McNaught covers Mak

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In In America, Dutch historian Geert Mak follows in John Steinbeck’s footsteps (or tyre tracks, for that matter) as he retraces the Nobel Prize winner’s long trek through the United States (as described in Travels With Charley).

The English translation of the book is planned for November, by Harvill Secker. Book design will be by Vintage Design, who commissioned a beautiful wrap-around cover illustration from John McNaught.

No less than three of my favourite names in one post, that must be a first. And it doesn’t even mention Tintin!

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Neverwhere Bench

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This book bench, adorned with characters from Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, is not yet listed on the official Books About Town Benches page, but it is currently on show in the Guardian exhibition lobby as the 51st (and final) official Book Bench.

(pictures © Neil Gaiman and Tobias Sturt, respectively)

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Brecht Evens Paints Tintin

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In their literary supplement, the Flemish daily De Morgen is currently running a weekly series of short essays on literary figures that were based on actual people. Each time Brecht Evens provided a fantastic piece of art to go with the essay.

In the past, subjects included Hugo Claus, Albert Camus and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but this week’s installment was particularly interesting for comics (and ephemera) enthusiast. The article focuses on Tintin creator Hergé’s brother, Paul Rémi, and he was the inspiration for many of the features and character traits of Hergé’s most famous creation. for Brecht Evens, that was enough to create a magnificent smorgasbord of all things Tintin, with references to almost every book, that is still very much his own in its coloring and fluent lines.

(illustration © Brecht Evens)

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Tintin without Tintin

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The Dutch Tumblr Who Wants Yesterday’s Papers takes the Garfield Minus Garfield meme of a while back to the limits, and presents iconic Tintin covers without their stories’ main character. Or any character for that matter. It makes for eerily desolate, and sometimes dangerous scenes, which bring to mind a variation of the old koan,

“If a desert exists in a Tintin book without Tintin to have an adventure in it, does it exist?”

(Via Scott Gilbert)

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Never imitate the master

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Ever wanted to follow in Calvin and Hobbes’ footsteps? Truman and Oscar, by far the most endearing characters from Frank Cho‘s Liberty Meadows, try just that in this strip that Cho created as an incentive for his Kickstarter project, “Drawing beautiful women”.

As much as I like Liberty Meadows, and admire Frank Cho as an artist in the tradition of Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth, I can’t help but see a, probably unintentional, self-deprecating “Don’t imitate the master” here. Which, in my opinion, makes this strip even greater, and probably one of the best laudatios to that late, great comic strip that was Calvin and Hobbes.

(Calvin & Hobbes © Bill Watterson; Liberty Meadows © Frank Cho)

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Baeken lights the book signal

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Every year in November the Boekenbeurs, the biggest book fair in the Dutch-speaking part of the world, is held in Antwerp. For this year’s edition, the organisers commissioned a poster and a general brand image from Flemish illustrator and cartoonist Serge Baeken. And leave it to Baeken to make sure that comics are not only in the spotlight on their special focus days, but shine a light over the whole fair. After all, how else can you interpret his Book Signal, which immediately brings to mind the signal that shines over Gotham?

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Swarte chocolate coins

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The Dutch city of Gouda has a library / cultural centre with the delicious name, De Chocoladefabriek (or The Chocolate Factory). Illustrator and designer Joost Swarte created five chocolate coins to celebrate the five aspects of this organisation : the library, the local archive, the printing division, study room and cafetaria.

They are only available locally, and I haven’t seen them myself. But the two designs that I was able to track down, at least look delicious.

(via Joost Swarte Blog)

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