A while ago I ordered all of the Guy Billout books I could find. Billout is a well-known illustrator (his illustrations for The Atlantic Monthly were collected in an oversized, gorgeous book titled “Something’s Not Quite Right”) and he also did a series of picture books that showcased his quirky, subtle visual humor.
“Bus 24” is my favorite of his pseudo-children’s books. It’s different from his others- it isn’t a series of stand-alone illustrations strung together in some way (like “Journey”),it’s done in pale, dreamy watercolors with no ink line work over it, and it’s completely wordless.
In it, a man in a business suit waits by a Bus 24 stop sign. Different vehicles come towards the stop sign, but are run over by larger vehicles coming out of a tunnel. A red car is run over by a train. A tank is run over by a series of huge, marching knights on horseback.
Finally, Bus 24 arrives, passes by the tunnel, and picks up the business man. However, the cover shows Bus 24 being hit by another bus coming out of the tunnel.
If you ever come across this book (it’s not available on Amazon currently), I strongly recommend you buy it. It could be read in less than a minute and dismissed at a bookstore, but I’ve read it probably a hundred times over the past year. It has a “calming effect” similar to watching an Abbas Kiarostami movie.
I don’t have anything intelligent to say about it, really. I was just reading it again and wanted to voice my appreciation on this blog.
UPDATE: Hi Dash I looked into it at Amazon and the book seemes to be available from some sellers under the name “Number 24“. Also listed on that page are other books by Guy Billout when you click on his name.