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At the end of January Printed Matter hosted the second annual L.A. Art Book Fair, a sister show to the New York Art Book Fair, and it was awesome. Held at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, LAABF has a more spacious feel than its New York counterpart at PS1, yet it shares NYABF’s overwhelming feeling of brainiac activity and does a pretty amazing job of capturing the breadth of what artists’ books are/can be.
I was super impressed by the amount of Los Angeles on display. I hadn’t heard of the L.A. zine group Lokos Only and I was totally blown away by their photo zines, especially TACO, which fluidly blends exceptional on-the-street finds with cars, signage and graffiti. Eve Fowler’s tremendous poster project that gives Gertrude Stein the Colby Printing treatment was on display, as well as an array of rad newsprint editions from Martine Syms’ Dominica imprint. It was a treat to see Andrew from the new &Pens shop, the L.A. incarnation of San Francisco’s Needles and Pens. The Ooga Booga Store was in full effect and they showed off their huge new space for the opening night party with Scott Reeder transforming their gallery into a goofy, honest and dream-like television set.
Like NYABF, the Fair also had an impressive showing of international exhibitors. Fundación Alumnos47 brought a terrific array of independently published work from Mexico and right in the same room you could also find Re:Surgo’s eye-popping silkscreen zines from Germany and Extrapool’s gorgeous risographed books from the Netherlands.
Gorgeous risographed books were the order of the day. Toronto’s Perish Press debuted their new series, Perish Plains, with a volume of collaborative drawings between Patrick Kyle and Michael DeForge. Grand Rapids’ Issue Press brought out their zine vending machine, Book Box, to show off their lovingly crafted pocket editions. There were new titles from Colour Code and Never Press as well, all terrifically designed in hyper-hue colors. Designer Sigrid Calon sold out of her show-stopping volume of sublimely psychedelic geometric patterns based on embroidery and DNA.
Printed Matter debuted their second volume of the collection Queer Zines and brought together an exhibit that offered an exploded view of the book with publications on display spanning over 40 years. One of my few written notes from the weekend was taken from the exhibit: “Hippie Dick: Learn More”.
The living history of queer zines was out on the floor. Everlasting Secret Family had a plethora of homo-fancy print, pulp and ephemera right down the aisle from Goteblüd’s deep trough of fanzine finds. Across the way, Darin Klein and friends had laid out the latest “Box of Books” compilation, an annual anthology of minizines while Christopher Schulz had his superior art/smut zine, PINUPS, assembled into wall-sized posters.
Trying to write a summary of the weekend leaves me with the feeling I haven’t even scratched the surface of what was going on, and that’s exactly what was so exciting about this year’s LAABF- the feeling that an uncountable amount of activity is happening in a multitude of directions. The social atmosphere of the fair was extreme and I got to catch up with a fleet of old pals and also meet a bundle of new friends. By the end of it all I got the feeling that this is also where the book fair’s magic lies – not just the palpable flurry of activity, but the gift of cross-pollinating these ideas in physical space. Invigorating, inspiring and totally overwhelming- LAABF was a pretty incredible book fair.
This past weekend was the annual NY Art Book Fair at PS1. The place was more crowded than ever. Half of me was annoyed that I often had to look over shoulders to get a glimpse of a book, and part of me was thrilled to see so many people attending an event for art books! It was quite a hip scene, with lots of young beautiful people in their coolest clothes. The people watching was almost as fun as the book browsing. I’ve collected a bunch of photos I took around the fair which you can see below. What were your favorites booths? What did you buy? My one and only purchase (!) coming later this week.
I just wanted to quickly invite everyone to the event we’re having to celebrate my new book Drawn In. I really hope you can all make it! So many artists from the book will be there to meet you and sign your book! Plus in this rare opportunity you’ll get to flip through their sketchbooks! Here’s the details:
Join us in celebrating the newly released book Drawn In: A Peek into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, and Cartoonists. The book shares large full-color images and profiles each of the amazingly talented artists that discuss their sketchbooks and how they use them.
Meet artists from the book and get a book signed! Flip through their sketchbooks!
Some of the artists who will be at the event are Ana Benaroya, Jen Corace, Christian DeFilippo, Rob Dunlavey, Ben Finer, Jessica Hische, Matt Leines, Mike Lowery, Alex Lukas, Ted McGrath, Leif Parsons, Claudia Pearson, Mike Sudal, Jenny Volvovski and Ben K. Voss.
Thursday, June 30th at 6pm
at Powerhouse Arena in Dumbo
37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
All are invited so bring friends! Drinks will be served.
See more about the book in a review and interview by Maria Popova (Brainpickings.org) that appeared in The Atlantic online right here.
Today for the first time ever, I went to BEA, the BookExpo of America. It’s a big tradeshow where all different publishers set up booths to share the new publications they have coming out. The show is only open to buyers and press who come to see what the publishers have to offer. It’s jam packed with people, ginormous signage and tons of books everywhere.
I went for a few reasons. The first is that I authored and illustrated a book that’s coming out this Fall from Storey Publishing called Farm Anatomy. It’s 224 pages of painted illustrations that give a look at the curious parts of country life. At the show, I finally got to meet some of the fantastic Storey team I’ve been working with. I wasn’t sure I was supposed to talk about the book yet so I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before. But now that it debuted at the expo, I can finally start to share it. It’s been the biggest project I’ve ever done (it’s still not even finished!). I’ll be showing a lot of the making off and peeks of the spreads in the coming months.
I also did this year’s tote bag giveaway for Chronicle Books and the drawings they used to decorate their booth. When I first arrived and looked around the crowds, the totes were everywhere. It was such an incredible feeling seeing so many strangers carrying it around. Also I’ve never gotten to see my illustrations as big as they appeared on Chronicle’s booth. I am pretty psyched to be associated with such a great publisher! They have some seriously beautiful stuff coming out and I’m so honored to have a line of stationery coming out with them this Fall as well. (If you want a tote and aren’t going to BEA, you can buy one for $2.99 here. It’s made from all recycled materials!)
The third exciting reason for going to the show was that my good friend Grace Bonney of Design Sponge has her new book coming out called Design Sponge At Home. The book comes out this Fall as well, so Grace was there promoting it with a blad (stands for basic layout and design) which shows samples spreads from the book. My company ALSO designed the book and I did the all the interior illustrations. I also did the illustration on the coverwrap which was printed with gold foil (it’s hard to tell from photos.) I am so happy for her because I know how hard she worked on the book. There’s no doubt it will be a hit!
After being completely happily overwhelmed by the top three things, I did have a chance to wander the show and see some of the new books coming out soon. I am super excited that Sophie Blackall’s Missed Connections series is coming out as a book from Workman Publishing. I also am just as thrilled that a big book of Paula Scher’s Maps is coming out with Princeton Architectural Press. Other books that definitely made my Fall wishlist are Typography Sketchbooks (Jessica Hische, and Will Miller’s sketchbooks are in Drawn In and are quite incredible so I wouldn’t mind seeing more type sketches)(also how many books can Steve Heller author? It’s quite insane), James Jean’s Rebus, Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets (illustrated by my friend Caitlin Keegan) The Conductor, (looks so sweet!), How Carrots Won the Trojan War (because Gilbert Ford’s illustrations are so fun!) and The Art of Instruction, which looks especially gorgeous.
A few more scenes from around the show are below: (Sorry for the bad photography- all taken with my iphone.)
The annual Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art Festival took place this past weekend, with hundreds of exhibitors selling their comics, zines, books, and other printed matter. I manned the Parsons Illustration table for a few hours on Sunday, and had a ton of fun talking to festival-goers and browsing as many tables as I could get to. Styles varied from Xeroxed superhero comics to beautifully printed artist books. I got to look through a whole table of Tove Jansson books, trade zines with Swedish illustrator and comic Sarah Klapp, and meet other illustration students from Pratt and MICA. Here are some of my favorites:
Anthony Cuday’s Vita is a dark narrative of a man who wakes up in the woods. I’ve been following Anthony’s work for a while, and I was excited to meet him and pick up this zine. His beautiful, curving linework and strong graphic sensibility make every image compelling.
Katie Turner’s My Week in Bologna is a personal narrative of the trip she took to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March 2010. Her crayon drawings, fun lettering, and little labeled pictures perfectly match the journal-style writing.
Aron Nels Steinke’s The Super Crazy Cat Dance is, like the cover says, a super fun crazy comic for kids and grownups alike. Even if you’re not a cat person, it’s hard not to like two little girls doing the cat dance, going to the moon to find moon kitties, and then being friends with dogs and cats alike. I especially love Aron’s intricate patterning. He’s adapted this comic into a full-color children’s book you can buy here <http://www.amazon.com/Balloon-Toons-Super-Crazy-Dance/dp/1609050355>