C.F. (CHRISTOPHER FORGUES) and BRIAN CHIPPENDALE launched two new illustrated books at the STRAND BOOK STORE in Manhattan – last Thursday, Nov 18, 2010.

. . . I’m not sure calling them comic books, or graphic novels does – or does not do them justice !! – but considering the sorry state of the art world – it just might be better to label them – comic artists – though clearly both wear many hats – including comic book artist, artist, and musician. and both are basically wizards in all realms they touch !! who better to take over the parched scene – and storm over the vast wasteland – then these young masters of the graphic arts, not to mention – the imagination.

it was such a top drawer nite, not only because the product was sooooo good, and the artists sooooo interesting – but because intense as they are – and they are both Providence-based – the books, put out by PICTUREBOX – were completely opposite in format and take. and style. and story. how fun.
that’s Brian Chippendale signing a pile of books for the Strand in the background.
C.F.’s slim tome – in the foreground.

CHIPPENDALE’S book was wide and thick – like a little phone book or an over-size pocket dictionary – yeah. a pocket dictionary thru his head, alright !! it’s titled ‘If ‘n Oof’ – yes !! and, it goes for $23.95 at the Strand.
it has a soft but solid-bound cover – and feels really great to handle. it is exactly 2 in. high. yes, I just measured it.
of course I bought one – to take home. it’s beautifully made. no doubt about it. it’s an artist’s book.
the cover is shiny with parts that stand out – as decals !!
the back is a trip – see it for yourself !!

inside in the front page – it says the book was designed by Brian – and that’s the way it feels.
with production credits, and well deserved to: Jon Vermilyea & Raymond Sohn.

I don’t know how many pages it has – alot. but the pages not being numbered feels damn right too – it’s like an infinity book.
you know, infinity pool, infinity book. in the head. on the page & now you are in there, too.

it’s way fun to flip through too.
the Strand has it down right on the bar code sticker: art-comics/graphics !!

there’s an explosive, wild range of style and narrative – not one dull moment. both dense and linear. hyper inventive. just what you would expect from Chippendale – if you have been so lucky as to have followed his stuff . . . going back to his early days – as one of the founding ringleaders of the legendary Fort Thunder . . .

each page is a story . . .

each page is a gesture . . .

each page is an artwork. a travel into the mind as well as an adventure into the dimensions . . .

just when it gets classic . . .

it blows up – funny !!

a flip to another page brings up this thought:
who’s here! Just a fan of the lingering light that fades into the greed of the splintered one above . . .
and 2 pages, later:
do you know how me and my friend got here ?There’s a screw in the front door to the Almost Oasis !
dig dug !!
get yourself your own copy !! and re-enter this Chippendale universe – at your own whim & wonder !!

now C.F.’s book is more like code – really dig that cover, dude.
that’s: POWR MASTRS – 3 !!
in iridescent raised copper lettering imprinted on a beautiful opaque as opaque can be – dull green – as green as grass.
also, with a totally wild back . . .

also with the unmistakable look & feel of an artist’s book – C.F. designed his own book, too. of course.
with production credits going to: Jon Vermilyea, Tumoni & Raymond Sohn.
likewise listed as: art-comics/graphics.
it sells for $14.40 at the Strand.

I am hard pressed to compare the two books. it’s like night and day – both beautiful. hey, do what I did. get both.
the C.F. book is slim – 109 pages – in comparison – and yet also with a wonderful weight in the hands. but instead of a flip effect – it’s got more of an open to page and look into it – feel. it’s kind of, more ‘luna’ – is that descriptive word ?

it has a wonderful elegantly linear technical graphic stance . . . but it’s completely nuts . . . . as you dig deeper.
it gets very unpredictable, and even dark. the visual range also goes very deep, way deeper than I am showing ya . . .

kind of an introverted exuberance ?

but trust me – it also travels to alternative universes . . . and unknown reaches . . .

and gets pretty far out there.
chasing Moebius, along the way . . .

journeying . . . into pure graphics.

and coming back to center.

and then, going completely whacky . . .

I don’t scare easily . . .

but you do make me laugh !

O>K> next up: the SLIDE PRESENTATION !! yep – it was that good !!


If ‘n Oof – & – Powr Mastrs 3