Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland
I’m a big fan of Brian Bolland’s previous collection of work The Art of Brian Bolland (Desperado Publishing) which was accompanied by a frank and honest writing style that I’m glad to see continued in this new collection of work from Titan Books. In the same format as the excellent Cover Run, The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes, this focuses on Bolland’s run of cover art for Comics such as Batman, Green Lantern, Animal Man, Wonder Woman and the darker Vertigo line. Giving thoughts and comments as you progress through nearly 30 years worth of some of the best comic art available, it’s a delight to read his text on a particular piece, often giving genuine insight into his thought process behind the design and in most cases backed up with early sketches and un-used ideas. Although I might be less keen on his later photo-collage work (there’s something unmistakably 90’s and early Photoshop about photo-collage) the work is of the highest standard throughout and makes this another essential release from Titan that every illustrator or comics fan should check out.
Menu Design in America
Jim Hiemann, Taschen’s executive editor, along with John Mariani (Esquire) and Steven Heller (New York Times) deliver one of the year’s finest art books with this collection of menus from America’s restaurants of 1850 – 1985. These examples of mini masterpieces, temporary by nature, have offered artists space for creative experimentation with outstanding results. With notable examples including The Waldorlf Astoria’s Art Deco New Year celebrations and the 50’s atomic visuals of Orbit’s Coffee Shop, this large format book is a feast for the eyes. Lavish styling that may be considered over-designed or surplus to requirements today, but there’s no denying the promise they make to the customer of the delicious experience to come and in doing so elevate the humble menu to a position of collectible art. Hints of past politics, racial inequalities or proud moments in history can also be found in an inspirational, sophisticated and profound look at the best kind of commercial art and design. The perfect book to indulge in this Christmas.
Menu Design in America – By Jim Hiemann, Steven Heller & John Mariani
Hardcover, 392 pages
32.4 x 25.8 x 4.2 cm