WEDNESDAYS WORDS

OKay, I don’t know what is going on with this segment of WEDNESDAYS WORDS, but in my defense all I can say is interesting titles, regardless of genre, if they catch my eye, can end up featured here.

So this ‘testosterone lacking’ episode of WEDNESDAYS WORDS (with the exception of the Tim Vigil art book and Blacksad Graphic Novel) is for all my female readers and uhh husbands and boyfriends of females. :) Wow that’s a nicely put together sentence… NOT.

Anyhow, yeah, wacky books for the woman in your life… enjoy. :)

WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.

Blacksad: A Silent Hell [Hardcover]
Juan Diaz Canales (Author), Juanjo Guarnido (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: July 24, 2012 | Series: Blacksad
Detective John Blacksad returns, with a new case that takes him to a 1950s New Orleans filled with hot jazz and cold-blooded murder! Hired to discover the fate of a celebrated pianist, Blacksad finds his most dangerous mystery yet in the midst of drugs, voodoo, the rollicking atmosphere of Mardi Gras, and the dark underbelly that it hides!

Product Details

Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse (July 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595829318
ISBN-13: 978-1595829313
Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

“The strip puts forth a dark dirty-realist style. The artwork uses clean, realistic lines. Very detailed watercolor drawings, including real-life places and cities, contribute to the realism and arresting (no pun intended) nature of the series… The knowledge of US culture and New York design is stunning. Neither creator is old enough to remember it. They are nothing short of brilliant. And subtle. I love this series.”– Noel Hynd

Blacksad: A Silent Hell


Tim Vigil Artworks 1976-1990 [Paperback] [Paperback]
Tim Vigil (Author)
Book Description
Publication Date: 1991
The best unseen works from early in his career
Tim Vigil Artworks 1976-1990 [Paperback]


Keeping Score [Paperback]
Regina Hart (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
To be a pro b-ball champion takes endless drive and passion. But being a winner on the court can often mean losing off the court. . .

He’s an NBA legend, considered the best of the best. Now veteran player Warrick Evans is determined to lead his team all the way to the championship. It’s his last shot before he retires, but the media can’t get enough of his story–and all the attention is turning his teammates against him, not to mention his wife. . .

Dr. Marilyn Devry-Evans has always stood by her man, even when it meant standing in his shadow. Now she wants to focus on her own career, and on scoring her own dream job. But with the spotlight bearing down on them, Marilyn is reaching her breaking point. Especially when a secret comes to light–one that could destroy not only her career, but her marriage.
Keeping Score


Skinny Bitching: A thirty-something woman mouths off about age angst, pregnancy pressure, and the dieting battles you’ll never win [Paperback]
Jenny Lee (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: October 25, 2005
In her acclaimed books I Do. I Did. Now What?! and What Wendell Wants, Jenny Lee hilariously chronicled the milestones of getting married and getting a dog. Now she takes on the most terrifying milestone of all: getting older.

Tackling everything from the peer pressure to have children to resisting the siren call of suburbia, Skinny Bitching delivers unsparingly witty commentary on:

• What to do when you actually start breaking out again like you did in junior high school (how is that even possible?)

• Saying good-bye to going to bars, seeing bands, and generally being cool

• Finally facing the fact that those extra ten pounds are never coming off

• Dealing with the fact that just when you finally know what you want out of a husband, it’s too late to exchange him

In a hilarious and poignant homage to thirty-something women everywhere, Jenny Lee lets us in on her most intimate secrets as she transforms her modern-day angst into something timeless, moving, and unfailingly funny.

Skinny Bitching: A thirty-something woman mouths off about age angst, pregnancy pressure, and the dieting battles you’ll never win


The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color [Paperback]
Iman (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
The first beauty and make-up book to address skin tones from across the spectrum-including Latina, black, Asian, Indian, Native American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern, as well as multiple ethnicities – The Beauty of Color features:

Skin care basics with specialized beauty regimens for skin of color
Makeup 101 – what you really need for every skin tone
How to create ten amazing make-up looks with easy step-by-step instructions and photos
Famous beauties, including Salma Hayek, Tyra Banks, Eva Mendes, Venus and Serena Williams, Eve, Rosario Dawson, Padma Lakshmi, Jade Jagger, Alicia Keys, and Kimora Lee Simmons

The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color

Foul Play!: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics! [Paperback]
Grant Geissman (Author)
Book Description
Publication Date: April 5, 2005
Legendary publisher Bill Gaines is perhaps best remembered as the founder of MAD Magazine, but in the opinion of many dedicated comic book fans, his greatest achievement was E.C. Comics, a line of adventure, horror, and science-fiction comics whose influence on American graphic novels is undeniable, even today. Foul Play! is the perfect book for anyone wanting to understand the special place E.C. holds in the comic fan’s heart — or who just wants to read some real good comics!

Foul Play! celebrates the fan-favorite creators of E.C. Comics, profiling their artists — a veritable who’s who of mid-20th century popular illustration — and describing how they came to work with Bill Gaines and how their careers evolved after E.C.. Among the comics art legends profiled are Al Feldstein; Harvey Kurtzman; Johnny Craig; Jack Davis; Graham Ingels; Jack Kamen; Wallace Wood; Joe Orlando; Will Elder; John Severin; George Evans; Al Williamson; Reed Crandall; Bernie Krigstein; and more! Plus, the book includes a special bonus: a lost E.C. Comics story “Wanted for Murder!” originally intended to be published in 1956 but forgotten and unseen until now

Foul Play!: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics!


The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!

If you’re a publisher, writer, or other creative representative looking to submit items for WEDNESDAYS WORDS, just leave a comment on this post with your email/contact info, comments don’t get posted they come right to me, and I’ll reach out to you with the snail mail details.

And as far as readers, if you see items on WEDNESDAYS WORDS you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links.

Your helpful purchases through those links, generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!

Sponsored by Ebay Store: Deals of the Day!

Today’s DEAL OF THE DAY: FROM PENCILS TO INKS THE ART OF MARK A. NELSON

Today’s DEAL OF THE DAY:

FROM PENCILS TO INKS THE ART OF MARK A. NELSON

I was turned on, introduced seems the wrong word, to the art of Mark A. Nelson via his coverage in SPECTRUM, Volume 15 or 16.

One of his penciled drawings, rich with detail just stood out from the rest of the Spectrum pages, just compellingly good. I immediately knew I needed to get an artbook from this artist.

And having acquired FROM PENCILS TO INKS, I have to say Mark A. Nelson’s work in quantity… lives up to expectations and exceeds them. The book itself is a slight softcover volume, but is worth acquiring for the pencil and ink work alone. There are also examples of sequential work in the book, but the real selling point is the pen and ink full page spreads.

A staggering amount of texture, and just a boundless creativity and imagination. This volume can be a bit hard to find, but it’s worth the hunt. Strongly Recommended.
From Pencils to Inks: The Art of Mark A. Nelson: Price it Here!

p.s. Quick update. I’ve been informed by the artist himself (way cool)that you should also be able to get this book, prints and other items worth your patronage… here: GRAZING DINOSAUR PRESS!.

Now go peruse some art! :)

Gift Ideas for the Holidays! Part1 of 3!

Okay so the holidays are right around the corner, and no doubt you’re looking for great gift ideas to give the loved and liked ones in your life, as well as to give yourself.

So without further ado today’s recommended, the-artist-among-you-would-love, item, is REBUS by James Jean.

REBUS, his newest, latest, and arguably most comprehensive art book, is a sumptuous tome. It had me at the red gilded pages, and sewn binding. Take a gander.

REBUS

Just released the book is already almost out of print. But check the link below for any available copies, or news of a new printing.

James Jean’s REBUS HC: Price it Here

The Plodding Dreams of Man

What if we’re wrong

What if we’re wrong, about all the plodding dreams of man

What if we’re wrong

**************

If someone held a gun to your, (have always hated guns, a coward’s weapon. But it is a coward’s world… so you play the hand you’re dealt)

If someone held a gun to your head

here

right now,

in this place, in this time, in this moment

And gave you 5 seconds to name your favorite art book, or they pull the trigger

What would you say

What would you say

Which would you name

It’s a question that would only hold terror to a rabid collector of art books, to a lover of art

The uncaring rabble, such a question would not be wasted on

But for you

You happy few

For whom beauty matters

they will come to you, with their shiny boots, and flags of flying, and drums a beating, and torches lit, and guns a ready… and say choose one, to save from this new bonfire of the vanities.

Which would you choose

5 seconds

Tick Tock

For me I didn’t even need 3

The title came out of my mouth unbidden

And the dream evaporated

like the remnants of sweet on tongue

Beksinski

I had said Beksinski

The Fantastic Art of Beksinski (Masters of Fantastic Art S.)

And I woke from the dream, neither laughing nor screaming, but listening… to the sound of drums… coming nearer.

Favorite Gene Colan Covers

“To the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe only the truth”
—Voltaire

******

Gene Colan.

Artist, Husband, Father.

Coined ‘The Dean’ by Stan the Man Lee, was one of comics’ most beloved elder statesmen, and days ago as of this writing… he passed away.

I had the pleasure of hearing the soft spoken Gene Colan speak on a panel with the aforementioned Stan Lee, as well as via various podcasts, and he was always a gentleman in the truest definition of that word.

Growing up in the age of Neal Adams and Don Newton and John Byrne and George Perez, Colan was, like Kirby, not an artist I gravitated to.

With Colan, particularly, this is because his moody belabored pencils never came through in the garishly colored comics he was oft relegated to doing. His fine detailed pencils were lost beneath ‘get to the point’ inks, and gaudy colors. And his superhero work for me, just didn’t appeal.

It was only much later when I got the chance to see Colan’s work sans skintight costumed heroes, an unhelpful colors, that I saw an undeniable craft and consummate work ethic.

It is when working with real people, in real clothes, with creases, and expressions, and faces uncovered by masks… that Colan’s work for me came alive. Some of his best work is on books like TOMB OF DRACULA, and SON OF SATAN, where Colan’s penchant for camera angles, and atmospherics, and beautiful women could shine.

A few years back I bought the simply stellar SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS: THE ART & LIFE OF GENE COLAN. It’s a simply indispensable overview of a great artist, and an inspiring man.

Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan

I point you to that book for an indepth look at Colan’s work and Colan’s grace (spring for the HC, it’s worth the money), but I’ll end this post with a few of my favorite Colan covers.

For reasons previously stated much of Colan’s Superhero work, including covers, didn’t grab me, but there were some where I thought everything worked, the pencils, the inks, the coloring…and here are those chosen few:

Book Review: Edgar Allan Poe: Masters of the Weird Tale

“Nothing will teach you more about the human heart, than Murnau’s SUNRISE. Not the living of it, and not the leaving of it. If that simple, supple, nuanced tale does not move you. Indelibly move you, then you are something I prefer not to know. For its day there was no bigger, more sumptuous, more lavish spectacle. And technically, SUNRISE, with its use of various compositing effects, and camera effects, was both innovator and game-changer.”
– Heroic Times on MURNAU

Sunrise [Blu-ray]

Edgar Allan Poe: Masters of the Weird Tale- Centipede Press is the producer of high end tomes containing work by some of the standout writers of the fantastic, among them H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King to name a few. True to the title, EAPMOTWT concentrates on collecting all the work of foremost writer of Dark Fiction, Edgar Allen Poe. At 900 pages, the book also contains many illustrations done for Poe stories.

Edgar Allan Poe: Masters of the Weird Tale

Aware of the giant over-sized art retrospectives done on HP Lovecraft and Stephen King respectively, and led by the dimensions listed on the on-line purchase page, 14″ by 10″, I bought this item. However, once received, actual dimensions are 7″ by 10″, which is comparable to regular book size.

The good? is it is 900 pages, contains all the Edgar Allen Poe stories, sports large type, illustrations and spot illustrations sporadically through the book. Comes in a slipcase, with quality cover, paper and binding.

The bad? As stated it is not oversized, it is regular sized. The artwork is sporadic at best, so not an art book in the sense of Centipede Press’ phenomenal and large enough to bludgeon the odd badger, KNOWING DARKNESS: THE ART OF STEPHEN KING. It’s more a book with various spot illustrations tossed in, all pretty turn of the century and stock. The best of the illustrations are the handful done by Virgil Finlay. And while these sporadic illustrations are pecfectly fine if this book was priced say at $40, this book retails for nearly $300!!! Even getting this deeply discounted online, you’re still looking at $180 to $200!?! A lot of money for what really amounts to a hardcover book with some spot illustrations. This is not an art book. You can get any number of books containing all Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, for a fraction of the cost of this tome. I recommend this one:

The Complete Edgar Allan Poe Tales

My recommendation… pass.

You can decide for yourself… here.

Edgar Allan Poe: Masters of the Weird Tale

Art from the Edge of the Sea: Images of you and Images of Me #2

This particular image is my crude take on Carlos Schwabe’s beautiful LES FLEURS DU MAL: DESTRUCTION, completed toward the end of the 19th century.

Anyone with an interest in art has Schwabe’s french art book CARLOS SCHWABE:SYMBOLISTE ET VISIONNAIRE in their collection (or will have). Speaking French is not necessary to appreciate all the amazing art contained in this tome. Considered one of the early and one of the more influential artists of the fantastic.


If you don’t already own this oversized artbook, Carlos Schwabe, Symboliste et Visionnaire (French Edition), pick up a copy here, while prices are low. to see what all the fuss is about!

Art from the Edge of the Sea: Images of you and Images of Me #1

I’ve been meaning to get back into the habit of drawing regularly. While I’m obviously no Kyle Baker or Kevin Nowlan, and not going to make a living at this, the goal isn’t that.

The purpose of this new segment ART FROM THE EDGE OF THE SEA is just to get back into putting down lines that hopefully day by day get better. The goal to see if a bad or rudimentary artist can progress… noticeably.

The hardest thing about doing this on the computer is controlling the line, it’s a bit harder than controlling a pencil. And I’m just using a crude basic illustration program and my touch pad (no tablet, no pen), so you can imagine it’s a bit like trying to draw with a brick.

But what the hey.

I’ll take it slowly, like this is the first day of my life. And this my first drawing. I’ll try and do one at least every other day, we’ll see how that works out.

Hope you guys will keep checking in to see if I evolve out of awful. :)

Here is the first drawing. Try not to scream :) :

On Beksinski! Comparing the artbooks FANTASTIC ART and BEKSINSKI 1!

“In the medieval tradition, Beksinski seems to believe art to be a forewarning about the fragility of the flesh– whatever pleasures we know are doomed to perish– thus, his paintings manage to evoke at once the process of decay and the ongoing struggle for life. They hold within them a secret poetry, stained with blood and rust.” –director Guillermo Del Toro

I’ve been singing the praise of Zdzislaw Beksinski since 1998 when Morpheus International introduced his art to those outside Poland by publishing THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI.

The Fantastic Art of Beksinski (Masters of Fantastic Art S.)


Twelve years later and Beksinski’s work is more well known to the point where there are films and filmmakers singing his praises, bands doing albums to him, and additional art books produced about him. Sad that this increased exposure couldn’t arrive while he was still alive.

However, that injustice aside, I’m glad the art books and product are, in the wake of his demise, finding an audience. The work of Beksinski deserves to… persist.

One recent art book is BEKSINSKI 1 by publisher Bosz Art. A 2009 printing, which I only recently received. Having loved THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI, (it remains 12 years later, and hundreds of art books later, my essential art book) I had constantly been on the search for more art books by this “master of the aftermath”, and BEKSINSKI 1 fit the bill nicely.

It’s a bit more substantial of a book than Morpheus’ THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI. BEKSINSKI 1 is about the same height as THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI (which is 12″ by 9.6″) while being over an inch thicker, and sporting about 100 more pages.

Zdzislaw Beksinski (Bosz art) (Polish Edition)

There’s a very nice forward, both in Polish and English, by Wieslaw Banach, that is quite eloquent and slightly poetic. Beyond those few pages the rest of the books is given over to just a broad selection, listed chronologically, of Beksinski’s art.

The strength of this tome is its size allows it to include a lot of art not in THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI, some of it quite arresting. The weakness of this tome however is most of the tome is given to his post 1990 work, which is in a different less beautiful/fantastic realist style than his earlier work. It gets quite repetitive actually.

A 2nd failing is while the paper stock is thick, it is a dull, matte finish that does not show off the art of Beksinski as well as the Morpheus tome.

The glossy Morpheus paper, really captures the brightness and vibrancy of Beksinski’s colors, it makes the art come alive. An illusion that is lost in the dull matte finish of the Bosz Tome. Also with the inclusion of quotes interspersed, quite thematically, throughout the entirety of the book, as well as framing the art against, mostly haunting dark colors, THE FANTASIC ART OF BEKSINSKI is just a far superior designed book.

So I don’t regret spending the money to acquire BEKSINSKI 1, it’s a nice expansion to the world of Beksinski, but Morpheus International’s 12 year old tome, THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI remains the definitive book on the last great surrealist.

The Fantastic Art of Beksinski (Masters of Fantastic Art S.)

Final Grades: A+ for THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI B+ for BEKSINSKI 1.

THE ART OF PAUL BONNER: A Review!

“I was wondering how… from where we began we got to this dark place.”
—Eleanor
“One step at a time, my dear. One step at a time.”
—Henry II

– paraphrase from THE LION IN WINTER

My read pile as always overfloweth, as does my to watch pile, but here’s at least one recent purchase I’ve been able to get to.

OUT OF THE FORESTS: THE ART OF PAUL BONNER- If you, like me, try to always pick up the latest volume of Cathy and Arnie Fenner’s yearly, lauded and laudable, art anthology, SPECTRUM THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION you know that every few years an especially talented artist rises, phoenix like, above the pack.

I’ve been following the long running series, about to begin its 17th consecutive year, for most of those years, and while it is always chock full of great artists, I’m generally content to get my art-fix from the work on display in the pages of SPECTRUM.

Only a select few of those artists, in going on 17 years, have hit me with such impact, that I immediately knew, SPECTRUM wasn’t enough, I needed to own an art-book by this person (this excludes established names such as Frazetta, and Jusko and Vallejo, etc. whose work I was familiar with and a collector of, long before SPECTRUM, no I’m discussing for the most part the relative new discovery that SPECTRUM is known for giving exposure to).

Names like Donato Giancola, and John Jude Palencar I was introduced to by SPECTRUM, and immediately I knew I wanted more. These guys were the bright and shining art stars of a brand new day, and it was clear in every line and every stroke.

The latest such ‘discovery’ Paul Bonner, has stood out for me in the last few SPECTRUMS, with his muscular reworkings of middle earth dreams, and dark castle nightmareS.

For me, his images and visions, are the ones that stay with me, long after I have put down the latest volume of SPECTRUM.

The good people at Titan Books, no fool they, realizing exceptional talent when they see it have released the pointedly titled, and gorgeously produced OUT OF THE FORESTS:THE ART OF PAUL BONNER.

Titan Books has a reputation for quality product, and TAOPB is no exception. From cover to cover it’s an essential and must have exploration of the rich and wonderful work of Paul Bonner.

I’ll not do a disservice to Paul Bonner or myself by trying to give you a play by play of what you’ll see in the pages of the book, or a dissection of the art of Paul Bonner except to say, his work fits quite nicely between the world of Caravaggio and the Hildebrandts.

Beautiful realism, married to stunning fantasy. Highly Recommended! Nuff said. Go, see, Buy!

A+.