Archives for category: History
Slipcase! Two books in one!

The book (or, books) in their slipcase

That’s right. The Lego Book. It’s chock full of information on the different sets, collectibles, theme parks, contests, the list goes on. And, I know. THEME PARKS? There are lego theme parks? Wait, I’ve been to that huge Lego store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. Does that count? This book can tell you. It would tell you so much more, if you’d only let it. I didn’t. I just took pictures, geeking out on the Robin Hood set of my youth, the Spanish Armada my brothers lusted over and finally got. We sank those ships over and over again. By sank, I mean destroyed—methodically or chaotically—either way was fun. What was not fun was stepping on stray pieces left on the floor. Know what I’m talking about? The endpapers of this book do.

Endpapers

Endpapers: That’s What’s Up.

Two books together

Two glorious books together

I loved playing legos with my brothers. And though it was partially about creating things and then destroying them—which we did a lot—it was also about the figurines. They were like dolls. And I had Barbies (well, I did until I gave them to my best friend Morgan in 4th grade to shoot up with his BB gun) to play with, I had baby dolls and teddy bears and whatnot, but I didn’t have little astronauts and knights and pirate captains. And there was something about their little faces, the expressions plastered to their faces, which I loved. There was something about being able to switch out heads and bodies, choosing outfits, choosing genders, choosing professions and even places in time that these little yellow people could exist. Some days, that was better than a damn teddy bear.

Standing Small

This one's about the figurines!

Endpapers

Endpapers are so very pretty

Look at that smirking train engineer! Look at that chef’s perfectly curled ‘stache! Look how the knight and the … is that a lady? Or a male rock star from the ‘70’s? Hard to tell. But look how they have the same face and it’s so charming and perfect! Oh I do love Legos.

The Lego Book, DK, Oct. 2009.

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The other day, I was production assistant to my Design School BFF Courtney Comfort. He is interning at Equal Rights Washington, and needed to make a poster for Equality Day, coming up on March 22. (If you pick up a current copy of the Seattle Gay News, you’ll find his half page ad in there, using the same graphic you see here. His first real print ad!)

Naturally he decided to screenprint these. This means: a 3 color run of 60 posters. Which means pulling a squeegee through the thick ink on the screen at least 180 times. During this time, it is necessary to run back and forth bringing wet sheets to the racks to dry, making sure the screen has enough ink on it to pull, etc. I did all that running , etc., not to mention all the prep beforehand. I mixed the inks, which was fun, and prepped the screens. Courtney had the hard jobs: making the film and burning the screens so they would register correctly—and then the printing itself. Registering 3 colors isn’t easy, neither is all that hard work on the hands after designing on a computer all day. You forget how to use your hands. This is why I love this class.

Mixed Inks

Mixed Inks

Final Product!

Final Product!

The posters turned out great, and Courtney’s pulls got better and better as he printed. We were such an efficient team, and it was great fun.

Sometimes I get to help on my own projects! Unfortunately, some of the screens are so long, and I am so short, that it can be hard for me to get a decent pull, which is why I’m glad I have tall friends.

Allerina or Crocodancer

Allerina or Crocodancer

Racquetgull

Racquetgull

Screenprinting is what led me to Graphic Design in the first place; a friend and I taught ourselves from an old Dover title and a kit. I fell in love with printing. From there I learned linocuts, then woodcuts, then monotype, then etching… and then I decided I could do more and applied to SCCA.

Best $15 investment ever.

Bad News for Outlaws

Bad News for Outlaws

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshal, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson with illustrations by R. Gregory Christie.

This book is AWESOME. For many reasons. First of all, the content is great. I never heard of Bass Reeves until I was arrested by Christie’s gorgeous illustration of his face on that stark white cover. And what a cover! Look at that badass cover! Pure beauty! I love the interior illustrations as well. R. Gregory Christie, I will be looking at more of your books.

Endsheets are hot.

Endsheets are hot.

Born a slave in 1838, Bass Reeves became “the most feared deputy US marshal that was every heard of.” He was a fast draw, expert marksman, made over 3,000 arrests but killed only 14 people. For the 30 or so years he served, he was the most respected and feared lawman in the territories.

Expert Marksman

The Man Himself

The Man Himself

I love looking through the sections I don’t spend as time with as others, like fiction or picture books, for reasons just like this one. You see something new and are introduced to an historical figure you never heard of before, or a new to you author or illustrator.

In this case, I have to be honest and tell you that this one was on display (and it’s been on display before): it’s Black History Month after all. Maybe you noticed the little sticker on the front of the book? This won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award. Well deserved, I say.

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo?

Ok, yeah. So this exists.I have not shared my intense love of postcard books or postcard collections with you yet. But I’m gonna start now. With this. The brand new Where’s Waldo Postcard Book. I saw it on display when I arrived at work yesterday and got super excited.

The bold type! The rounded corners! LOVE THAT RED!

The cover is, unfortunately, the best part. The insides are a little shiny for my taste…Shiny insidesBut I’m still probably gonna buy it. On a different note, have you tried to find Waldo recently? It is pretty easy now that I’m grown. I always spent forever pouring over those pages when I was a wee one, but now it’s over in a flash. One of the many aspects of growing up.

The End

The End

That’s all for now; I will have to share some more from my postcard book collection some other time.

Nostalgia

From top left: George & Martha: Marshall // Caps for Sale: Slobodkina // Fables: Lobel // Sam, Bangs & Moonshine: Ness // Burt Dow, Deep Water Man: McCloskey // The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf: Sciezska // One Morning in Maine: McCloskey // Each Peach, Pear, Plum: Ahlberg // Chicken Soup with Rice: Sendak // Tim & Charlotte: Ardizzone //A Chair for my Mother: Williams

There’s a lot of text in that caption. And this is certainly not all the books I feel nostalgic about. In fact, my favorite book as a child was an “issue book” about new siblings called “Katy Did” in which a little girl blames all the bad things she did to her little brother (by trying to help out her exhausted mother) on her doll Katy. I’m a middle child; guess that one hit the mark. It’s so out of print and obscure I can’t even find a link. But I didn’t try that hard.
I want to talk about these books. It’s still Valentine’s Day, even though WordPress has already decided it is now February 15th. There are still 44 minutes in this day, and this is my Valentine both to my past and books in general.
George & Martha. I cannot look at these books without thinking of my best friend from elementary school, Ashton E. I don’t know her anymore, but on the yellow school bus of my memory she was a brilliant (no, really, she had a super high IQ), funny, artistic, dislexic, colorful, creative, beautiful, awkward, confident creature and I remember her reading this in 2nd grade or something and I was surprised but I didn’t tell her. We used to take sailing together and we capsized the boat two summers in a row. She wanted hair that was dark and curly on top, straight in the middle, and curly at the bottom.
Caps for Sale. I read this book thinking of my mom, shaking her fist like the peddler did, and then the monkeys after him. Monkey see, monkey do!

Fishy Dinner

Fishy Dinner

Fables. My very favorite collection of Aesop’s fables. For some reason, the illustrations have stayed with me all this time. Particularly this one. Whenever I am reminded of this one, I think of the cat dreaming of his fish dinner with butter, lemon and dill (and then it reminds me of a gluttonous friend of mine who manages to stay trim despite her butter addiction).

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine. In my application for school, I was asked to talk about someone who has influenced my work. Here is an excerpt from my essay. “Recently, I rediscovered a book from my childhood: Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine, by Evaline Ness. I remembered every page. Every line and color was as sharp in my memory as it was on the page. The way she used line—looping, thick-thin lines, intersecting not entirely neatly and almost, but not quite, tangling unintelligibly—the unexpected quality of the print—the accidental splot or absence of ink, the hurried frazzled energy of each overlaying image—these have directly inspired my work.”

  Burt Dow, Deep Water Man

Burt Dow, Deep Water Man

Burt Dow, Deep Water Man. I think of my brothers without a doubt. We loved this book. It’s a sweet story, but it has a craggy old sailor in it. So, obviously, it’s awesome.

  One Morning in Maine

One Morning in Maine

For some reason, I loved the sparkplug more than any other part of this book, and remember this illustration the most. I still don’t know what a sparkplug is.

The others:

Each Peach, Pear, Plum and Chicken Soup with Rice: I can still recite almost the whole thing.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs: I totally met Jon Sciezska while wearing an octopus costume. I was 24. And when I was eight, I bought this book from a Scholastic book fair in my elementary school’s library.

Tim & Charlotte and A Chair for my Mother: possibly the two sweetest books ever.
All these books are still in print. So the best thing of all I learned from working in a bookstore? My mom has excellent taste in books. But I could have told you that anyway.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Shirley Chisholm

Poster for African American History Month

This week the assignment is a randomly chosen (by drawing) person from a list my teacher got off the internet. Actually he said he spent some time researching. I’m stoked I got Shirley Chisholm. Not only because she was awesome, but also because this picture of her is amazing.

She has a wonderful quote that I wasn’t able to use it in full, but here it is, in all it’s glory:

“When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst for change. I don’t want be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress, and I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happen to be black to make a bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the twentieth century. That’s what I want.”

I wanted to focus on her as a woman, doing my best to respect her eloquent wish. All the time she spent in legislature (1964-82) she said she “had faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black.”

The fonts used here are DIN 1451 and DIN 30640.