Birds in Books. "Pennsylvania artist and designer Paula Swisher takes doodling in the margins of old engineering and science manuals to new heights. She began the illustrations using nothing but ballpoint pen and white-out similar to Mark Powell’s envelopes, but soon explored new materials including colored pencil, gouache and other mixed media like thread and cut-out paper." Via Colossal. More illustrations on her flickr.
Did you know James Joyce wrote a children's book (sort of)? Patricia Highsmith wrote one too. So did James Baldwin (not to be confused with James Baldwin the children's book author). Eugène Ionesco wrote four stories for young kids. Graham Greene also wrote at the very least four children's books (and possibly more). Other unlikely children's book authors are Aldous Huxley, E. E. Cummings, Chinua Achebe (2, 3, 4), Eleanor Roosevelt and Gertrude Stein. Author Ariel S. Winter has written about all these books on his excellent blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie. On his Flickr page you can look at scans from these books, sometimes even the whole book.
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece - An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud.
In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan. Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour. As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants," and the power of intrepid journalism can defeat. More: Read the first issue (or three) - browse images from the new artbook - Tor's read-along blog (another) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals" - dozens of original sketches and sample pages - timeline - quotes
Graphic designer Amanda Cox (previously) talks about the crossroads of journalism, design, information, and illustration and how it all comes together in data visualizations for The New York Times.
The fantasy artist of Xanth, Robert Jordan and many, many more...... If you read fantasy novels in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and beyond, up to ... well, just recently... you know his work. Please raise a . to... Darrel K. Sweet
Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It a 20-minute overview of his career as a cartoonist and illustrator, in which the artist goes through a lot of paper in the search for immediacy. Filmed by his son, with commentary by contemporaries Milton Glaser and Jules Feiffer.
Ghost of Gone Birds. Over 100 artists were invited to choose an extinct bird and produce a piece of art inspired by that particular bird and celebrating its glory days. Birds celebrated in the show include the Dodo, the Matinique Amazon Parrot, the Black Mamo and the Great Auk.
We and the Color is a blog about creative inspiration in art, graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, fashion, product, interior, video and motion design. Also on Flickr.
The Nuremberg Chronicle is one of the earliest printed books. The author, Hartmann Schedel, sets out a history of the world as understood at the time, relying heavily on the Bible. It is perhaps best known today for its wealth of images (some favorites: Creation of Birds, Map of the World, Half Horse, Stoning of St. Stephen and Apocalypse). The Beloit College website has a lot more information about the book and its context. They even have an English translation which is fully searchable.
What if Smurfs were real? (via.) Be sure to check out Nate Hallinan's portfolio for additional coolness.
The paintings of Sergey Tyukanov are rich in colors, in characters, in details, delightful the eyes from the first sight. Each work is like a little world, where people live according to different rules. Normal proportions not respected in his works; surrealism characterizes his art the best, and traces of the Russian customs and traditional costumes may be spotted without much difficulty. It all seems to happen in a Russian fairytale or in the nightmare of an artist-because only in the head of an artist’s genius, such a nightmare could be born.
"'Postcards to Alphaville' is a project dedicated to film characters featured in guest-made illustrations. Everyone participating in this adventure has to watch a film and make postcard portraying specific character from it. It is love-letter to films and those characters that brings us, the viewers, moments of joy, sorrow and revelation and sometimes seems more real than the neighbor next-door." via
The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.
There's some fascinating engraving and illustration to be seen at the Museum of Insurance. (Better than watching paint dry. Seriously)
A summer day, a dirt road, heat thick as steam from a boiling pot. Along the shoulder are verdant trees, shadows, the hum and croak and whistle and buzz of the woods. This is Clarksville, Texas, 1910. And here is Frank Jones, who will one day, decades from now, years after his death, be among the most recognized African-American self-taught artists.[more inside]
Floating Worlds is a new book detailing the never-before-seen correspondence between illustrator Edward Gorey and author Peter F. Neumeyer, who collaborated on three children’s books between September 1968 and October 1969. During that period, they regularly sent each other letters and postcards, many of which Gorey embellished with illustrations. [more inside]
Sue Coe, one of the most committed activist artists in America, has during her thirty-five-year career charted an idiosyncratic course through an environment that is at best ambivalent toward art with overt socio-political content.
Biomedical Ephemera, or, a Frog for your Boils is "A blog for all biological and medical ephemera, from the age of Abraham through the era of medical quackery and cure-all nostrums. Sometimes featuring illustrations of diseases and conditions of the times, sometimes fascinating ephemeral medical equipment, and sometimes clippings and information about the theories themselves." The archive page is also a useful starting point. via Things Magazine.
As Khoi Vinh describes them, "Dan Hipp’s extraordinarily lively illustrations are borne of some mash-up universe in which comics, sci-fi and action-adventure fiction have both been flipped over on their backs, only to reveal their shockingly adorable undersides." via Subtraction [more inside]
Phil Noto illustrates the hell out of comics, TV, pulp fiction, music, and being a six year old artist at his blog, Your Nice New Outfit. Oh shit it's the Master Blaster!
Comiques is a comic about "life's little trivialities" by Anne Emond. Her main subjects are her family, cat, friends, New York City and random musings. It is mostly drawn from life though her work sometimes tends towards the fantastic. Here is a short video interview with her which also features some candid shots of her cat and here's a longer interview on more technical matters. Finally, here are some random favorites: Pug, Celebrity Look-alike Generator, Irrational Rage Comic, Umbrella, Writing a Detective Story?, The Best Karamazov, Ode to the Avocado, Top of the Morning to You and The Day I Realized I've Never Tried to Dress My Cat in People Clothes.
To celebrate Harrison Ford's 40th credited big-screen appearance in Cowboys & Aliens this weekend, Steve Murray takes a look back at everyone's favourite acting chameleon.
Sifting through The Staxx you'll find excerpts from ancient books about British chimneysweeps, ferns and mosses, Japanese art motifs, ornamental alphabets, and much more.
Join MetaFilter's own TangoCharlie (Tony Cliff) for an illustrated adventure of swordplay and wordplay set in Turkey in the 1800s, in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (updated on Saturday mornings with four to six new pages). What is currently a full-color serialized graphic novel in four chapters started as a short self-published greyscale comic, which was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2008. As a bonus, Tony shares tips and lessons learned in the making of Delilah Dirk on his blog. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
The Illuminated Mixtapes — a running series of playlists for streaming, with hand illustrated covers for each one. Some nice background music while enjoying your MeFi.
Vintage Printable provides vintage images in the public domain for download or printing.
The Broship of the Ring -- The Lord of the Rings envisioned as a buddy/road trip hipster epic. From illustrator Noelle Stevenson.
Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a thing by a dude, who’s all like, “I’m Gonna Make a Thing.” And then he did. Or is doing. Or, you know, whatever. This dude can be found on the internet. He websites to put food on his family. A wonderfully crafted and designed illustrated book for the digital age.
Do you find yourself envious of the perfectly staged photos accompanying recipes? Are your drawing skills better than your culinary skills? Recipe Look is a collection of user-submitted illustrated recipes, some with pictures fit for a magazine, others a bit more casual. See also: Drawn Butter, an illustrated recipe blog (via Johnny Wander's Ecto-Cooler Smoothie); Pictoral Recipes from Oregon State University (in English and Spanish); and two recipes from comic artist Lucy Knisley (via; Knisley prev, prev).
Your Glory Days Are Over, Mr. Cthulhu. "Mr Cthulhu tries to interest himself in his sons dance, but mr Cthulhus has lived a sheltered life, the intricacies of modern ballet passes him right by." (by Mattias Adolfsson, previously)
OSHA's 1984 Fatal Facts report comes illustrated with surprisingly sangfroid cartoons of workplace accidents.
Shoomlah illustrates Disney Princess in historically accurate costumes, givs explanations for her choices, and shows us her process. [more inside]
Vera Brosgol (previously) is a Russian-born artist and illustrator now based in the US. One of her early works, Return To Sender, remains unfinished. Her first graphic novel Anya’s Ghost (preview) about a girl who finds a ghost at the bottom of a well has just been published.
Incidental Comics — Cartoons about... just stuff.
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
HUH. Magazine is a media platform with the latest, most relevant news from the worlds of art, fashion, design, music and film. Recent features include: Harvest by Haroshi: Skate and Destroy, artworks created with old worn, or snapped, skateboard decks | Disassembly, capturing relics of our past in a unique, dismantled and exposed form | Murakami at Versailles, knee-deep in controversy since its inception | and Darren's Great Big Camera, a short documentary about a camera that shoots on 14" x 36" negatives and measures 6ft. in length.
Scientific Illustration is a Tumblr blog devoted to... well... scientific illustration.
Wendy MacNaughton's Meanwhile Illustrated Documentary Series has so far covered San Francisco dog walkers, Farmers' Market Farmers, Mission Bar Tenders etc. This week she captures the essence of libraries in Meanwhile, The San Francisco Library
The First Four (Harry Potter) Books: Illustrated by Lucy Knisley [Previously] Contains Spoilers
Vintage Sleaze: Exploitation and enticement in the form of drawings, comics, and pinups.