, Studio Rayolux, Suhail Design, Work AC, Office Design, and more.
$12 at Amazon.

I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World:
I COULD TELL YOU. . . is a bestselling collection of more than seventy military patches representing secret government projects. Here author/photographer/investigator Trevor Paglen explores classified weapons projects and intelligence operations by scrutinizing their own imagery and jargon, disclosing new facts about important military units, which are here known by peculiar names (“Goat Suckers,” “Grim Reapers,” “Tastes Like Chicken”) and illustrated with occult symbols and ridiculous cartoons. The precisely photographed patches—worn by military personnel working on classified missions, such as those at the legendary Area 51—reveal much about a strange and eerie world about which little was previously known.
$11 at Amazon.

In Smog and Thunder: Historical Works from the Great War of the Californias:
What if the rivalry between San Francisco and Los Angeles erupted into civil war? Drawing on images and icons of contemporary culture as well as European and Latin American art history, Sandow Birk’s paintings reflect a meditation on cultural identity, nationality, and history. The book comes with a CD of songs from this imagined war and features 16 pages of new posters.
$25 at Amazon.

Recipe for Murder: Frightfully Good Food Inspired by Fiction:
Thirty-two great hero-villains of literature lure the reader into the kitchen to sample their signature recipes. Estérelle Payany shares to-die-for recipes inspired by scoundrels from popular literature. Each chapter opens with an excerpt from the original story and quirky illustrations by Jean-François Martin featuring the criminal and his recipe. The Big Bad Wolf roasts three little pigs in their blankets while Snow White’s stepmother concocts bewitching caramel apples. The Queen of Hearts orders Alice to eat treacle tart while Long John Silver stocks the galley with sea biscuits. And although Shakespeare’s infamous Brutus can toss his Caesar salad in a mere ten minutes, Dracula’s paprika hendl is best when simmered from dusk until dawn. It is sure to be a duel to the end between Patrick Bateman’s truffled roast beef and Tom Ripley’s Venetian lemon chicken, but both can be paired nicely with a simple white bean salad from East of Eden’s Cathy Ames. This spirited collection drawing from fairy tales, literary classics, and contemporary favorites is as entertaining as the recipes are scrumptious (and harmless!). And with the winning ingredients in Recipe for Murder—famous literary thrillers and authentic home-style recipes—it would be a crime to pass up this diabolically scrumptious book!
$18 at Amazon.

Earth X Trilogy Companion:
The Earth X Saga revealed secrets of the Marvel Universe, but what were the secrets of the Earth X Saga? See for yourself in more than one hundred pages of sketches, background notes and incredible insights! Plus: The story behind Nighthawk's demonic visions starts here! Featuring Daredevil and Mephisto! Collects Earth X #1/2, Nighthawk #1-3, plus more than 100 pages of background and sketch material.
$27 at Amazon.

Though wordless, this intriguing book is a storytelling marvel. With stunning, meticulously painted watercolors, award-winning David Wiesner tells the fanciful tale of a young boy who discovers an old-fashioned camera washed up on the beach. The developed film reveals fantastical underwater shots, including octopi reading in armchairs and elaborate cities built of seashells. Children will savor the magic of this surreal underwater world and the book's mind-bending conclusion.
$12 at Amazon.

Strong Stuff: Herakles and His Labors:
Herakles was one of the greatest of all Greek heroes, and his exploits have been celebrated in paintings, songs, poetry, and sculpture for thousands of years. Now it's time for him to have his own children's book, one devoted exclusively to his labors and adventures.
Written by John Harris and illustrated by artist Gary Baseman, Strong Stuff tells the amazing stories of the Stymphalian Birds (defeated by crashing cymbals), creepy King Geryon (with three heads AND three bodies), the Augean Stables (don't ask), and nine other labors that Herakles performed. This is a one-of-a-kind account of the great mythological hero in action.
$17 at Amazon.