Tuesday, 6 April 2010

What am I reading?

Like many of my fellow bloggers, I'm a bit of a bookophile, so I thought I'd do a post on a few of the books that are currently in my must-read pile at the moment. When I say pile, I mean the pile on my bed that slips off in the middle of the night and scares the crap out of me; the pile in the studio on my desk and the pile on my bedside table. I really wish I had enough space for a massive bookcase, preferably with a cool sliding ladder to whizz up and down the stacks on, possibly singing some kind of musical number. A girl can dream! But anyway, here are the pages of goodness filling my time at the moment:

I've read most of Lovecraft's work but this collection has a few of the longer stories I haven't gotten around to reading. I'm trawling through The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward at the moment, which I have to say, isn't one of his better stories. But I've started it and as soon that one is finished, I can move onto At The Mountains of Madness. Anyone looking for some awesome, truly creepy horror stories should definitely give Lovecraft a go; a lot of the stories centre around creatures from another dimension that make people insane when they break through to our world. Lovecraft's stories also heavily inspire one of my favourite comic book series, B.P.R.D.

There's nothing I love more than nosing through people's sketchbooks and this book is fantastic; illustrators from all over the world share pages from their (sickeningly stunning) sketchbooks and give you a look into their creative processes. Whenever I feel a bit stuck for inspiration, I always have a flick through this. Some of the sketchbook pages in here are absolutely amazing: gorgeous full-colour spreads, amazing life drawings etc. My sketchbooks are full of doodles of ill-proportioned cartoon animals, talking poo and notes that barely even make sense to me when I read them back!

This book an absolute gem; I'm an avid follower of this blog so when this book was released I couldn't wait to get hold of it. It's chock full of amazing surface designers, card and textile designers, you name it, and has been an invaluable source of inspiration for my own greetings card designs. In a very loose sense mind you, when you look at my stuff compared to what's in here!

Ah, Stephen King. He's been criticised a lot as of late for his "pulp speed" output, but I've found a lot of his latest books to be really good. I enjoyed Cell, even though it was yet another take on a society-falling-apart-due-to-virus theme (which I can never seem to get enough of for some reason) and while it was very schlocky, it was great for that very fact. This one is a bit more of a slow burner involving a chap who loses an arm in an accident and suddenly develops the ability to paint other people's presents and the future. So far, so King: troubled lead, wise sidekick, demented old lady, malevolent force manipulating people. I'm a stickler for the classics.

Video games have pretty much dominated my life since the age of about eight; I have a hazy memory of playing Pong at my cousin's house (the one you plugged straight into the TV!) and I've been lucky enough to have followed the evolution of video games first hand from my Spectrum ZX to my Nintendo DS. Sounds silly, but to know just how far video games have come in the last 20 years is still a very exciting thing for me. Whippersnappers these days will never know the anticipation of having to wait for a game to load from a cassette for 20 minutes! This book is an awesome (if slightly outdated) look at one of my favourite pass times.

Making Watchmen stickers this weekend meant getting out this hefty tome to check costumes for characters and I forgot how good it is. I'm still slightly awed at the amount of work that went into this graphic novel, even if it took me bloody years (even after working for 3 in a comic shop) to appreciate it for what it was. There's some gorgeous artwork in here as well as sketches, skematics, storyboards, thumbnails and character design. There's even a page of doodles contemplating Dr Manhatten's willy, which makes me feel a bit better whenever I have a little giggle drawing him in the nude!

I'm a huge fan of Rotovision; they've published some great books on digital illustration and video game art so I was slightly excited when I saw this. It's a really nice book with some outstanding illustration in it; not quite as good as Illustrating Children's Books or Play Pen but it has some good tutorials and looks at all aspects of the children's book market at the moment.
I heart books! :D


  1. Oh God. I just don't need any more suggestions for books that I need to buy. Stop! I'll make my house fall down!

  2. So what did you think of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"after you finished it? I actually think it is ONE of his best. (Although my list of His Best includes about ten stories) It starts out slow but once it gets going, Man is it creepy!


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