In our first round up of some of the best newly published books we focus on the work of illustrators. Or, more accurately – as you’ll see from our selection – illustrators and cartoonists who veer ever so slightly from the conventional path. (Characters from Lost Heroes by Ian Stevenson).
Anders Nilsen has just released his Monologues for the Coming Plague through Fantagraphics. While at first glance his minimal sketches seem disconnected from each other, the books are really a series of experimental short stories, observations and reflections. Nilsen’s naïve cartoons are driven by a stream of consciousness narrative and are, in turn, surrealist, dreamlike and hilarious.
Monologues for the Coming Plague by Anders Nilsen is published by Fantagraphics, £11.99.
Sexton Ming’s Knacker’s Yard brings together a range of the maverick artist’s thick pen daubings, much of which should probably never be shown to your mother.
From Wise Mutt’s philosophical musings – “CD is much better than silly old vinyl” – to the latent aggression of Dominant Baby, Ming really doesn’t seem to care what you think of him and his uncompromising art. Which makes his vitriolic and jet black humour all the more refreshing.
Knacker’s Yard by Sexton Ming is published by The Aquarium, £8.99.
Concrete Hermit has already established a name for itself as a purveyor of fine T-shirts and prints but its recent foray into postcard books is another fine string to its bow. Three collections of art have just been released by illustrators Skwak, Andrew Rae and Ian Stevenson.
While Skwak’s miniature psychedelic murals are awash with drooling monster mouths and bulging eyes (above, top image), Rae’s single panel artwork takes a more sedate look at the surreal – with his love of anatomy and the animal kingdom appearing throughout (above, bottom image). Stevenson’s tragic but brightly coloured drawings offer a glimpse of fallen idols – all his Lost Heroes are, apparently, failed actors who have never made the big time.
Depicted as deformed cartoon characters (there’s a bastardised Scooby Doo, He-Man, Snoopy and Spider Man, for example) all of the fallen are rendered in their own identifiably bright block colours.
Of Beasts and Machines by Andrew Rae, Skwak by Skwak and Lost Heroes by Ian Stevenson are published by Concrete Hermit, £6.99 each.