Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bugs and Dreams

By way of receiving two books for Christmas, I have two books to recommend to your reading: One of these books is a collection of brilliant photographs of insects, (some of whom look like friends of mine). The book is titled Exquisite Creatures - the Insect Art of Christopher Marley by Pomegranate Press, San Francisco (2005). Each print is an over sized postcard on heavy glossy stock. However, I suspect you will be more likely to want to frame them, rather than mail them. Besides the fact that each of the insects is a beautiful example of God's creative handiwork, Marley presents many of them in a mosaic arrangement that serves well to emphasize their iridescent colors and smooth forms. (By the way, the bug above is not one of Marley's. That bug belongs to Corel photo-tubes. Thanks, Corel). The second book is Daydreams and Nightmares - the Fantastic Vision of Winsor McCay, edited by Richard Marschall and published by Fantagraphics Books (1988). I thought that I was fairly familiar with Winsor McCay's artwork, until I read this book. I have read quite a lot of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend but Daydreams and Nightmares presents a much wider sampling of McCay's work in chronological order. Also, Marschall does a fine job of presenting a brief biography of McCay's life. The book's most fascinating pages are those that present McCay's larger editorial and visionary drawings, which include visions of the future and graphic commentary about the times in which he lived - some of them are rather prophetic.

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