Archive for November, 2013

Rube Roundup

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

A great time was had at the book release party for The Art of Rube Goldberg last week. The Lori Bookstein Fine Art gallery was packed with folks eager to step into the world of Rube Goldberg. Original black and white artwork and comics filled the walls (after being stored under the bed of Rube’s granddaughter, Jennifer George). A video loop of various Rube Goldberg contraptions played overhead as people lined up to get their books signed. We were joined by fellow paper engineers, Sam Ita, Simon Arizpe and Becca Zerkin as well as the wonderful Pop-up Lady, Ellen Rubin. It was great to see everyone out to support Andy Baron, who created the intricate movable cover for the coffee table book. While I did not get a chance to meet the writer/contributor, Adam Gopnik, (who slipped out early) it was a real treat to see Al Jaffee, creator of the MAD magazine fold-ins. I love these paper folded wonders and hope that I am going as strong at 92! Before we ducked out for dinner, I tried my hand at the RubeWorks app on the iPad and was very impressed with the interactive play and realistic physics. One of the app designers demonstrating the title told me that he also builds the physical contraptions which gave him a good perspective on the gameplay. He then mentioned that the event planners wanted him to construct a working model for the launch party, but he said it would have taken him weeks to complete. I smiled as I remembered that this book took no less than seven years to complete (with some versions of the book project going back decades), but boy oh boy, it was worth the wait.


Another Wow at BOW

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I had a great time last weekend at the 2013 Pop-up Extravaganza. This is an annual event that brings together some of the top paper engineers working today in order to show off their latest books, share stories about the process of making a pop-up and then settling in for a good ol’ fashion book signing. While the cast of pop-up makers change each year, the host is always the wonderful Peter Glassman, who puts on the event in his independent children’s book store, Books of Wonder. This lovely store in Manhattan has been sharing some of the best children’s stories for over 30 years and is a favorite haunt of mine.

This year we were treated with Robert Sabuda sharing his fantastic ‘Little Mermaid’ book. He was joined by David A. Carter who was sporting his fashionable red shoes and his latest life-the-flap book. Sam Ita admitted to focusing more on the pop-up mechanics than the text as he discussed his two new fairy tale books.
While Yevgeniya Yeretskaya from Up With Paper brought ‘The Snow Queen’ and her own family cheerleader section. Finally, Matthew Van Fleet shared his latest nearly indestructible movable book for munchkins called ‘Munch’.

As if that was not enough talent, it seems that there were another half dozen paper engineers in the crowd, making this a little mini-reunion for some folks. Isabel Uria came down from Structural Graphics and showed off some cute pop-up business cards. Later, I was able to catch up with Becca Zerkin and Courtney Watson McCarthy and hear about their latest pop-up books while we hung out with Monika Brandrup-Thomas and her crew.

Like in past years, the time flew by, the final book was signed and we all rushed out into the brisk afternoon, heads filled with inspiration and many more gift items for our holiday wish lists.


Going for the Goldberg

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Yesterday was the release of The Art of Rube Goldberg, a fantastic book of the works by that master cartoonist who can be referred to as a noun or an adjective. Compiled by his granddaughter Jennifer George, with contributions from numerous authors, this nearly 200 page coffee table book takes the reader through the life of and bizarre mind of Rube Goldberg. What is most magical about this book is the movable cover designed by the very gifted Andrew Baron that brings one of Goldberg’s comics to life. Channeling the ghost of Lothar Meggendorfer, Baron has created not just a complex multiple action from a single pull tab, but he does it sequentially so that the viewer can watch the contraption progress through the page. This is how Rube Goldberg comics were meant to be seen! Such a great example of how pop-ups and movables can both enhance and harmonize with the subject matter. I want to see more.

Luckily, I will get chance to see more of Goldberg’s work next week during a book release party and exhibition in New York. See original art. Check. Play the new mobile app game Rube Works. Check. View working Rube Goldberg contraptions. Check. Plus, the entire team that put this book together will be in attendance, so I can pat Mr. Baron’s back in person. The RSVP has closed but if you find yourself near the Lori Bookstein Gallery and want to have your mind blown, contact the email listed on the above image and beg a late admission. If you make it, look for me, I’ll be the one wandering around grinning like a rube at Goldberg’s genius.