Synopses & Reviews
Not many of us make it into the dictionary as an adjective. But then again, Rube Goldberg was no ordinary noun. He was a cartoonist, humorist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, and in a 72-year career he wrote and illustrated nearly 50,000 cartoons. Goldberg (1883and#8211;1970) was the most famous cartoonist of his time, best known for his comical inventions, which were syndicated in daily newspapers throughout the world. Author Jennifer George celebrates all aspects of her grandfatherand#8217;s career, from his very first published drawings in his high school newspaper and college yearbook to his iconic inventions, his comic strips and advertising work, and his later sculpture and Pulitzer Prizeand#8211;winning political cartoons. Also included are essays by noted comics historians, rare photographs, letters, memorabilia, and patents, many reproduced here for the first time. Brilliantly designed and packaged to capture the inventiveness of Rube Goldbergand#8217;s work, The Art of Rube Goldberg
is a coffee table book the whole family can enjoy.
From Merriam-Websterand#8217;s Dictionary:
Rube Goldand#183;berg. adjective \rand#252;b-and#712;gand#333;l(d)-and#716;band#601;rg\: accomplishing by complex means
what seemingly could be done simply andlt;a kind of Rube Goldberg contraption . . . with five hundred moving parts and#8212;L. T. Grantandgt;; also: characterized by such complex means. also: Rube Goldand#183;bergand#183;iand#183;an
and#8220;Goldbergand#8217;s cartoons touch the edge of modern art.and#8221;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; and#8212;Adam Gopnik, from his introduction
"As a teenager, future television and comics writer Evanier became an assistant to Jack Kirby, one of the foremost artists in the history of American comics. Kirby played a major role in shaping the superhero genre, not only through his innovative, dynamic artwork but through collaborating with Stan Lee to create classic Marvel characters like the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the X-Men. Evanier has now written this magnificently illustrated biography of his mentor. Rather than employing the academic prose that one might expect from an art book, Evanier, a talented raconteur, tells Kirby's life story in an informal, entertaining manner. Although Evanier does not delve into psychological analysis, he brings Kirby's personality vividly alive: a child of the Great Depression, a creative visionary who struggled most of his life to support his family. The book recounts how Kirby was insufficiently appreciated by clueless corporate executives and close-minded comics professionals. But the stunning artwork in this book, taken from private collections, makes the case for Kirby's genius. A landmark work, this is essential reading for comics fans and those who want to better understand the history of the comics medium or those who just want to enjoy Kirby's incredible artwork." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I don't think it's any accident that...the entire Marvel universe and the entire DC universe are all pinned or rooted on Kirby's concepts." Michael Chabon
"Evanier successfully evokes the proper mystique and respect for this creative giant while revealing his human side. Since his death, a handful of books has attempted to showcase or grant insight into Jack Kirby, but none has succeeded quite like Kirby: King of Comics, the perfect tribute to both the artist and the man." Austin Chronicle
"[A] lavish celebration....Evanier, who knew Kirby for twenty-five years and worked as his assistant, treats him as a superhero in his own right..." J. Hoberman, BookForum
"Mark Evanier's superbly designed, suitably giant Kirby: King of Comics tells how this workhorse genius (191794) created most of the Marvel Comics "universe" almost single-handedly....This book's king is heroic, tragic, and visionary." Entertainment Weekly
"Lavishly infused with Kirby's art, Mark Evanier's heartfelt biography/homage successfully invokes the proper awe and respect for this creative giant while revealing his human side." SFSite.com
andldquo;There will likely never be another Rube Goldberg. Fortunately, his granddaughterandrsquo;s wonderful book ensures that weandrsquo;ll always remember this one-of-a-kind cartooning legend.andrdquo;
Jack Kirby created or co-created some of comic books' most popular characters including Captain America, The X-Men, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor, Darkseid, and The New Gods. More significantly, he created much of the visual language for fantasy and adventure comics. There were comics before Kirby, but for the most part their page layout, graphics, and visual dynamic aped what was being done in syndicated newspaper strips. Almost everything that was different about comic books began in the forties on the drawing table of Jack Kirby. This is his story by one who knew him well the authorized celebration of the one and only "King of Comics" and his groundbreaking work.
Original pull-out poster art by Alex Ross.
In July 2007, the U.S. Post Office will unveil 20 Marvel Comics postage stamps, 8 of which will feature Jack Kirby artwork.
Jack Kirby created or co-created some of comic books most popular characters, including Captain America, the X-Men, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. More significantly, he created much of the visual language for fantasy and adventure comics. Official Kirby biographer Mark Evanier delivers this authorized celebration of the one and only King of Comics and his groundbreaking work.
Throughout his 25-year career, alternative cartoonist/screenwriter Daniel Clowes has always been ahead of artistic and cultural movements. In the late 1980s his groundbreaking comic book series Eightball
defined indie culture with wit, venom, and even a little sympathy. With each successive graphic novel (Ghost World
, David Boring
, Ice Haven
, Mister Wonderful
), Clowes has been praised for his emotionally compelling narratives that reimagine the ways that stories can be told in comics. The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist
is the first monograph on this award-winning, New York Times
andndash;bestselling creator, compiled with his complete cooperation. It includes all of Clowesandrsquo;s best-known illustrations as well as rare and previously unpublished work, all reproduced from the original art, and also includes essays by noted contributors such as designer Chip Kidd and cartoonist Chris Ware.
Praise for The Art of Daniel Clowes:
andquot;Even if you're not an avid reader of [Clowesandrsquo;s] books and strips (your loss), this volume will entice and entertain.andquot; andmdash;The Atlantic
andquot;The real selling point of Modern Cartoonist is the art . . . some of which [has] been little-seen even by die-hard Clowes fans.andquot; andmdash;A.V. Club
andldquo;This excellent retrospective of his work from the late 1980s onward, edited by Alvin Buenaventura, showcases his visual gifts and always evolving style; his beautiful early stuff looks nothing like his beautiful later stuff.andrdquo; andmdash;Newsday
andldquo;A perfect introduction.andrdquo; andmdash;NPR.org
andldquo;One of the greatest cartoonists of the past several decades finally gets his due.andrdquo; andmdash;The Washington Post
About the Author
is the granddaughter of Rube Goldberg. She is a writer and a jewelry and clothing designer. For almost twenty years her label was carried at Bergdorf Goodman, Barneyandrsquo;s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and dozens of other specialty stores across the U.S. She lives in New York City.
Adam Gopnik,staff writer for the New Yorker, is a three-time National Magazine Award winner and author of many books, including Paris to the Moon and Through the Childrenandrsquo;s Gate.
Andrew Baron of Popyrus Studio, Inc. came to the world of paper engineering following years as a restorer of antique phonographs, clocks, and other mechanical wonders. His books have won international awards, including the Movable Book Societyandrsquo;s Meggendorfer Prize.
Al Jaffee is an awardandndash;winning cartoonist and cultural icon best known for his work in MAD magazine as one of the andldquo;Usual Gang of Idiots.andrdquo; He is the creator, artist, and writer of the MAD Fold-In, Tall Tales, and Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.
Carl Linich is a scholar, teacher, and performer of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing, and a member of Trio Kavkasia. He is also a visual artist who specializes in original cartoon art.
Peter Maresca is editor and founder of Sunday Press Books, publisher of full-size reproductions of classic comic strips including Little Nemo in Slumberland, Krazy Kat, and others.
Geoff Spear shot all the photography for Batman Collected, Batman Animated, Bat-Manga!, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, and Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. His award-winning photographs have appeared regularly in Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and on numerous book covers.
Paul Tumey is a writer, designer, and comics historian. His recent work can be found in andldquo;The Masters of Screwball Comicsandrdquo; blog and in Framed!, his monthly column for the Comics Journal.
Brian Walker has written, edited, and contributed to more than thirty-five books on cartoon art and is the author of the definitive history, The Comics: The Complete Collection.