Last weekend (I think) I was in Skylight Books, as is usual for me to do on my weekends, and while browsing the comics and graphic novels I came across this book called Asterios Polyp. The name immediately struck me because it was suggested to me by a reader who wanted to help me out named Rhea Rivera. There’s also the vibrant as all hell cover, as well as who the author/illustrator is, a Mr. David Mazzucchelli.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with comic books, Mr. Mazzucchelli was the artist behind Frank Miller’s amazing Batman: Year One storyline as well as illustrating Daredevil which Frank Miller was also writing for a time. The thing is, this was all happening way back in the mid to late 80′s. David Mazzucchelli is something of legend when it comes to comic books, but here he is now in 2010, finally releasing his very first graphic novel.
The story is centered around a man named Asterios Polyp, who when we first come upon him you can clearly see that his life, which is filled with designer furniture signifying he has wealth, has somehow fallen apart. Suddenly, lightning strikes the generators outside of his apartments, setting fire to the building until eventually it’s all gone. And that’s where we start, on a voyage with Asterios as he tries to put himself back together while seeing how he got so very low.
The book is exquisitely drawn and designed, it’s hard to even describe how brilliant this book is. The style is nothing like his old comic work, it’s much more stylized like an Italian or French comic book. It’s a simple style that allows the story to dominate the pages, while at other times the art completely shifts tone, illustrating a plot point with a visual punch.
I also thought I’d include these images of the endpapers, which I thought were quite wonderful. Once you read the story you’ll understand the significance of flowers, but it’s subtle touches like this that really make this story so wonderful.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book now.
When I was visiting Skylight Books on Friday I noticed a new title called Hand Made 3D by Index Books which looked kind of fun, so I decided to browse through it. It’s quite a self-explanatory book, it’s a collection of work made by people who mostly use paper to craft together interesting stuff.
While flipping through it though I noticed my buddy Jean Jullien was in the book, and I flipped the page and voila, his Desktop Wallpaper was sitting there in a double page spread. It always amazes me to see these images that were created for my blog in other places, especially books. I have to give a big thanks to Jean for submitting the image!
If you’d like this as your wallpaper you can click here to download it.
On Sunday I headed over to my favorite bookstore Skylight Books and picked up a copy of Todd Selby’s new book The Selby Is In Your Place. It was funny actually, they also had a copy of The Sartorialist’s book as well; clearly being a photographer and showcasing your work online is really paying off. Nonetheless I passed up on Mr. Schuman’s book and stuck with just The Selby.
The Selby Is In Your Place is a collection of photos and questionnaires from the blog, but put together in a curated way with bits of commentary. It’s actually really nice to see his photos on the printed page, you just get a better sense of these places when you’re not staring at a screen. The book is filled with some eclectic folks and it’s really fun seeing the nuances of their lives.
If you’re a fan of Mr. Selby’s blog I’d definitely suggest checking out this book. I’ve also put some more photos under the cut, so check those out as well.
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A couple weeks ago my roommate lent me a book he was reading called The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. He prefaced it by telling me that it was kind of kids book with illustrations but it was a clever story and quite a quick read. I flipped through it and was immediately intrigued by it. You see, Hugo Cabret is like a picture book told like a movie. In fact, the first page is a detailed, close-up drawing of the moon, and the next 40 pages (all two page spreads) are drawings which lead you into the story.
The story is about a young boy named Hugo Cabret who lives in a train station, keeping all of the clocks running since his uncle mysteriously vanished three months ago. Since his uncle disappeared though he’s been obsessed with rebuilding a mechanical man, an automaton, which for some reason he has a hidden connection to. Add to that an old man who works at a shop in the train station and his curious goddaughter who have a mysterious connection to the automaton as well.
Overall I loved the book. I think it’s certainly meant for children but I enjoyed it without a doubt. The story takes some twists and turns I didn’t foresee and the illustrations are pretty well done. It’s definitely a quick read, I think I finished it in two nights. It’s also kind of interesting because Mr. Selznick ties in real history to the story, though a few things were invented to make the story more exciting. I’d definitely suggest checking this book out, especially if you have older kids around 8-10.
I spotted these book jackets and bookmarks all over the place last week but I still wanted to share them with you. Created by designer Igor Udushlivy, the idea is that you can cover your books with a dust jacket that has a matching bookmark that goes along with it. The coordinating jacket and bookmark make the book even more fun, I especially like the Sherlock Holmes one at the top.
I think something like this would be great for a child, though a Sherlock Holmes novel might not be quiet their speed…