7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #54: Featuring David Merveille

h1 March 16th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: This is one of those Sundays in which we’re really featuring a book (as opposed to, say, an illustrator stopping by to share something new or not-seen-before), this one a (mostly) wordless picture book, entitled Jukebox, published by Kane/Miller this year (originally published in France in ’07), and created by French illustrator David Merveille — ahem, make that “illustrateur.” Having gotten these spreads from the publisher, since I think this book is awfully fun, I did email David to see if he wanted to send us some commentary about the book and perhaps talk about his creation of the art work therein, but alas! I had to send my email in l’Anglais, and I have no idea if he understood me (my high school French has receded into the far corners of my memory, and it is très mauvais — at least, I think that means very-bad-as-in-LOUSY).

The below video will give you a good sense of this book (as well as show you some more spreads from it), which is an enjoyable title for those crazy about music. This is the tale that celebrates musical styles in a small diner in what looks like the middle of nowhere. A customer walks in, puts some change in the jukebox (featured on the left side of each spread), and then on the right, Merveille brings that musical genre to life. From disco to chamber music to Mozart to hip hop to jazz to Hawaiian music, it’s a hoot to see how Merveille animates the music on the page, especially how he incorporates the genre’s title into the design of his spreads. I’m including some of my favorite spreads in this post. Here’s the punk rocker, and I don’t mean a rocking chair that punks sit in:

And here’s the aforementioned video, which features a few more spreads from the book. The video was created by a friend of the Kane/Miller gang, and it includes the “jazz” spread, which is fitting, since Jazz Appreciation Month is comin’ up in April:

Here are two more spreads, and many thanks to Kane/Miller for letting us share them with our readers. In case you’re having trouble seeing the lettering, these spreads are for the blues and goth (that ain’t no mallgoth down there either; he seems to be the real deal, a hard-core ubergoth):

As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you (as well as featuring artists like David). New people are more than welcome to leave their lists. We hope you’ll share your kick-worthy moments from the week.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

this is not my actual shoulder, btw1* I’m very much digging all the illustrations this week. The punk, gothic, and opera spreads especially tickle me.

2* Everyone being so sweet and trying to help me get over my funk on Friday. Thanks, ya’ll.

3* Another thing that helped: my sister sent me a care package out of the blue, including yummy Belgian chocolates and librarian-themed temporary tattoos. Hey, even if I can’t find a library job in Ithaca, at least I can still look like a librarian. A super hardcore bad-ass librarian, even. Thank you, Leslie!

4* NYC last weekend was fun – we hung out with the writers of the show, musicians, and respective crew people, plus hooked up for dinner with some of B.’s friends who just happen to live there. One of the excellent people I met is Maddy Wyatt, a singer-songwriter who’s responsible for the “Man for Me (Ode to Barack)” song:

Fugitive Songs5* I also made a pilgrimage to see the actual Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Tigger dolls at the Donnell Library, as is the solemn duty of any Milne fan. Alas, I didn’t see the fabulous Fuse, which would have been extra cool. But the toys (and the N.C. Wyeth paintings, and the Bryan Collier illustration) were worth the trip. And it’s lucky I did manage to squeeze that little visit in, because it turns out they were packed up in preparation for the library move the very next day!

6* Oh, and of course, seeing the show. It was awesome.

7* A friend of mine (one of the frequently-mentioned poets who live upstairs from me and loans me excellent books and sneak me into author receptions) has started a new blog called Geek Girl Friday, where she points readers toward cool, funky, and/or bizarre products and websites and stuff. Plus she posts good poetry: check out this spare, haunting little number she put up Friday.

8* We’ll be posting an interview with Kadir Nelson tomorrow. He’s been a hero of mine for ages, and is one of a handful of illustrators who has actually made me cry – not because a book was sad, but because it was beautiful (Ellington Was Not a Street).

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Hey, Eisha, there’s one spread in Jukebox — not pictured here or in the video — that I think you’d really, really dig: It’s a Beat Generation spread — or at least it seems so to me. The text is “Let’s Get Lost,” and it’s very Kerouac.

1) My oldest turned four this week, and we partied down yesterday. It was a dinosaur party, since she’s currently crazy about them and wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up (but promises to occasionally visit me as she’s travelling the world, digging up stegosaurus bones). Eisha, we even had some dinosaur tattoos (though I really covet your new library ones). But, seeing as how she’s also obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and got some ruby slippers for her b’day AND since she got some new cowgirl boots AND since she wore some pixie wings she painted herself, it was more like Piper’s Pixie Cowgirl Ruby Slippers Dinosaur Party. Here she is pictured with her FEROCIOUS and TERRIFYING dinosaur mask (ROAR), and check out those savagely cool new cowgirl boots, pictured below (that’s actually her sister wearing hers; she got a pair, too).

We also had a dinosaur piñata, but apparently it was made of steel. Yes, very hard to break.

2). An illustrator told us this week that a story he both wrote and illustrated is going to be published after a publishing company saw his art work featured at our site. THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!

3). I got my original Grumpy Bird piece of art by Jeremy Tankard matted and framed this week. It looks beautemous, hanging in my kitchen so that Grumpy Bird greets me each morning as I eat breakfast (and we can be grumpy together — you just don’t even wanna talk to me in the morning ’til I’ve had coffee).

4). Season Two of Weeds. Heavens, that is a wicked funny show. I love my satires of contemporary American suburban life. And shows that push boundaries like this one does. And my husband and I waited on a library waiting list for many months to watch season two — and have about one week to do so before it’s due. I don’t know how we manage to watch an entire season in one week, but we occasionally pull that kind of thing off.

If you’re not familiar with the show, they have the intro song performed by a different musician or band every week (at least in season two), and here’s been my favorite intro so far — Death Cab for Cutie’s version:

5). We’re also wrapping up Season Two of Battlestar Galactica, also very good — and get me, watching a sci-fi show.

6). Our interview with Kadir Nelson here at 7-Imp tomorrow, as Eisha mentioned. Eisha’s story about Ellington Was Not a Street making her cry? I totally get that.

7). Here’s a new image from illustrator Frank Dormer. He’s sharing it with us this week, and it’s a big kick for me. Anyone else love the first Aggie and Ben book of stories from Lori Ries, which Frank illustrated? (I loved it and reviewed it here back in ’06.) Well, a new Aggie and Ben book is coming out soon — entitled Good Dog, Aggie — and Frank’s sharing an illustration from it. Here, Ben has just pulled Aggie away from chasing a squirrel (and here’s another I found at Frank’s site):

Thanks, Frank! Hey, everyone, what are your kicks this week?

20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #54: Featuring David Merveille”

  1. Hey friends…

    Eisha — I’m glad you got some chocolate, girl. Totally requisite. Especially when accompanied by a glass o’ red. And these illustrations seem apt too. Soak ’em in…
    Jules — you are one fun mama, that pixie cowgirl dinosaur can no doubt attest….

    My kicks this week include:

    1. Remodeling. Yes. It is actually still fun and funny. Talk to me in June. But for now, we have our Coleman camping stove on the back porch and visions of countertops dance in our heads…
    2. Spring break. We vacationed IN TOWN instead of traveling and boy-oh-man did we have fun. The library for a loooong sesh, out to lunch a couple times, the Chinese grocery, hiking on Enchanted Rock, swimming, riding a ferris wheel with my wee one.
    3. My little gals. I really like it when they’re on vacation. They are just a hoot to hang around.
    4. My sister. Who lives clear on the other side of the world but is always right there with me, via Skype.
    5. This morning’s long run and hot shower.
    6. South by Southwest music festival. You could not walk, bike or drive ANYWHERE this week without bumping into live music. Lots of it free.
    7. The end of spring break. Ready to get back at it. Butt in chair. The mind’s a-clicking.

    Happy Sunday, ya’ll….

  2. Esiha, those tattoos are EXACTLY what the elem librarians need in our district for some levity. WE are going through some tough bargaining.
    Jules: Love the pixe dinoosaur bday party. You rock! Liz, I wish is were spring break. 2 more weeks.
    My week has been he**!!! I have few kicks.
    1. The understanding of my principal when I called Tuesday night stresses out about the boards and she told me to stay home on Wed.
    Seriously, I am nominating her for principal of the year. (as soon as I send the box off).
    2. I got my hair cut and colored yearterday. The 1/2 inch grow out was a bit much.
    3. Chuck who has made sure that I don’t have to think about dinner as I hit the last days before I send off the box to national boards.
    Those are my kicks. I don’t think I have ever had such a short list.
    Have a great week.

  3. Hi, Liz. What a great list! I miss your blog. I was behind on blog-reading, then I got a bit caught up, then we had a four-year-old’s b’day party. And I don’t EVEN do the big, complicated parties either. Still, it’s a lot of work (mostly cleaning the entire house for the party. I loathe housework).

    Anyway, blah blah. So glad you all had a fun spring break.

    Jone, you poor thing, you. Sorry about the stress of the boards. Glad you have a kickin’ principal, though. And Chuck. Here’s to a better week next week for you.

  4. Hey everyone!

    SO much luscious faboo stuff here this week I can hardly stand it! Dinosaurs, tatoos, cowgirl boots, jukeboxes, Obama song, not to mention an illustrator getting a publishing offer because of your feature? Wahoo! I LOVE David’s book — what a totally cool concept. Me want jukebox. Eisha, how awesome you met Maddy and got to see the show and party on with the cast and crew . . . and I’m jealous. I’ve got plenty of chocolate, but no tatoos.


    1. Spring is here! It’s warm and sunny and the trees are blooming and birds are singing.

    2. Had dinner with our cousin last night in Georgetown. She’s so amazing because she had cancer surgery just 10 days ago. Feasted on some delicious red snapper while spying on the tuxedoed gents at the next table. They were with younger women, and I thought of Spitzer.

    3. I survived Poetry Friday! And enjoyed all the Dylan lyrics and original poems inspired by him.

    4. Got my hair cut yesterday, finally — I lucked out because my stylist is usually booked months in advance, but she had a cancellation, so I zipped on over.

    5. Got a copy of Monkey in a Toolbelt. It was supposed to be a gift, but it’s so cute that I, um, might, um, keep it.

    6. Jules gave me the skinny on Sam Phillips, with a cool anecdote about Dylan.

    7. Sister-in-law visited from New Hampshire.

    Have a good week. Wear green tomorrow.

  5. I want to be four. Boots, wings, tattoos, ruby slippers…..let’s all just agree that four is where it’s at this week.

    Eisha, I’m so glad you got to see Pooh and friends before they moved! I hope you inspected them like I did. I practically pressed my nose to the glass. Did looking at Eeyore lift your Blue Funk at all?

    My biggest kick is surviving my two presentations at the CNU Writers Conference. Not everything went as planned—including laptop cords not working and me locking my keys in my trunk!—but despite all the bumps, it was a day spent with fellow writers talking and talking with each other about Things That Matter. I love that kind of day.

  6. Whoa, what a FANTASTIC looking book. Can I say how much I love the PUNK guy with the plaid pants?! How very Sid of him.

    And KADIR NELSON!!!! And I LOVE the Ellington book, too. Can’t WAIT for your interview!!! Whoo!

  7. Liz, yay for free music and stay-at-home vacations. I hope you get to cook inside again soon.

    Oh, Jone, sorry you’re so stressed out. But it’s almost over! Thank goodness you’ve got a man who can cook for you till then.

    Jama, I loved this week’s Dylan-themed PF. Excellent job!

    Sara, you’re so right. Looking at that pic of the birthday girl, I can’t imagine needing anything else. And actually, looking at Eeyore made me understand why HE’S been in a funk all these years – he’s got that rode-hard-and-hung-up-wet look about him. Glad you survived your conference and had such a good time dispite the mishaps.

    TadMack, I know. We can hardly believe our luck. You must tune in tomorrow.

  8. Eisha: Many, many good vibes for you. Yay, show!

    Jules: Write a picture book based on the experience. Piper’s Pixie Cowgirl Ruby Slippers Dinosaur Party is a wonderful picture book title! Tell her I give her kudos for the pixie wings. They are THE BEST KIND OF WINGS EVER.
    I don’t watch that TV show – I don’t have that channel nor the interest – but I love hearing that the theme song is performed by a different musician/band every week.

    My kicks:
    Tap dancing.
    Groceries: $50 worth for $7.
    You say trash, I say hair ribbons.
    Folding freshly laundered clothing.
    Wearing a dress made by my mother.
    Making it through.

  9. Hello All!
    I popped in this morning when I returned from mass, but no one had been here yet! I simply wasn’t ready to go first. I love that Good Dog Aggie illustration. Eisha, I hope you are properly de-funked by now. Jules, dino parties rock! It looks like it was great fun.

    My students had spring break this week, but I was in most of the week (not Friday) interviewing candidates for a position in my department. So, no spring break kickiness, but a few good things anyway. Here goes.
    1. We had many good candidates for the job opening and have four amazing finalists. No matter who gets the job, we will get one really great person to join our department.
    2. New books from Abrams came for review. They look like fun.
    3. NSTA Science list came out this week. Lots of good reads here.
    4. Fabulous meeting with my writing group on Friday. I love them.
    5. Hair cut and color on Friday. I feel like a new woman!
    6. Easter egg hunt with William on Saturday, then a wonderful day at the playground. I got to watch while basking in the sun.
    7. William and I went to see Horton Hears a Who today. Huzzah!

    That’s it for me. Have a great week all.

  10. I’m appreciating the jazz. And the temporary tattoos. And pretty much everything about Piper’s birthday, although only after I bravely made myself come back to the computer after seeing that ferocious dinosaur.

    Sara, You survived! Yay! I knew you would!

    Little Willow, I also love folding laundry, especially towels.

    In my world, friends from out of town came in for a visit this weekend, and it was 48 hours of one kick after another. Before that, I’m pretty sure I had a really nice, productive week, but who can remember? I think I have to go to bed early tonight….

  11. Jama, wahoo for your cousin! And I’m always happy to evangelize for Sam, the fifth Beatle. New CD: June 3rd. WOO, I’m counting down the days.

    Jama, a friend of mine here in middle TN was very, VERY happy about your Bob Dylan post and traced it via our blog and read it at yours.

    Sara, sorry about those bumps, but sounds like they didn’t break your stride. I do things all the time like lock keys in my trunk, and it infuriates me (’cause it happens too often). I wish I could have heard your talk!

    Hi, TadMack. Yes, we lurv Kadir. But it sounds like you could join our fan club. Let’s start one.

    Little Willow, your last kick is kinda heart-breaking, but tap dancing most assuredly isn’t. Do you know I want to learn to tap dance? Not as badly as I wanna learn to play piano — but I do wanna learn. And I want my daughter to learn (if she does herself, which she seems to want to do), but not in a four-year-olds-at-beauty-pageants kind of way. I hate that tap dancing gets that bad rap.

    Tricia, your kicks are kickin’, and I’m glad you’re feeling better. How was the movie?

    Adrienne, sorry that dinosaur frightened you. ROAR, it’s horrifically frightening, huh? Glad you got to see good friends.

  12. Jules: I won’t go breakin’ your heart. Tap RULES. Gene Kelly RULES. If we were neighbors, I would gladly teach you and your daughter how to tap. It’s so much fun.

  13. Eisha,

    Love the tattoo. Belgian chocolates? Ummm…yummy! I hope you find a library job soon.


    Sounds like your young ladies had a great party. Dig those snazzy cowgirl boots! I miss the days when my daughter was that age. I’m looking forward to the Kadir Nelson interview. I heard him speak at Simmons College last summer. I love his picture book art.

    I really like Jukebox video.

    I don’t have seven kicks this week…maybe next Sunday.

  14. Elaine, I hope you’re feeling better, and I promise to send those books soon. I’ll get organized one day and zip ’em off to you. Maybe they’ll brighten your spirits!

    Little Willow, I wish you were my neighbor for many reasons. How fun would that be?

  15. Little Willow, every week I get more convinced that you need to write some kind of bargain-hunting DIY type book. Chapter 2 could be: You Say Trash, I Say Hair Ribbons.

    Oh, Tricia, Easter egg hunts are the best. So glad the weather was nice for yours.

    adrienne, wooooooooooooo! Good times! Now go to bed, party girl.

    Elaine, I hope this week is much better than last. Maybe Kadir will help.

  16. I need library tattoos! I also need to squeeze sugar-britches pictured up there, but I guess I’m not going to get either of my wishes. Tant pis! Anyway, here are my kicks:

    1) I was able to make a pattern successfully off of an existing dress of my daughter’s. I was just going to make a mock-up, but the bodice came out so well I added the skirt and said, “Here’s a dress up dress for you!” The dress I really want to make is secret (from her). I’ll post a photo when it’s done. It’s for May Day.

    2) Slugs were eating my garden. That was bad. But then I set out slug traps with beer. Yesterday morning, I found 10 slugs drowned in beer, plus six more that were heading its way. It was so disgusting, and I relished the kill.

    3) It’s hard to top killing 16 slugs with beer.

  17. P.S. We went to see “Frog and Toad All Year,” and it was a lot of fun! The snail totally stole the show. It didn’t hurt that he looked like David Rakoff.

  18. P.P.S. Whoops, it’s “A Year With Frog and Toad.”

  19. I WANNA SEE THAT, Alkelda! So glad to hear you approve of it. Now I feel better about it.

    Slugs. Ew. I’m a Big Squealy Girl about bugs. Lame, I know. Slugs are the EW-IEST!

  20. Jules, that would be SUCH FUN!

    eisha, maybe I will, someday!

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