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Old 01-01-2014   #1
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Book Illustration and Design

What are your thoughts on book Illustration and design? Do you have any books that feature unusual book designs? With the advent of e-book readers, how do you think this will effect book publishing?

Here is an interesting site on the subject. Vladimir Zimakov has illustrated such works as Meyrink's The Golem for The Folio Society. At the end of the article, he is working on a 3D Lovecraft Project.


http://mythartology.com/category/book-art/


An example of great book design that I have is Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories by Harry Lee Poe (yes, a distant relative). Published by Metro Books in 2008. I won this beautiful book on eBay for $10! It is a large hardcover illustrated with photos and drawings, and a unique feature that it has is that it contains removable facsimile documents that had significant meaning in Edgar Poe's life.







Other enthusiasts for this volume give it glowing reviews on Amazon - nothing but 5 stars - which I concur. I confess that I haven't read the complete text yet, and given that the author is the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University, and has written a somewhat controversial volume on Poe since, Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe (2012) I think it is best to reserve judgment on the text for now. Still, well worth 10 bucks just to ogle it from time to time.
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Old 01-01-2014   #2
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Re: Book Illustration and Design

Gill and Macmillan - an Irish Publisher - have been reprinting some of Harry Clarke's ilustrated books in recent years including the fairytales from Andersen and Perrault.

In September they republished 'The Year's at The Spring: An Anthology of Best-Loved Poems' a collection of sentimental verse which was illustrated by Clarke in 1920. This is regarded as one of the finest examples of book illustration by Clarke and unlike say, the Poe volume, it has been virtually impossible to find in a decent condition for a decent price. You can, of course, buy a nasty POD repro - but who would want that?

Gill Macmillan Books - Publishing for Ireland since 1968 - General Gift - The Year's at the Spring

However, it seems that for some unknown reason, the publishers have decided to change the contents from the original and added some additional poems whilst removing some others. Very odd.








"The iniquity of oblivion blindly scatters her poppy seed and when wretchedness
falls upon us one summerís day like snow, all we wish for is to be forgotten." - WG Sebald
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Old 01-01-2014   #3
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Re: Book Illustration and Design

Ebooks, print on demand books, and online book sellers scooping up limited editions and sitting on them to jack up prices are going to kill fine books, illustrated or otherwise. POD books have had a particularly chilling effect on my own book collecting, as to now even major and well known presses are using them without informing buyers. I can write off Centipede Press as a live and learn experience, but I've also gotten POD books from the Oxford Press. I'm annoyed if I pay over $50 for glued binding - in the last year I've bought four books over $100 that arrived with crooked, faded, and smeared pages.

I'm also fed up with limited runs when it's known full well that demand for the author exceeds the printing. Subterranean's recent printings of Ligotti is a good example - when new editions are selling for over $100 only a few months after it's release, put out a second printing. I'm willing to bet half the copies went to book resellers - per customer limits are easy to get around. I'm not willing to fight with them to get a book or pay that much for a trade hard cover, even if ebooks werent' t available - and I consider myself a book collector. Limited runs mean limited audiences, which means less book sales in the long run.

...but enough complaining; I do have some recommendations:

John Austen's edition of Hamlet

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Austen, like Clarke, is another one of Beardley's descendants.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lA8rs_APdL...+Hamlet+07.jpg

The Calla Edition reproduces all the decorations and illustrations - the text is a re-print, not a scan. Unsure how the images were reproduced, but all the drawings are crisp.

I also love Camille Garcia Rose's more recent editions of Alice in Wonderland and Snow White...

Books / Camille Rose Garcia Store

Camille Rose Garcia at the Walt Disney Museum | Eclectix

Camille Rose Garcia: Snow White The Complete Works on Paper | ArtweekLA - Art Here Now

I also own the Folio edition of The Golem and recommend it.

Finally, I have to mention my all time favorite illustrated book - the "children's book" The Sorcerer's Scrapbook by Michael Berenstein (yes, son of the Berenstein Bears illustrators ). It's formatted like an illuminated text; the illustrations appear to be colored pencil and gouache, but the drawing style is often in keeping with the Italian Masters. It also has a surprisingly dark ending - a political assassination, of all things - with a huge dose of fatalism (the books parting statement is "The stars never lie"). I cannot find any of the illustrations online - I'll upload pictures of my own edition if anyone is interested.
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Old 01-11-2014   #4
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Re: Book Illustration and Design

I could list all of the Clarkson N. Potter Annotated volumes that I own: Dracula, Frankenstein, Gulliver's Travels, Alice, etc. I love these types of books that immerse you into the work and world of the author. They are all oversized hardcover volumes.







And a few other profusely illustrated volumes:






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Old 01-12-2014   #5
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Re: Book Illustration and Design

I have and love that Annotated Wilde edition.

I have no problem whatsoever with print-on-demand--it is a very commonsense procedure and allows an independent publisher to bring out a book which may otherwise never be published. All of my own publishers are print on demand, and yet their books are beautiful. The one thing I dislike, keenly, is when a book's format or design is altered. Jerad, alas, is guilty of this. I did a video of my edition of the Blackwood MASTERS OF THE WEIRD TALE that inspired another fellow to order the book some months later, only to find out that the book as I had presented it was not the book as this other chap received, having some differences in design.

One of the most beautiful books I have ever seen is my own Centipede omnibus. We worked on the design of that book, wanting to give it the "feel" and look of a book from Wilde's era. Thus the book is narrower than usual, and we used a lot of Beardsley, &c. Many have told me that it's the most beautiful book they own. I love books that are also works of art.

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 05-16-2017   #6
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Re: Book Illustration and Design

Both of these biographies by Charlotte Montague are nice to look at with numerous illustrations and photographs. They are surprisingly inexpensive. These books are not your typical dense and exhaustive biographies. They emphasize unusual incidents, story summaries, influences, etc. within the framework of a basic biography.

Published by Chartwell Books, a publisher I hadn't heard of before.






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