This is just the first free, public domain eBook I checked out at Project Gutenberg, and also the first picture book you should read to your children. My First Picture Book is credited to Joseph Martin Kronheim. The second book I have looked at here is The Practice and Science of Drawing, by Harold Speed, which contains golden nuggets of knowledge.
This looks like a great project. I wonder if they have larger versions of all the images they have scanned. I hope it isn’t one of those casualties of the early digital age in which great ideas were started too soon, before storage capacity and internet bandwidth caught up with them. What if they scanned thousands of images from books and all they have are 500 pixel wide versions or something? Dag. Well according to their blog, Project Gutenberg was founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, who recently died unexpectedly, and who is also the inventor of the eBook. The blog also mentioned they have scanned their 40,000th book, and I checked the image quality available on that one and it is indeed much nicer, here is just a detail of a cool extinct bird from that eBook:
Wow I’m eager to receive my copy of Matt Furie‘s The Night Riders and see how much of a brain-melt it will administer to my children. I have been meaning to mention this sometime too: I’m also the happy owner of Jordan Crane‘s book from the same publisher, McMullens, called Keep Our Secrets. This book is super fun and has black ink that becomes transparent showing art beneath when exposed to heat (like from rubbing friction, which unfortunately doesn’t work that well and is probably the reason there was a sticker applied to the front of the book that recommends using a hair dryer!). Check out this massive preview of The Night Riders on 50 Watts and get a copy yourself. Via Lisa Hanawalt who is another super artist published in this line of books from McMullens.
Why not check out some of Mallory McInnis‘s various blogs, she has got a laser eye for eyeball-delicious work and curates more blogs than is physically possible: My Vintage Book Collection (in Blog Form), the Flickr for that, Gems, Illustrated Ladies, Illustrated Gents, The Zoo Keeper, Wear Color, Colorful Homes, and probably more. The above images are from the Vintage Book blog/Flickr which is a sweet place to see books from childhood if you too are getting vintage like me and fire up some dusty brain-spaces.
In honor of Portland’s Stumptown Comics Fest and MOCCA in New York, the good people at Top Shelf are hosting an outrageous, Crazy Eddie-style e-book sale–with some titles going as low as 99 cents. Think about it: You can buy an e-book or get a crappy slice of pizza at one of those new-fangled NYC dollar pizza joints. (In my day, a slice cost the same as a subway ride and that was that. Times have changed)
Here’s a video trailer for probably one of the coolest books you’ll see this year–Name That Movie by Paul Rogers, published by Chronicle Books. Each of Paul’s 100 cinematic puzzles contains six illustrations from a well-known film, shown in sequence, with no recognizable movie stars. You have to guess the movie.
The films Paul chose to illustrate run the gamut from contemporary blockbusters to art house classics, and throughout, the scenes he pulls from are deftly chosen–iconic objects (the golden idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark, a newspaper clipping from Sullivan’s Travels) and quiet, easily overlooked scenes rather than the big and obvious movie moments. The book can’t help but bring out your inner movie nerd (especially for folks like me, who don’t really have to drill too deep to hit the movie nerd mantle). Full journalistic disclosure: I was the acquiring editor for this book while at Chronicle, so I’m intimately acquainted with its charms. Go buy it.
Drawn and Quarterly just posted a preview of their collection of Chester Brown’s influential comic, Ed the Happy Clown. Looking good, in a dark, depressing, existentially dreadful way.