Right now I'm all about Jolby
and check out doodlers anonymous:
I recently received a pleasant surprise in the mail. One of my favorite paper artists, Matthew Shlian, has just released his latest self-published title, Papercuts. This cool papercraft book has over 15 models that you can copy, cut and create. The templates are well laid out and include some instructions and smaller diagrams to identify all those little cuts and folds. The designs range in complexity but should not take more than an hour to build. The characters are quirky and make a welcome addition to a few of the other papercraft collections that have hit the shelves this year.
I was able to get a sneak peek of some of these critters a few months ago when Matthew asked me and a select group of designers to adapt and design some additional papercraft figures that are included in the accompanying bonus disc. Drawing inspiration from his Chef and Sasquatch designs, I developed my first two papercraft designs.
Radiohead is a classic cathedral radio from the 1930s. Twist his nose dial to change the frequency and watch his eyes roll around in his head.
Pinhead comes with adjustable arms and four different moods allowing you to customize and build ten pins before knocking them over in a few frames of desktop bowling.
If you are interested in these little guys and many more fun papercraft projects, the signed Papercuts books can be purchased directly from Matthew’s excellent website.
I was recently reading an article in the L.A. Times from 2002. Yeah, that’s right 2002 – I’m catching up on the backlist. A Career That’s Still Unfolding by BettiJane Levine chronicles the work of Waldo Hunt, the legendary pop-up entrepreneur that by many accounts single-handedly ushered in the Second Golden Age of Pop-ups starting in the late 1960’s. Wally Hunt is the man responsible for creating Intervisual Books Inc., which was the premier novelty and pop-up packager for decades in the United States. Almost every major paper engineer has either works for or with Intervisual on creating some of the most outstanding examples of pop-ups. (I almost landed a job with them in 2000, but was unable to make the transcontinental relocation.)
I’m a total nerd about pop-up history so when I learned from the article that the first promotionals created by Wally Hunt’s earlier company, Graphics International, was a series of pop-up ads for Wrigley’s gum in the mid-1960’s, I had to do some digging. There were a total of 14 separate pop-up ads in the series focusing on a different animal in the “Wrigley Zoo”, which appeared to be an animated television series. There is virtually no information on the program but it may have been linked to the Captain Kangaroo series. Like many cartoons of today, this show was a thinly veiled attempt to sell products. I was able to come across a transcript of a Wrigley Zoo TV advertisement from the 1960’s on UK television. Check out the catchy lyrics below:
Clap hands, one, two,
Let’s take a trip to the Wrigley zoo,
Chitter chatter, yakety yak.
When you talk to the animals they talk back.
We’ll talk to Melvin Monkey today,
let’s hear what Melvin has to say:
“My mummy says I should realize
That monkeys all need exercise,
But teeth need exercising too
And my mum makes it fun to do,
For when I swing she gives me some
Delicious WRIGLEY’s SPEARMINT GUM
It helps to keep teeth clean and bright
And never spoils my appetite.
My mum’s my favourite swinging chum,
We both like Wrigley’s spearmint gum. “
Mr. Hunt claims that each ad was a run of 1 million making this a huge campaign. The single spread pop-ups were attached to national magazines like Jack and Jill via a small flap that was removed from the binding in order to remove and open the advertisement. Due to such a high volume of ads printed these pop-ups are not too uncommon and I have been able to collect seven of the series. “Melvin Monkey” is good but my favorite of the bunch is “Karol Kangaroo”. Despite the fact that I’m a big Aussiephile, this pop-up stands out from the rest of the series since it does not use any glue tabs to create the pop-up scene but instead uses fold-overs and slotted tabs into the basepage. The rock behind the boy’s head is one example of these slotted tabs. It’s an interesting solution to manufacturing a high volume of movable spreads and it’s curious that this is the only one I have that uses this technique. Hopefully I can collect the remaining seven pop-up ads to compare the full series to this one. And that is where you, dear readers, come in. Can you help identify the missing three animals?
Animals showcased in the Wrigley Zoo pop-up ads:
*Missing from collection.
Drop me a comment if you can fill in the blanks on the pop-up ads or TV shoe and be sure to savor this monster blog post like a delicious stick of Wrigley’s gum as I will be out of commission for a bit while I enjoy the last gasps of summer.
Shawn Sheehy was in town recently to give some pop-up book workshops and told me about one of his former students, Phillip Bell. Phil recently graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art where he worked on various paper engineering projects. I love the two cute kids books he designed for Flying Frog Publishing, along with a pop-up guide to Baltimore. Additionally, Phil was able to explore the potential of pop-up package design. Whether it is collapsible paper speakers that are built out of the backing card or making a mini fan more fun with the addition of a pop-up farm and flying cows, we can see Phil is having a lot of fun with pop-ups. Let’s hope we see more of his work in the future, until then I’ll have to be distracted from this current heatwave with my old tabletop fan and some homemade origami cranes.
Do you have a baby? Do you know of someone with a baby? Do you plan to reproduce in the near future? Would you like to communicate with a child who has not grasped the complex rules of English grammar? Do you live near Lake Michigan?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions you might be interested to know that Kyle Olmon will be participating in his Biennial Book Tour 2009 on Saturday, July 18th. Kyle will be in the Chicagoland area to promote his newest pop-up book Baby Signs at two book events in one day. Join him for storytime at the Deer Park Barnes & Noble in the morning, or stop by the Rena Sternberg Gallery in Glencoe for an afternoon of three-dimensional delight. Please find the information for both venues below:
Baby Signs presentation and book signing
Saturday, July 18th from 11:00 am to Noon.
Barnes & Noble
Deer Park Town Center
20600 North Rand Road
Deer Park, IL 60010
For more store details and map, please click here.
Baby Signs reading, pop-up demonstration and book signing
Saturday, July 18th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.
Rena Sternberg Gallery
378 Park Avenue
Glencoe, IL 60022
Come on out and stock up on baby shower gifts and support a young author. Please feel free to share this announcement of a truly rare event with your friends, family and even strangers carrying babies on the street. Thank you.
Recently I visited the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium in Times Square, a place New Yorkers usually only visit when they're accompanying their visiting friends or family. Part of the reason I went was one attraction called the “Black Hole” – I was told “it makes you feel like you’re floating in space!”
This reminded me of an art installation my mom told me about after she visited the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona. She described it as a dark room with mirrors with lights hanging from the ceiling – disorienting you and making you feel like you are suspended in nothingness with lights all around:
You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies, by Yayoi Kusama, 2006
Here’s a video of Fireflies on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgreene/2554869071/
I really want to see it in person!
So anyway, back to the Black Hole at Ripley’s. Basically, it’s a darkened walkway with a huge drum rotating around it. Small lights are set into the drum, and as they rotate around you, your brain switches its perception of its surroundings – suddenly the drum seems to be standing still, and the walkway starts to spin around beneath your feet!
It’s a good thing the railings are there because the illusion is so effective that you quickly start falling and leaning to one side to keep your balance.
I went through the tunnel three times but I had to stop there because I started getting motion sickness. It took several minutes for the dizziness to go away, but I’d say it was worth it for the experience.
The following is a time-lapse photo, showing the paths of the lights as they swirl around the walkway. Otherwise the tunnel is too dark to photograph (or videotape!) What a beautiful picture!
(photo by Mary Altaffer, Associated Press / June 21, 2007)
It is reported that the film was produced by a talented and dedicated team of students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Arts and Design and Abertay University in England. The Happy Duckling was written and directed by Gili Dolev in 2008 and features original music by Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian fame.
This is some of the slickest computer representation of pop-ups that I have seen, and I hope to one day get to see the entire feature. Looks like my best chance would be to view it at SIGGRAPH in August. Fellow paper engineer, Matthew Shlian, took part in this conference last year and spoke very highly of its ability to showcase cutting edge collaborations of art and technology.
Even if I don’t make it to New Orleans for the film festival, I hope that these young animators will continue to dazzle us with their fun, inventive storytelling and computer craft. Maybe one day we will be able to see a whole pop-up world unfold on the big screen.
There are many other beautiful and unorthodox book forms in this exhibit and I hope to make it out to see them in person. (Besides, how could I possibly pass up a visit to the gallery’s hometown of Loveladies, NJ?)