29 January 2011

Two very cool, quick books

3. Astonishing X-Men: Volume 3 “Torn” #13-18 by writer: Joss Whedon; Artist: John Cassaday (5/5)
Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3: TornSo great! My favorite yet of these volumes. I'm officially a fan of Kitty Pryde.

You should start with volume 1 "Gifted," but seeing as I've read each volume in one sitting, it won't take you long to catch up. I saw the first two X-Men movies which helped with a bit of background and character familiarity, but otherwise I'm completely new to the comic. Please note, these books are *much* better than the movies.

The wit and deft storytelling of Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and more) coupled with John Cassaday's truly gorgeous art (seriously, I wish I could draw like he does. Well, I could I suppose, but it would take me so so very long to do 1 comparable image let alone a whole comic book).

Go on, see if your library has it. That's where I'm getting these to read.

4. Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through The Gates and Beyond by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan (4.5/5)

Christo and Jeanne Claude: Through the Gates and BeyondA great little volume. In essence, it's a picture book for adults though younger people could read it too.

It describes the development of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's art project The Gates which was set up for 16 days in Central Park in 2005.

The book also gives an overview of their backgrounds: born on the same day in 1935 in different European countries, both affected by World War II. Fascinating how they met and how their lives as married co-artists evolved.

What's really intriguing to me is that the immense, ephemeral public installations they created (so very cool! Click the "some artworks" tab for artist renderings and photographs) over the years were completely self-funded. They didn't take sponsorships for any of them. We're talking millions of dollars for some of these installations. Of course, they were able to do that by selling smaller indoor works.

When you take money out of the equation, all that is left is the art. That's kind of awesome. Well art and all the permit hoops necessary. Many of their projects take decades to complete because it takes that long to get governments and/or institutions to agree to them. Christo and Jeanne-Claude considered that process part of the art.

Anyway, at the very least, check out their website to see some amazing scale drawings and their ensuing creations.

I'm hoping my library has some of the authors' other books on artists. Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through The Gates and Beyond is very cool.

Two years ago on TTaT: Ever more skeptical of old-timers

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