Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Modern Types-Ronald Searle,Geoffrey Gorer

With the recent attention given to Ronald Searle's 90th birthday and new interview,I decided to look at one of his books.

The book is titled Modern Types and it was published in 1955. The writing is by Geoffrey Gorer with Searle providing a drawing for each type. I love Searle's linework. The thick scratchy lines in the foreground with the thin lines in the background is just beautiful.

Even with the focus on a person on each drawing,what he includes in the background is worth paying close attention to and just marvel at what he does.

The big surprise was the writing. Gorer's take on each type is powerful stuff;at times funny but at other times sad,biting observations. Its interesting to see many of the same types still around with little to no changes after 55 years.Happy birthday,Ronald Searle!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Theodor Seuss Geisel-Donald E. Pease-Dr. Seuss

I just finished reading Theodor Seuss Geisel by Donald E. Pease. Theodor Seuss Geisel is better known as Dr. Seuss. This book is a quick read on the life of Dr. Seuss. I have to say it covers many of the high points of his life and a good book to start on Seuss' life. Peace's writing is very good and gets you into the feel of Seuss' life. The time he spent at Dartmouth and Oxford helped make Seuss a great artist. Dartmouth in he found lifelong ties and at Oxford he found what not to be (he didn't like it there). The work Seuss did for Flit bug spray made him lots of money and was in many ways his true first successful break in the commercial world. Geisel grew up in Springfield,MA and his family was doing quite well with the family brewery but with Prohibition that went downhill. Things got worse when World War 1 began and a growing anti-German mood was all around him. The political cartoons Geisel produced are worth looking into and a book was published a few years back and I think was brought back in print again.The changes in his life during World War 2 working for Frank Capra's unit making newsreels. Pease does a great job of putting Geisel's children books in relation to his private life. How some books relate to Geisel's relationship with his father. The challenges that his editors gave him. This book shows what made Seuss great and made me want to read some of his books again and to look at the other books out there on the life of Dr. Seuss. The cover is a painting by former comic book artist and portrait painter Everett Raymond Kinstler. This is a 2010 book by Oxford University Press.

Thursday, March 4, 2010