This anthology drawn from the pages of Ray Gun, one of the most visually idiosyncratic and original music magazines now being published, demonstrates just how consistently inventive and challenging the design of the magazine is but doesn't make the ``new niche cool'' publication any easier to understand. Kuipers, its editor, argues that too many magazines are addicted to ``the megalomaniacal need to control people, to steer culture away from the radical and toward the safe.'' One way in which they do that is by compartmentalizing art and text. Ray Gun doesn't: Words flow over images, dense blocks of text are squeezed into spreads featuring glowing color photographs or collages, a wide variety of typefaces are crowded into an issue. Another way in which magazines assert a rigid worldview is by strictly defining the roles of artists, writers, designers, and subjects: Ray Gun has recruited John Travolta, William S. Burroughs, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Zappa, and Keith Richards, among many others, as contributors, providing ``an open forum'' for the artists ``who define youth (or music) culture.'' The anthology offers a stunning gallery of cutting-edge design, but its highly experimental mix of images and text is likely to make it of interest only to designers and the already initiated.

Pub Date: June 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-684-83980-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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