by Jas Faulkner It all started with one of those thrift store finds that moves you to dust off and rekindle an old interest. I was there to do my biweekly stuffed animal grab for Niklas Lidstrom -aka- Destructo the Wonder Shih Tzu when I saw they had cobbled together roughly fifty dollars worth of calligraphy supplies into a ziploc bag and with the asking price of five dollars. This is probably a good place to hit the pause button and admit that I’m a big old typography nerd. It was a love of letters and alphabets of all kinds that pushed me to major in graphic design at one point in my overlong undergraduate career. I am still a sucker for typography books
Books & Mags Archive
I was adding a book to my pile of ’get rid ofs’ when I glanced at its name. Strange People by Frank Edwards. I realized right then I couldn’t give away anything with that alluring of title. Even if I’d read it. So, I put it aside. Which means it went into a heap or pile or bottomless pit of ’stuff’ teetering by the door to my quote unquote, workroom. This mass of mess accumulates from any thing and everything out of place or cluttering up the downstairs whether it belongs to me or not. It collapses from time to time and various things come to light I thought lost, thrown away, or have no memory of existing. One day recently, the book tumbled out.
by Jas Faulkner Why do people draw in books? A friend of mine borrowed my copy of the script for Monty Python and the Holy Grail for a scene study class. She returned it with thanks but a grumpy rejoinder about the copious scribbling along the margins. After listening to more grumbling, I finally broke it to her that the bizarre creatures were actually printed in the book. They were the handiwork of the film’s animator and co-director, Terry Gilliam. She had every reason to believe that the artwork was mine. However, she had no idea that Gilliam, and for that matter the rest of the artists often still known as Monty Python, had been influences for decades. My father passed his adoration of the Pythons
While perusing the New York Antiquarian Book Show, I came across a seller, Yesterday’s Gallery & Babylon Revisited, whose inventory almost exclusively deals in the period between the wars. The dust jackets of that span reflected the artistic craze now known as Art Deco. I’ve collected many books with the Deco motif, and would have grabbed one book they had in particular, had it not been a little out of my reach. ABE, as usual, highlighted this specific section of antiquarian books, showing off what they considered to be great examples of Art Deco jackets. I think they did a decent job of finding some gems–especially since a few of them I own. It’s hard to explain what my criteria for ‘Deco’ consists of. I know it
One of the publishers from crime fiction’s past, was a little name that tried to become a bigger power among heavy hitters. Not necessarily known for their quality, they did try hard. They signed up some known authors whose contracts perhaps expired with other publishers, and some names never heard of before or since. Collectors drool over finding a nice Phoenix in near fine jacket. And not because the jacket art was all that compelling either. ABE has a little group of them for our perusal. I think the reason these are sought after is their relative scarcity in jacket. For years, a well known writer, Bill Pronzini, another author on my Best 100, has collected them, striving for better and better copies. One of my