Wednesday, September 26, 2007

World Book 1952

Late last month I was at my grandparents cabin in Western Minnesota. People were going through some old books that no one looked at anymore and throwing out things that were mildewy. Among these were a set of World Books that had belonged to my mother and her siblings, purchased, probably, from a traveling salesman in 1952. I spent an hour or two on the deck with a utility knife slicing out pages with interesting images. The images are great. For one thing they are all drawn and painted images, when the equivalents these days would be photographs or computer aided renderings. It also seems to me that technical drawing and illustration was a more highly valued skill in the past and that fact is reflected in the relatively richly rendered images in varied styles and gorgeous colors and compositions. The attraction here is partly nostalgia, too, I'm sure, but I think they are worth a look. Here is a very small selection. Note in particular the "Cossack" sword swallower.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

By the time you finish reading this you'll have lost your queen

Just thought I'd post about a few things going on with me these days. Firstly, I'm doing a series of artprint/skateboard decks with Uprise, my local skateshop. They're great, the best shop in Chicago and super supportive of the skate scene here in a myriad of ways. The boards evolved out of the various anatomical covers I've done for the last few issues of Big Questions and some little still lifes I've done recently of objects on my desk and the found toys I collect. The green nerve arm will be familiar to readers as a close variation of one from the cover of BQ#9. I also did the boards' top graphic, a variation on Uprise's normal logo:

I'm going to be in Denmark for the COMIX exhibition at Kunsthallen Brandts in Odense. Some of the (25 or so) other artists in the show include Kevin Huizenga, David B., R. Crumb, Anke Feuchtenberger, Paperrad, and David Shrigley. So if you're in Northern Europe on September 21st you should come to the opening.
Big Questions #10 is done and drawn and should be out in November. It'll debut at SPX in Bethesda in October. I'm just getting started on #11 and 12, which will end the series, and which both look to be relatively short issues.

Lastly, two profiles on me came out over the weekend. The first is by Jessica Hopper in the Chicago Reader, focusing mainly on Don't Go Where I Can't Follow and the events surrounding that, including comments from a few friends and acquaintences. The second was by Julia Keller in the Tribune and is more general. It's got some pretty awesome lines in it including the opener: "Clarity is for wimps" and "he speaks if each sentence is a chess move". I'm glad someone finally noticed.