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Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook [Paperback]

Alison Inches
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2004
"These imaginative musings-the work of a man who made an impossible world seem completely plausible-show history in the making."-Booklist

Bert and Ernie were once just scribbles on notebook paper, and the original Oscar the Grouch was purple, not green. Before there were Muppets, there were Jim Henson's designs and doodles. This delightful collection of Henson's early drawings serves as a map to the imagination of an artist whose characters have enraptured generations of children and adults. Almost none of these drawings had been published before the original Abrams edition. From the most cursory of doodles to finished drawings, this whimsical volume of sketchbooks, posters, album covers, story boards, and set and puppet designs celebrates Henson's unique genius and his wild sense of humor.

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From Amazon

Jim Henson needs no introduction. For those of us who grew up with The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles reveals how his art came alive over a period of almost 20 years before those shows even began. For those who saw his advertisements and appearances on late-night shows, it is a reminder that he changed television. His creations required the genius of both the visual and the performing arts, mixed with a rolling sense of humor, and all are present here: the early silk-screens show the sensibility of a great artist, the drawings show the thinking process of a powerful designer, and the stories are those of one of the greatest performance artists of our time. The book ends in 1976, when The Muppet Show began its first season, leaving the reader hungry for more, but this archaeological journey goes a long way toward uncovering Jim Henson's world. --Juliette Cezzar --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

For a look at one imaginative artist's process and talent, youngsters can open Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook by Alison Inches. Early scribbles, posters, storyboards, and set and puppet designs show all sorts of creatures (e.g., "The La Choy Dragon" and "Taminella Grinderfall"), as well as the first inception of characters that would later become famous including drawings of Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and a purple (!) Oscar the Grouch. ( May)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on Mr Henson..... Spot on!! July 31 2001
Format:Hardcover
Jim Henson was a man who managed to sum up the whole intire feeling of what it was to be young, and full of energy in his fantastic creations. His work, from Mupets to films such as 'Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal', showed us that he could tap that part of our minds that wanted to let go, and be free to live in our fantasies. This book, unlocks the back door to the mind that created our most cherished characters from the Henson world. It shows us where these characters came from, and also gives us an insight to the man who made it all happen. I found this book to be a real Gem, and an adventure. Just seeing the doodles Jim did as a child, or a teen, and some of his non character based art work, was fascinating. Buy this book If you are a fan of Mr hensons work. It is not the most complete book, as far as his other projects go, and some people may wish that some of his film work had got into the book. But for those that like to get closer to their idols, and want to feel like a close friend looking through his old scrapbooks, get this book. You won't be dissapointed.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Hardcover
This is a must for all you muppet fans!
The wonderful new long awaited book, Jim Henson's Desings and Doodles is almost a museum on paper. It shows Jim's best artwork, from storyboards, to puppet desingns, even a very early Kermit sketch. The book also features a never before seen look at the never produced special, "Johnny Carson and The Muppet Machine" which was to be a physcedelic trip into the 1960's. The artwork is very detailed, and even has a stone carving of Ed Macmahon! The book also shows some of his early work, including silkscreen images of meloncholy (which was inspired by the death of his brother , Paul) and concert posters and crazy characters who were soon to be Frackles!
One of the best parts of the book is Henson 's early commercial storyboards, which feature the two popular commercial Muppets ,Wilkins and Wontkins, Hansel and Gretel Muppets, and Kermit, The Snerfs and Rowlf (the IDEAL doll ad where Kermit sings the unfamilliar jingle"Oh buy us, oh buy us, oh buy us we beg! If you do not buy us, we'll bite you in the leg!!!) . Early drawings of the La Choy Dragon, and Nutty Bird(Royal Crown soda ads, precursor to Big Bird) are also featured.
The book brings us for the first time many illustrations of show ideas that never made it to the small screen. The Zoocus (The Zoo Circus), The Entertainers, and Martian Landing are all examples shown by illustrations from Jim's fertile imagination. The Zoocus was to be a show full of new Muppets such as Mr. Ripple and Carbourator Jones and had a guest star on each show (Sound like TMS to you?). The show would be a variety but would mostly ,as shown in Henson's drawings,be a talk show with the guest, where the Muppets would lounge behind large alters and other sets.
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Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare glimpse into the mind of a genius. April 5 2001
Format:Hardcover
Jim Henson was one of the most imaginative people of this past century and this book beautifully captures some of his brilliance in the form of sketches, doodles and small art pieces. If you've ever marveled at his artistry, or wondered at his talent, then this is the book for you.
What I most enjoyed about this collection are the sketches and stories from Jim Henson's earliest years and most obscure projects. Alison Inches has included Jim's cartoons from college, High School program designs, album covers, advertisment ideas and story boards, as well as characters like, Taminella Grinderfall, Thog, Chicken Liver and Baskerville. Have no fear though, plenty of more widely known projects and characters are featured as well. We're taken through the steps from Sam and Friends, to the Muppet's succesful commercials, to Rowlf the Dog's appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show, through The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Along the way we're also treated to many unrealized puppets and projects. It's a facinating journey and one that you're sure to revisit many times over.
Any designer, puppeteer, artist or Muppet fan will be fasinated by this book. But don't think you'll be geting a comprehensive career retrospective. I'd recomend "Jim Henson: The Works" for that. The focus here is squarely on the creation and design, which is right where it should be and it makes Designs and Doodles the perfect companion piece to Jim Henson: The Works. One giving you a look at his projects and the other a glimpse into his mind. And oh, what a marvelous glimpse it is!
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles is the #1 Henson book! April 6 2001
By Ryan Dillon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a must for all you muppet fans!
The wonderful new long awaited book, Jim Henson's Desings and Doodles is almost a museum on paper. It shows Jim's best artwork, from storyboards, to puppet desingns, even a very early Kermit sketch. The book also features a never before seen look at the never produced special, "Johnny Carson and The Muppet Machine" which was to be a physcedelic trip into the 1960's. The artwork is very detailed, and even has a stone carving of Ed Macmahon! The book also shows some of his early work, including silkscreen images of meloncholy (which was inspired by the death of his brother , Paul) and concert posters and crazy characters who were soon to be Frackles!
One of the best parts of the book is Henson 's early commercial storyboards, which feature the two popular commercial Muppets ,Wilkins and Wontkins, Hansel and Gretel Muppets, and Kermit, The Snerfs and Rowlf (the IDEAL doll ad where Kermit sings the unfamilliar jingle"Oh buy us, oh buy us, oh buy us we beg! If you do not buy us, we'll bite you in the leg!!!) . Early drawings of the La Choy Dragon, and Nutty Bird(Royal Crown soda ads, precursor to Big Bird) are also featured.
The book brings us for the first time many illustrations of show ideas that never made it to the small screen. The Zoocus (The Zoo Circus), The Entertainers, and Martian Landing are all examples shown by illustrations from Jim's fertile imagination. The Zoocus was to be a show full of new Muppets such as Mr. Ripple and Carbourator Jones and had a guest star on each show (Sound like TMS to you?). The show would be a variety but would mostly ,as shown in Henson's drawings,be a talk show with the guest, where the Muppets would lounge behind large alters and other sets. The Entertainer was to be a show about a travelling vaudevillian show where Muppet men (and a can can girl) would sing popular songs at the time. This was also to be a Variety type show. Martian Landing would feature Muppet Koosebaine like creatures that would swap jokes and do skits on another planet. It was to be a Live variety show. It ashame these didn't get aired.
This book has so much I haven't mentioned yet, (I don't want to spoil it!) and it is definetly worth every penny. By far, one of my favs. among a long line of Muppet Books. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating collection of work from Jim Henson March 19 2005
By Melissa Kaye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have always been a Jim Henson fan. After all, I grew up with Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. I was always fascinated with the strange and creative creatures that he came up with. This book is a gold mine of his ideas and sketches - some that you will recognize and some that you have probably never seen.

This is sort of an odd book for me to have. I don't collect books based on movies or TV shows. But this one doesn't really fall into that category at all. It's more of an artist's diary and sketchbook. I enjoy just paging through it to look at all of the wonderous things Jim Henson imagined. His work seems to have something "odd" to it that I can somehow connect with and be fascinated by it.

I think anyone who has enjoyed Jim Henson's productions will probably enjoy looking through this book. It's an adventure to page through time after time.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on Mr Henson..... Spot on!! July 31 2001
By Mark Ellis Iddon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jim Henson was a man who managed to sum up the whole intire feeling of what it was to be young, and full of energy in his fantastic creations. His work, from Mupets to films such as 'Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal', showed us that he could tap that part of our minds that wanted to let go, and be free to live in our fantasies. This book, unlocks the back door to the mind that created our most cherished characters from the Henson world. It shows us where these characters came from, and also gives us an insight to the man who made it all happen. I found this book to be a real Gem, and an adventure. Just seeing the doodles Jim did as a child, or a teen, and some of his non character based art work, was fascinating. Buy this book If you are a fan of Mr hensons work. It is not the most complete book, as far as his other projects go, and some people may wish that some of his film work had got into the book. But for those that like to get closer to their idols, and want to feel like a close friend looking through his old scrapbooks, get this book. You won't be dissapointed.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare glimpse into the mind of a genius. April 5 2001
By Bruce Aguilar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jim Henson was one of the most imaginative people of this past century and this book beautifully captures some of his brilliance in the form of sketches, doodles and small art pieces. If you've ever marveled at his artistry, or wondered at his talent, then this is the book for you.
What I most enjoyed about this collection are the sketches and stories from Jim Henson's earliest years and most obscure projects. Alison Inches has included Jim's cartoons from college, High School program designs, album covers, advertisment ideas and story boards, as well as characters like, Taminella Grinderfall, Thog, Chicken Liver and Baskerville. Have no fear though, plenty of more widely known projects and characters are featured as well. We're taken through the steps from Sam and Friends, to the Muppet's succesful commercials, to Rowlf the Dog's appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show, through The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Along the way we're also treated to many unrealized puppets and projects. It's a facinating journey and one that you're sure to revisit many times over.
Any designer, puppeteer, artist or Muppet fan will be fasinated by this book. But don't think you'll be geting a comprehensive career retrospective. I'd recomend "Jim Henson: The Works" for that. The focus here is squarely on the creation and design, which is right where it should be and it makes Designs and Doodles the perfect companion piece to Jim Henson: The Works. One giving you a look at his projects and the other a glimpse into his mind. And oh, what a marvelous glimpse it is!
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Muppet Fans May 7 2014
By TraceytheBrit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is a must for any Muppet or Jim Henson fan. The quality is wonderful and it it contains interesting content.
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