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Beasts!: Book One [Paperback]

Jacob Covey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 28.99
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Book Description

Jan. 6 2009 New Modern Now Library (Book 1)
Now available in softcover-a bestiary of the ages by a calvacade of art stars! Beasts! Book One is a classic mythological menagerie, comprised only of creatures that were thought at one time to actually exist, depicted many of the best visual artists from the worlds of comics, skateboarding, rock graphics, science fiction, children's books, commercial and fine art. The Beasts project has fired the imaginations of luminaries such as Craig Thompson, Souther Salazar, Jeff Soto, Glenn Barr, Dave Cooper, Tim Biskup, Seonna Hong, Jeremy Fish and Jay Ryan, who present art completely original to this book, superbly laid out in breathtaking, full-color two-page spreads. The book is conceived and designed by Jacob Covey, lead art director for Fantagraphics (Dennis the Menace, Billy Hazelnuts, Popeye, etc.) an Eisner- nominated designer and artist in his own right in the Northwest rock and arts community.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Corey Lidster TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is the first of two volumes edited by Jacob Covey and published by Fantagraphics. This is the softcover version, featuring a typically incredible wraparound illustration by Jordan Crane (whose book design for Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends, published by the endlessly inventive 'McSweeneys', used three thin 'obi'-type partial dust-jackets, each shaped at the top to match the intricate illustration running from the inner front flap of the cover to the inner front flap of the back cover. By removing the first, thinnest strip, you reveal the many details it partially hid; by removing the slightly thicker second, you expose even more == the best book design ever, along with 'McSweeneys: Vol. 13' and 'Omega the Unknown'). The end-folds open to reveal a 32" x 8" illustration executed in Cranes' virtuoso mixed-media-technique. The original hardcover for volume 1 is out-of-print, but matched nicely with Jacob Covey's understated but stylish cover for Beasts!: Book Two; both books are 8" x 8", a bit over 200 pagas, and are very nicely put together.

The idea of involving one hundred of the world's top gallery artists, illustrators, and cartoonists (per volume), for the purpose of creating a modern-day 'Bestarium', is both obvious and ingenious. Editor-book designer Covey lets the artists play, while the writers put together concise descriptions of a given creatures appearance, geographical range, cultural/historical origins, and known habits, hungers and weaknesses. They treat their cryptozoological subject without mocking it, but the bizarre stories are often hilarious in the specificity of exotic cultural detail.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Eye Candy Aug. 21 2011
By J. Wyant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wish I had discovered this when the hard-back edition wasn't considered a collector's edition! This is a wonderful compilation of various artist's renditions of mythical creatures. It is an awesome resource for inspiration, entertainment and conversation. From concept to execution, this is one of the better illustrative ideas I have come across in quite some time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Love of Monsters, and the Art They Inspire June 23 2014
By Corey Lidster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first of two volumes edited by Jacob Covey and published by Fantagraphics. This is the softcover version, featuring a typically incredible wraparound illustration by Jordan Crane (whose book design for Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends, published by the endlessly inventive 'McSweeneys', used three thin 'obi'-type partial dust-jackets, each shaped at the top to match the intricate illustration running from the inner front flap of the cover to the inner front flap of the back cover. By removing the first, thinnest strip, you reveal the many details it partially hid; by removing the slightly thicker second, you expose even more == the best book design ever, along with 'McSweeneys: Vol. 13' and 'Omega the Unknown'). The end-folds open to reveal a 32" x 8" illustration executed in Cranes' virtuoso mixed-media-technique. The original hardcover for volume 1 is out-of-print, but matched nicely with Jacob Covey's understated but stylish cover for Beasts!: Book Two; both books are 8" x 8", a bit over 200 pagas, and are very nicely put together.

The idea of involving one hundred of the world's top gallery artists, illustrators, and cartoonists (per volume), for the purpose of creating a modern-day 'Bestarium', is both obvious and ingenious. Editor-book designer Covey lets the artists play, while the writers put together concise descriptions of a given creatures appearance, geographical range, cultural/historical origins, and known habits, hungers and weaknesses. They treat their cryptozoological subject without mocking it, but the bizarre stories are often hilarious in the specificity of exotic cultural detail.

But this is an Art-book, first and foremost, one that immediately appealed to me -- evoking memories of the primary school library and it's Time-Life collections on the Paranormal, Dragons, & Mythical Creatures from around the Globe, where I would pore over them for hours. Combined with the pleasure of seeing some of my favorite artists re-invent these monsters, sometimes with not-so-great results, but 90% or more turn out incredible. Artists involved are Dan Zettwoch, with a great comic about the mysterious disappearance of a ship laying the Transatlantic cable, and the most likely suspect, as well as unforgettable illustrations by Jim Woodring, David B., Jeff Soto, Anders Nilsen, Stephane Blanquet, Craig Thompson, Jens Harder, Sam Weber, James Jean, Jillian Tamaki, Tomer Hanuka, Nathan Fox, et cetera, etc. I advise buying both books while they're still available... they will likely become your two favorite monographs. l
0 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A WASTE. June 4 2009
By Pen Scepter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY ABYSMAL. ARTIST TO ARTIST, IT'S SOME OF THE WORST ART I HAVE EVER SEEN, AND IN MY 45 YEARS I'VE SEEN THOUSANDS OF DRAWINGS, PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES. EVEN DEAN YEAGLE, WHO IN MY OPINION IS ONE OF THE CLEVEREST ARTISTS AROUND, TURNS IN A THIRD- OR FOURTH-RATE SHOWING HERE. I'M HOPING TO SELL THE THING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. IF IT DOESN'T SELL WITHIN A MONTH, I WILL TOSS IT IN THE TRASH AND CONSIDER IT A LESSON LEARNED.
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