2015 in review – Sarah

Back to the Wild: A Practical Manual for Uncivilized Times by Alain Saury (Process Media, 9781934170588)


The older I get, the more I feel like I want to escape from the modern world and all of the utter shite that can come with living in a city. I’m also a bit into conspiracies, and I totally know that the machines are going to take over us someday soon. Aside from using Sarah Connor as my workout inspiration, I’m trying to take more of an interest in being more self-sufficient. I want to live a more sustainable life in general , and I also want to be able to just make things, fix things and do things that are generally being lost as technology becomes ubiquitous and the majority of my generation loses the ability to do so. So I was thrilled to read Back to the Wild, French polymath Alan Saury’s practical guide for living off nature, with information on growing crops, hunting, cooking outdoors, creating maps and building shelter. Not just for doomsday preppers, this book is a beautifully designed, poetic documentation of how humans can develop an intimate relationship with nature.


Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito (Kodansha Comics, 9781632361974)


Let it be known that 2015 is the year I began to read comics, even branching out a bit into manga! While I previously had a preference for words-only tomes, I found a real love for illustrated stories after a colleague loaned me some Julia Wertz books (OMG THANK YOU I LOVE THEM). Suddenly I felt less out of the loop. Working at MCM Comic Con, I picked up a copy of Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu because, you know, it’s got cats in it. While I didn’t really know how important Junji Ito was as a manga creator in his own right, I thought his horror drawing style applied perfectly to his story about moving in with his partner and having to come to terms with her crazy cats. This manga is hilarious and, if you’re cat obsessed like me, really really cute. Not quite as cute as Chi, but that’s probably not what the author was going for anyway! For fans of Manga, Cats, Comedy, Horror.

(Junji Ito’s Cat Diary was one of our November Graphic Novel spotlights – read more here.)


The 2001 File: Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film by Christopher Frayling (Reel Art Press, 9780957261020)


Last but not least! The 2001 File is a book that fans have been waiting on for a few years now. The book was delayed a few times since its original announcement, but it is now here and it is beautiful – well worth the wait! One of the greatest films ever made with regards to both direction and design (in my opinion, anyway!), 2001: A Space Odyssey has permeated popular culture so deeply that even those who haven’t seen it will still think of space upon hearing ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ and that Stanley Kubrick may or may not have invented the iPad. But the most important thing about 2001, the thing that has helped it transcend classic status to become utterly iconic, is the overall design of the film, which had little to do with Kubrick and everything to do with Harry Lange. And for those who cannot get enough of the way this film pleases the eyeballs (read: ME!), The 2001 File is the Holy Grail. It collects the complete, largely unpublished archive of art director Harry Lange’s designs, concepts, roughs and photographs, which came together to develop an extraordinary vision of the future. Honestly though, this book is both gorgeous and cool. It looks amazing on my coffee table, and it has been far more than just a big, overpriced coaster. I’ve looked at it nearly every day since taking it home. It is absolutely stunning.

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