Monday, March 02, 2009

Why Daedalus Books Has All My Money

Essential Titles Purchased This Week

As you can see, my bookpile is stacked, my pockets are empty and it looks like I'll be doing nothing but reading in the coming weeks!

Made in Japan
by Reed Darmon
256 pages, Chronicle Books, 2006 (Paperback)
List $12.84, paid $4.98

OK, I'm a sucker for anything to do with Japan - be it good (most everything) or bad (Pearl Harbor, The Rape of Nanking and that hentai pornographic stuff that makes most people puke). You see, as my friend Big Dave Cawley once observed, "Japan: It looks so pretty; land of Ultraman and Hello Kitty." So I just had to have this book from the same author who gave us Made In China and Made In India (apparently he likes the Far East.) I'm glad I did - my girlfriend opened it up and straight away spotted her mom's family crest!

Product description: Made in Japan—these three simple words conjure playful wit, a delight in detail, formal elegance, and graphic energy. Author of Made in China, Reed Darmon has collected hundreds of images of everyday Japanese design and pop culture ephemera from the past century. Including perfume ads, art deco matchboxes, robot toys, action movie posters, Noh masks, kimono patters, sumo cards, children's books, household product packages, and much more, the fascinating objects assembled here reveal tradition Japanese artistry and techniques as applied to playfully modern design. A stylish object and graphic essay in one, Made in Japan is an extraordinary glimpse into the heart of Japanese popular culture.

Japanese Movie Billboards: Retro Art from a Century of Cinema
by Brett Bull
128 pages, DH Publishing, 2007 (Paperback)
List $19.95, paid $6.98

Product description: A retrospective of the almost extinct phenomenon of billboard painting in Japan, this is a fascinating look at the golden age of cinema as seen through the eyes of Japanese artists and media. Contains cover-to-cover, full-color photos, film trivia and historical background. More than just a mine of retro-kitsch, this is a unique look at Western cinema from across the ocean, for both casual readers who wish to flick through and explore the vivid images, and those interested in the historical significance of the depiction of the West and Western films in Japan.

Comment: A real steal. Although a few copies are available on Amazon, this title - featuring the beautiful hand-painted billboard art of illustrator Bankan Kubo - can fetch upwards of $36 elsewhere.

Worst Fashions: What We Shouldn't Have Worn . . . But Did
by Catherine Horwood
192 pages, History Press, 2006 (Hardback)
List $24.95, paid $6.98

Product description: Have you ever glanced at an old photograph and wondered just why you chose to look like that? Or wondered just what possessed a designer when he imagined a particular item of clothing could flatter anybody? Well, we all make mistakes, and here they all are. From furry boots and platform soles to hot pants, kipper ties, knitted tank tops and paper knickers; from Afghan coats, shell suits and tartan trews to boob tubes, furry boots, mink bikinis and Val Doonican jumpers, prepare to re-live the fashion victim's tangerine dreams and visible nightmares. Richly illustrated with ghastly close-ups and contemporary photographs, this book also includes lists of the Kings and Queens of Worst Fashions, The Absolutely Worst Men's and Women's Wear; 'Yesterday's Labels; The Least Successful Fashion Campaigns; the worst selling fashion items and the most successful worst fashions.

Geek Chic: The Ultimate Guide to Geek Culture
by Neil Feineman
157 pages, Ginko Press, 2005 (Paperback)
List $29.95, paid $6.98

Product description: There's never been a better time to be a geek. After decades, if not centuries of persecution, ridicule and never, ever getting the girl, geeks are hot. They are scientists, programmers, artists, musicians, actors, videogamers, skateboarders and architects. They have risen above unimaginative educational systems, hostile social environments, and conventional employers to develop the most liberating, global, inventive and democratic culture on the planet. They are geeks and their time has come. Geek Chic begins by tracing the rise of Geek culture particularly in movies, television, music and media and goes on to present an extensive timeline of geek history over the millennia with short biographical sketches of O.G.’s (original geeks), such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Spike Jonze.

The Adventures of Tintin: Collector's Gift Set
by Herge
Little, Brown Young Readers 2008
7-volume box set (Hardcover)
List $150, paid $49.95

Product description: Celebrate over 100 years of Hergé with a new hardcover boxed set containing 7 hardcover volumes (each containing 3 classic Tintin stories) and an additional bonus volume, Tintin & Co. by famed Tintinologist Michael Farr. Join traveling reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, along with well-known friends such as Captain Haddock, as they embark on extraordinary adventures spanning historical and political events, fantasy and science-fiction adventures and thrilling mysteries. These full-color graphic novels broke new ground when they were first released and became the inspiration for countless modern-day comic artists.

Comment: I'm either a real nice guy or a fool, but I actually picked this up for my Tintin otaku pal Big Dave Cawley (Collector of Just About Everything On Earth). (Of course I'll read 'em all before I hand it over!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Cawley, isn't that a shaggy-looking Dave on the cover of Geek Chic?

10:24 PM  

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