Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary
















Home > Commentary and Features

A Preview Of Beasts!
posted November 26, 2006
 

imageThere was a time for a lot of us of a certain age when the reading of comic books were an extension of our enjoyment of all things fantastic and larger than life, in a day long before those concerns drove every fifth movie that came out or regularly popped up on the covers of TV Guide. In our mad scramble for more sustenance of the extra-reality kind, we supplemented our comics-reading experience by devouring related, stand-alone companion art -- everything from paperback book covers to Lord of the Rings calendars to over-sized posters to art books to this whole raft of print portfolios that were once as much a part of the comic shop experience as indifferent service and the old book smell.

Burgeoning alt-comics art direction superstar Jacob Covey's early 2007 book Beasts! reminds me of those days, probably because even with Fantagraphics devoting a significant portion of their line to art books, the literary conception of comics has captured all of our imaginations to the point where we forget how much enjoyment people get by simply looking at pretty pictures. And in this book, there are dozens of pretty pictures, and funny descriptions (which will print at a size that foiled their reproduction here), and a Gilbert Hernandez short, and amusing supplementary material. But mostly it's about the pictures, of which five follow. I look forward to getting my hands on the final product.

*****

image

Asp Turtle, by R. Kikuo Johnson

*****

image

Big Ears, by Andrew Brandou

*****

image

Bigfoot, by Renee French

*****

image

Wizard's Shackle, by Tom Gauld

*****

image

Chenoo, by Mat Brinkman

*****
*****

Beasts!, Jacob Covey editing a cast of dozens, Fantagraphics Books, Hardcover, 200 pages, 156097768X (ISBN), $28.95.

*****