Here’s a batch of nice publications for your perusal: Operation Alphabet by one of ad agency Mother’s creative director Al MacCuish; De Profundis, the latest graphic novel by James Jarvis; the catalogue for The Museum of Everything’s Exhibition 4; and an ambitious M.C. Escher pop-up book from Thames & Hudson…
James Jarvis‘ new book, De Profundis (Picture Box, $19.95) charts the journey of a yellow trousered chap who goes for a walk and discovers a strange city made of blocks where he meets a beaked character who takes him under his wing – so to speak. The main protagonist then manages to conjure up a host of nightmarish monsters which set him to task on various back-breaking projects. But how will our hero make good his escape? Well, I don’t want to spoil the story so you’ll have to read it yourself to find out.
For those among you that know Jarvis’ work through his Amos figures, this work is representative of a different style of working for the artist which is much less polished in its look. This is Jarvis the narrative illustrator, rather than Jarvis the toy designer at work. And interestingly this book features no written word at all, the narrative unfolds purely through the images on each page. Here are a few spreads:
As well as the normal hardback 64 page edition, a limited edition of 20 are available that come with a piece of randomly selected original black and white ink on paper artwork for one of the pages of De Profundis . This limited edition is priced at $150. Visit pictureboxinc.com for full details.
The Museum of Everything‘s Exhibition #4 is currently running at Selfridges until October 25 and showcases a selection of work from “progressive studios for self-taught artists from across the planet.” The accompanying catalogue comes housed in a grey card slip case, and is beautifully designed by This Is Studio.
“Museum of Everything has been a client since the conception of the gallery in 2009,” says This Is Studio’s Barney Beech. “We started our work with them on the identity and went on to create two books, leaflets, multiple websites, merchandise, invitations etc. Book 4 is our latest piece of work for them and coincides with the opening of Exhibition 4 at Selfridges.” The tome is available for £45 from shop.musevery.com.
A pop-up book of M.C. Escher’s work must surely be one of the most ambitious pop-up books projects of all time. Thanks to some clever paper engineering by Courtney Watson McCarthy, this book produced for BlueRed Press in conjunction with Imago Create and published by Thames & Hudson (£19.95) serves as a great introduction to the famous Dutch artists’s graphic work, with various pop-up versions helping to bring to life some of the artists’s clever imagery. There’s even a pop-up version of his famous waterfall image, which also appears on the cover (above).
Last but by no means least in this round-up is Operation Alphabet (Thames & Hudson, £9.95) – a charming children’s book by one of ad agency Mother‘s creative directors, Al MacCuish. The book, designed by Jim Bletsas and illustrated by Luciano Lozano, tells the tale of a five year old boy called Charlie Foxtrot and how he is instructed in the ways of the alphabet by a crack squad of letter-characters dispatched from top secret government department, The Ministry of Letters.
The dust jacket is actually a poster waiting to be discovered, and the book also contains a sticker sheet of alphabet characters too for extra fun. Here are some photos and spreads:
Apparently adman MacCuish got the idea for the book when he spotted a shop sign with some of the letters missing. “It suddenly dawned on me that the alphabet is actually tremendously important to all our daily lives,” he says. “But apart perhaps from crossword fans and typographers, the vast majority of us take it for granted. All except children,” he continues. “For a few years at the beginning of their lives, the alphabet is incredibly important to children. Letters suddenly become new words, and those new words begin to access ideas – and I thought that was quite exciting. It struck me as a really fun idea that they might actually be alive.”
As well as the book, ad agency Mother has co-created an interactive website at ministryofletters.com with Conran Singh. The site is designed to encourage children to think of the alphabet as characters, and therefore easier to relate to. There is stuff for kids, parents and teachers to look at on the site, the idea being that the characters from the book can be utilised in a host of different ways to make children’s learning meaningful and exciting.Visit ministryofletters.com for more info.