Jules: Once upon a time, I wanted to interview the insanely talented collage illustrator and author Bryan Collier. Well, I shouldn’t say once upon a time, since I will always want to interview him. But last year—and, actually, the year before, too—I tried as hard as I could to snag an interview through both the publisher Henry Holt and all by myself with my own stubborn determination by my side. Hard as I and the nice Henry Holt publicist tried, it just didn’t pan out. Not that Collier isn’t also insanely nice: I met him once, and he is a very personable, friendly fellow. And if you read the “about” page of his site, you’ll see that he is all about going into classrooms to talk with teachers, librarians, and students about books and art. But, hey, blog interviews probably aren’t for everyone. Which is a-okay.
But, since I can’t seem to snag an interview, I decided to feature some of his art today. Henry Holt was able to send some spreads. I tried to get some from other publishers as well (’cause, really, if you haven’t seen Martin’s Big Words and—ooo! ooo!—John’s Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon, then I’m so sorry for the nagging feeling you must have walking around in this life, not having seen these beautiful books), but I got what I could. And my o! my, isn’t it beautiful art work, his cut-paper collages? I wish I could make it even bigger for you to see more of the details.
The opening spread and below spread are from Collier’s Uptown, published in 2000.
to enter the bus from the rear.”
And, finally, for a couple of spreads from one of Collier’s most recently-illustrated titles: This is from Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship, also by Giovanni, and released last October. Books about Lincoln are hot right now (here’s but one — remember that?), if you haven’t already noticed, what with his 200th birthday occurring last week. So, as you’re reading all those new Lincoln titles, don’t forget this gem, a glimpse into the unusual friendship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass during a time of severe racial inequality.
by other human beings. It hurt the goodness and hearts of all.
A nation could not exist half enslaved and half free.”
You’ll see at Bryan’s site that he has a gallery of images (as well as lots of other great information). I totally did not get official permission to post any here, but I can’t help myself and will risk getting sued: I’m going to share this giclée print here, entitled Love Can Be Heard. I. just. love. that. It, along with many other prints, is purchaseable, so by all means, if you’re interested in buying some art and can afford to do so, consider Collier. He is one of our most talented and dynamic contemporary illustrators, in my not-so-humble opinion (and I think it’s also safe to say that Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo is one of my top-ten favorite picture books ever.)
Thanks to Henry Holt for their help, and remember all rights reserved on the spreads, all published by Henry Holt in the years named above. And all that important copyright info. Etc. Etc. Amen.
As a reminder, these Sunday posts are our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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. Absolutely anyone, of course, is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.
1). I am pretty sure I have fifth disease! This might not sound like a kick, but wait for it: Well, I don’t wanna ramble with more information about my physical health than you’ve ever wanted to know, but bottom line is that I have been sick for about two weeks, and it’s been mighty frustrating and confusing. And in the middle of this week, my joints suddenly swelled and became itchy and painful. I mean, it hurt just to walk or move my hands or turn my head. Dudes, it hurt to sleep. More tests were done to try to figure out what-in-the-what-the was wrong with me — and me feeling like a COMPLETE hypochondriac by this point. The doctor told me that my symptoms were typical of the adult version of fifth disease. (Fifth disease has a name that bites and tries to show off and be a punk, but it’s really a very harmless virus in children). My daughter had red cheeks this week, a sign of the virus, but—long story why—I didn’t think much of it. But, the other night, as I bathed her, I saw more of the tell-tale fifth disease rash on her arm. I nearly cheered. Not that I cheer when my kids get sick; the virus is harmless to them. I cheered, because I am now 99.9% sure this is what I have, which means IT’LL GO AWAY SOON! And that the doctor is not likely to call on Monday and tell me I’m a thirty-six-year-old with, say, arthritis. WOOT!
Plus, my steroids finally kicked in, which relieved the swelling and pain. Have steroids, have Benadryl: Can survive this stupid virus! In fact, once the steroids kicked in, I did a wiggly-woo dance, just like Hector. Just ’cause I could.
After all this, I really feel even more for the people of this world who are chronically ill.
2). Neko Case’s new CD comes out very soon (early March)!
3). Speaking of the goddesses of modern rock, Sam Phillips posted this week at her site that she and Eric Gorfain and drummer extraordinnaire Jay Bellerose are in the studio recording a handful of new songs. And that Jay’s drums are older than her parents (and that he plays “open, orchestral parts that unlock these little pop songs”). Sweeeet. I lurv him. And I lurv how Sam can write such great songs for drums.
4). Speaking of drums, I took about a thirty-minute break in writing this post to go bang some drums to Modest Mouse’s “Float On” and Beastie Boys’ “So What’cha Want” on my husband’s new Rock Band thingy — or whatever it’s called. He’s had Guitar Hero (is that the name?) for a while now, but the drums? Now, they’re waaaay more fun. I didn’t do too badly on them my first time.
5). This is turning into kicks-about-music, but have you heard the new U2 song, “Get On Your Boots”? Now, U2 rocks, but they’ve made a few choices in these latter years that I haven’t much cared for. But this song is slammin’ good. Here’s a link to the video, which is un-embeddable. Boo. If you go listen, don’t forget to turn it up, man.
6). I finally saw Muriel Harris Weinstein’s When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat (Chronicle; February ’09), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. The writing is ooo-blee booo-blee jippitty-joon good, and I’ve made it clear how much I love Greg’s art. Remember when he stopped by in ’07 and showed early sketches from it?
I also saw a copy of Kids Can Press’ 123 I Can Collage! by Irene Luxbacher. My four-year-old art-lovin’ daughter loves collage so much that she saves tiny candy wrappers to cut up and put in her art work. This book is perfect for her — and for any art teachers out there. It’s a fine, fine introduction to materials needed and techniques, and little did I know—until I just linked to Luxbacher’s site—that she has a whole series on art. I’m going to have to look into these.
7). I bought my own milk frother and vanilla syrup so that I can make my own vanilla steamers—or something as close to it as possible—which is my favorite coffee-shop drink.
BONUSES: I forgot this last week, that one of our readers was truly inspired by the subject of a 7-Imp interview. Oh, and when I was venting to sweet Jama this week about feeling ill and she wrote, “all i can say is, thank god we have great picture books to lift our spirits and keep us going.” Now, there’s a picture-book fan after my own heart. Also, since my kicks are mostly about music this week, how cool is this guitar? And below that is a video Sara shared this week, Bettye LaVette’s take on The Who classic, “Love Reign O’er Me,” at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors. It just might take your breath away.
What are your kicks this week? I look forward to some fun 7-Imp posts lined up, now that I feel better, and I look forward to catching up again at my favorite blawgs, too.
Dude, I am so glad you’ve finally figured that mess out. And that you’re already feeling better, too. And *squeal* – I just heard about the new Neko Case album too! HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT COVER?
1* Bryan Collier! Love that man’s art, forever and always.
2* My dear lovely friends, the Poets Upstairs, are moving away this summer. This is bad! Very bad! But I’m using it as an excuse to cram as much socializing in with them as possible. So last Sunday we had yummy brunch at their apartment (huevos rancheros with bellinis AND mimosas). And yesterday we did the Ithaca Chili Cook-off.
3* And Thursday night we saw my husband’s latest show, which was really incredible design-wise. (That’s a publicity photo to the left.)
5* I got the sweetest card in the mail from Jules and her girls. Thanks, J. And tell Piper that I love the “Still Life with Dancing One-eyed Eisha and Cake” she drew for me.
6* My boss took a trip home to Scotland, and came back with a hilariously goofy gift for me: a glittery, feathery pen with a little bagpiper on top.
7* My new project: an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. If you’re as big a word-geek as I am, you will understand my happiness. Did you know it started out as a textbook William Strunk wrote for the English course he taught at Cornell? Did you know that both he and E.B. White were alumni? Did you know that we have E.B. White’s typewriter in our hugely-huge collection? Did you know that the 2005 edition illustrated by our beloved Patron Saint of Whimsy Maira Kalman was also turned into an opera? Do you ever get sick of me raving about my awesome job?
Here’s the part where you tell us your kicks for the week. And tell me to shut up about my job already, too, if you like.