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"There’s a lack of pretentiousness to the word ‘comic book’ that I think suits the medium itself very, very nicely."

The NYT Book Review just named it one of the 5 best fiction books of the year. The AV Club helpfully posted a video to show you what happens when you open it. Actually, lots of folks posted videos to show you what happens when you open it. Other folks raved in print about the author and his career. The Comics Journal asked a dozen critics of the author's work to send in reviews; this one focuses on the role of disability in the narrative. This one notes the book "is in a very primary sense a comic about women and the private lives they lead, and it investigates more fully than any other comic I have ever read the way they age, fall in love, explore their sexuality, come to terms with compromises they’ve had to make as they’ve grown, accept their limitations, confront squandered ability, have children (or choose not to have children), marry (or stay single), and make sense of the world around them." You might find Chris Ware's Building Stories worth a look or two. Or fourteen. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Dec 19, 2012 - 28 comments

"more overt sexuality, more exposed flesh"

American illustrator Coles Phillips became famous in 1908 for his "Fade-Away Girl" magazine covers, which caught the eye and saved money on color printing. He was a leader in creating "more modern, active and athletic images of women" after the prim poise of the Gibson Girl era. His later work became more overtly sexual, making him one of the first artists whose beautifully designed ads were "torn out of magazines and swiped out of store windows to become pin-ups on college dormitory walls." Some were considered scandalous. He died in 1927. Two long pages of Coles Phillips images. Six pages. Bio. Tumblr tag. More ads.
posted by mediareport on Mar 4, 2012 - 33 comments

Portraits of Iraqis by Daniel Heyman

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Apr 24, 2011 - 5 comments

Gonzo in Wonderland

Ralph Steadman’s Alice in Wonderland. Salvador Dali’s Alice In Wonderland.
posted by mediareport on Mar 9, 2010 - 16 comments

Cut-ups, op art and book design

The Art of Fontana Modern Masters James Pardey, the mind behind The Art of Penguin Science Fiction, has just put up another site telling the story of the cover art on the Frank Kermode-edited "Modern Masters" Fontana Books series, inspired by the Op Art of Victor Vasarely and the cut-ups of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. [via, via] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Jan 5, 2010 - 1 comment

19th century artistic printing

Beautifully designed, quirky, colorful late 19th-century "artistic" and "gaslight" printing at Dick Sheaff's ephemera pages. [via, via] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Jun 8, 2009 - 11 comments

Go figure

Andreas Aronsson makes interesting impossible figures, documents the process, and philosophizes. Via lines and colors and Neatorama, where Aronsson shows up to call himself "an Oscar Reutersvärd ripoff." Reutersvärd is often credited as the founder of the impossible figure. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Jan 28, 2009 - 12 comments

Greylock Arts curated webcomics exhibit

A curated collection of web comics over at Greylock Arts, with creator interviews and lots of links to strips like Underwire, Persimmon Cup, Truth Serum, Wondermark, The Process, Amazing Facts...and Beyond!, Phil McAndrew and more, including a few previously featured on the blue. [via Bookslut]
posted by mediareport on Jan 26, 2009 - 4 comments

Fantastic art by John Jude Palencar

Just some cool dark fantasy art by John Jude Palencar, including covers for Lovecraft, de Lint, Tolkien and other popular books.
posted by mediareport on Dec 25, 2008 - 11 comments

Gerd Arntz and the origins of the stick figure

The Gerd Arntz Web Archive collects graphics from the career of the man who - in creating over 4000 Isotypes for social scientist Otto Neurath in 1930s Red Vienna - can make a serious claim to be the inventor of the modern stick figure. He attacked the corruption of German society as the Nazis rose to power, then joined Neurath in an attempt to create a transnational visual language that bore later fruit in Otl Aicher's 1972 Olympic pictograms and the AIGA passenger/pedestrian symbol signs. [via Mark Larson and Austin Kleon]
posted by mediareport on Jul 7, 2008 - 9 comments

NY Times Crossword Drawings

NYTimes Crossword Drawings. Emily Jo Cureton creates an illustration for every Times crossword, using a handful of clues to create odd little scenes. [via]
posted by mediareport on May 6, 2008 - 24 comments

Doodles, Drafts and Designs

Doodles, Drafts and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian. Including crayon tests, the original telescoping shopping cart and more. [via the horse's neck]
posted by mediareport on Feb 11, 2008 - 7 comments

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture from 1967 to 1979. Douglas is still alive and making posters for the cause, in this case the San Francisco 8, who were arrested earlier this year for the murder of a police officer in 1971 -- despite the fact that evidence was thrown out of federal court in 1976 because "officers stripped the men, blindfolded them, beat them and covered them in blankets soaked in boiling water," and "used electric prods on their genitals." The SF Weekly published a detailed 5-page story about the case in November 2006.
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2007 - 19 comments

The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome

The Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae A collection of over 900 zoomable print engravings, organized around the work of Antonio Lafreri and other Italian publishers, whose documentation of Roman ruins and statues helped fuel the Renaissance. The itineraries are a good place to start for detailed discussion, or just browse away. [via the wonderful Bouphonia]
posted by mediareport on Dec 10, 2007 - 8 comments

Viñetas - Spanish comics and illustration blog

Viñetas is a prolific blog from Spain focusing on illustration, vintage comics (sometimes wordless), advertising, humor magazines and other beautiful ephemera, curated by the editor-in-chief of a Spanish comics company. [via Journalista]
posted by mediareport on Sep 21, 2007 - 8 comments

Fun odd cartoon: Mose

Just some fun odd cartoons about parenting, weddings, stupid vasectomy laws, parenting, pronghorn antelope and parenting.
posted by mediareport on May 5, 2007 - 11 comments

Gems of 19th and early 20th century penmanship

Gems of Penmanship, Penman's Leisure Hour, Ninety-five Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, The Champion Method of Practical Business Writing and other Rare Books on Calligraphy and Penmanship from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lots of neat tidbits. [via mlarson.org]
posted by mediareport on Feb 24, 2007 - 12 comments

J.J. Grandville

Very odd illustrations from caricaturist J.J. Grandville's 1868 book L'Exposition de l'Avenir. More oddities from 1829's Les Métamorphoses Du Jour (some in color here), and lots of delightful garden scenes from his 1847 classic Les Fleurs Animees (vol 1, vol 2). Some consider Grandville one of the earliest proto-surrealists. [more Grandville links in this great post at BibliOdyssey]
posted by mediareport on Feb 19, 2007 - 15 comments

Early Zionist propaganda posters

Beautiful early Zionist propaganda posters, courtesy of the Swann Galleries. The first 73 items in this large batch of vintage posters up for auction are related to Israel, Jews or anti-Semitism. [via Paperholic]
posted by mediareport on Feb 6, 2007 - 6 comments

1657 Ralamb Costume Book

The Rålamb Costume Book. Illustrations of Turkish officials, various important occupations and just plain folks, obtained by Claes Rålamb, Swedish ambassador to the Ottoman Court, in 1657. More about Rålamb and Sultan Mehmet IV.
posted by mediareport on Feb 4, 2007 - 10 comments

Australian illustrator Sarah Bishop

The girls, a probably-nsfw series of near-abstract shapes from Australian illustrator Sarah Bishop. [via Jahsonic]
posted by mediareport on Jan 22, 2007 - 38 comments

The fabulous Petty Girls

12 months of George Petty pinups. And 16 more. Hell, have 5 pages worth. More about the Petty Girl, an advertising and pop culture icon with an often unfinished look who made her first appearance in Esquire in 1933 and whose elegant line quickly became famous. [via Bibi's Box, which has lots more Petty and pinup links] [warning: busty pinup girls]
posted by mediareport on Jan 18, 2007 - 23 comments

Scifi magazine covers, 1930-today

A year-by-year archive, from 1930 to the present, of every poignant, creepy, tacky, tragic, goofy, beautiful and, yes, kinda slutty cover of the magazine that started out as Astounding Stories of Super Science and became Analog, with lots of changes in between. [via the horse's neck]
posted by mediareport on Nov 11, 2006 - 35 comments

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie [via]
posted by mediareport on Nov 6, 2006 - 16 comments

Gorgeous Art Deco blog

Art Deco blog From Lisbon, gatochy celebrates the Jazz Age (and Art Nouveau on Wednesdays). See also Beautiful Century and her flickr sets, which are full of fun.
posted by mediareport on Oct 26, 2006 - 10 comments

The Daily Collage Project from Portugal

Candy. Bureaucracy. Memory. The Daily Collage Project, from Dilar Pereira in Portugal. [via]
posted by mediareport on Oct 4, 2006 - 6 comments

Beautiful old German zoological wall charts

Beautiful, occasionally abstract, old German zoological wall charts. [via]
posted by mediareport on Oct 3, 2006 - 17 comments

Happy Birthday, Rockwell Kent

Printmaker. Painter. Adventurer. Advertiser. One of the most popular graphic artists of the 20th century, he created the Random House logo for his pals Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer and illustrated their first book. His illustrations for another, Moby Dick, are widely credited with resurrecting that novel for modern audiences. His own first book was favorably compared to Whitman's Leaves of Grass and for a time his bookplates were everywhere, but he "virtually vanished from the museum and gallery circuits by the late 1940s" due to his outspoken support for Stalinism. When the State Department refused to grant him a passport because of his political views, he took his case to the Supreme Court and won, establishing that the right to travel cannot be denied to American citizens. Happy birthday, Rockwell Kent.
posted by mediareport on Jun 21, 2006 - 16 comments

Origins of meteorology

Weathering the Weather: The Origins of Atmospheric Science A "glorious selection" of strikingly beautiful pages from classic publications about meteorology. [via plep].
posted by mediareport on Mar 23, 2005 - 8 comments

Curious George Escapes the Nazis

Curious George Escapes the Nazis. A true story from a neat little exhibit about the life and work of H.A. and Margret Rey, German Jews who fled Paris on bicycle (with the unpublished Curious George manuscript as one of their few possessions) hours before the Nazis arrived. Lots of info, including Curious George's first appearance, Hans' famous book on astronomy, notes on the couple's lesser-known work and more.
posted by mediareport on Jan 7, 2005 - 11 comments

Meet J.C. Leyendecker, American illustrator

Meet J. C. Leyendecker, the Golden Boy of American Illustration. He helped codify the modern image of Santa Claus. His Baby New Year covers for the Saturday Evening Post invented a pop culture icon. He was "the most out front closeted gay man of the twentieth century" - a hugely popular artist whose work was often clearly homoerotic. The young Norman Rockwell used to stalk him and once said, "Leyendecker was my god." In 1905, he created advertising's first male sex symbol, the Arrow Shirt Man, which "defined the ideal American male" for decades, got more fan mail than Valentino and inspired a 1923 Broadway play. A detailed, opinionated biography and 14 pages of gorgeous Post covers.
posted by mediareport on Dec 21, 2002 - 5 comments

The Umbrella Sail at Last a Reality!

The Umbrella Sail at Last a Reality! Technofetishists will love this fabulous collection of Popular Mechanics covers going back to 1902. Who'd have thought a weaving machine could be so beautiful? Futuristic cityscapes, bizarre weapons, new-fangled sports and surprisingly delicate and artful scenes are just a few of the pleasures in the year-by-year archive. The mag's male-dominated world can get kind of, um, gay, but it's hard to imagine a better display of the joys and fears (especially the fears) of our monkey fascination with technology.
posted by mediareport on Jun 17, 2002 - 40 comments

Buddhist mandalas?

Buddhist mandalas? Abstract doodles? Alien snow crystals? Nope. Just some amazing scientific art from Art Forms in Nature, published between 1899 and 1904 by zoologist Ernst Haeckel. Lots more early biological art at this scientist's public domain archive. Unfortunately, Haeckel also helped provide the philosophical foundation for Nazism. Hey, no one's perfect.
posted by mediareport on May 24, 2002 - 13 comments

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