Total Pageviews

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We're having a Heat Wave, A Tropical Heat Wave

My mother would go around singing Ethel Water's hit song whenever the temperature hit 85. The current temperatures here don't hit as much as beat you right down; the 'air temperature' in Rochester yesterday was 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Which was a great excuse to stay indoors and work on some illustrations for the other book I got to work on this summer.
Gizmo is taking the heat rather well, but I made sure to have a second water dish for her in the studio, and encouraged her not to play Mouse Chase so violently in the hallway. She's wearing a fur coat, for goodness' sake.
Dean Yeagle put me wise to a couple of hot books by Miguel Covarrubias on Bud Plant's art book website. Now, Plant's is the sort of site I avoid like the plague...since I can see a week's salary disappearing in one book order. The "Oooh! OOhh!" factor is too great. (that's the sound a collector makes when something amazing shows up. Of course if you are an experienced one you restrict the 'takes' to a raised eyebrow. I managed to do this when finding a Felix the Cat original by Otto Messmer in a New York junk store. An "Ooh! Ooh" there would have doubled the ten dollar price.)

Anyway, if you love good caricature and painting, the two Covarrubias books will set you back a hundred and fifty smackers but they are well worth it to me.

And if you linger longer at Plant's, there's lots more where that came from. Caveat emptor. (If I knew more Latin I'd say 'let your WALLET beware.")

And Dean's on the 'pulldown list' of favorite artists. How neat is that?

There are so many animation books coming out this year it's amazing. Some are written by old friends, so they will be well informed (for a change. There are more BAD animation books than you can shake a stick at.)

Tony White's ANIMATION FROM PENCILS TO PIXELS is currently available at I've just gotten my copy and haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's a real heavyweight at six hundred pages. A cd of Tony's new picture, ENDANGERED SPECIES, is enclosed. First editions have the work picture; later editions will have the final print. Get that first edition now and see how the film is made! Tony takes you through the production of the film and each chapter discusses another aspect of the actual film, so this is an important book for that reason alone. I'll review it here later.

Tom Sito (currently directing a film in Taiwan) has DRAWING THE LINE, a history of the animation union, coming out from Tennessee University Press in October. This book can also be preordered on
I'm quoted in it on the '82 strike, but this book is most valuable for FINALLY telling the story of the 1941 Disney strike. Some of the pictures Tom got from the families of participants (notably Chuck Jones' daughter Linda) are amazing. The cover is a caricature by our brilliant French caricaturist/designer friend Patric Mate, with an accent that I don't know how to format here...

Maureen Furniss has a book on independent film production IN production. I'm reading a few chapters pre-publication to see how they scan. Mark Mayerson and Brian McEntee did the same for my opus, which arrived at the publishers' yesterday.
Maureen's book is coming out later in 2007.

So here's the chronology:

Tony White's ANIMATION FROM PENCILS TO PIXELS: Currently available

Tom Sito's DRAWING THE LINE October, 2006

Nancy Beiman's PREPARE TO BOARD! January, 2007

Maureen Furniss' new book: Fall 2007.

Looks like a lot of reading ahead.


patrick mate said...

Thank you Nancy for your nice word,I can't wait for your book.
Your title is brillant!.

Nancy said...

HI Patrick,
Thanks for the post! Do you know, I found that silly bird/dinosaur skull online, and the Aussie scientists really DO call it the Demon Duck of Doom.
So I figured the title was a lot more interesting than the really dull one I had before. It's so dull I can't even remember what it was.

You should have seen what I wanted to call my book. But Focal Press said the title was not dignified enough. I said that it was not meant to be. We compromised by letting me make some really bad puns on the table of contents and in one of the design chapters (a warning is posted before that last one.)

Why should a textbook be dull?