Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In two parts, book review and Vandercook Dreams cont., "Can Someone Crank Me Here?"


So one of my favorite books from 2007 is Jeffrey Brown's Incredible Change-Bots published by Top Shelf. If you haven't read it and are curious you can read a preview here. I don't know if it's for everyone but I sure enjoyed it, mostly due to my fixation with the Japanese Tranformers toys and cartoons from when I was a kid. The idea of these inanimate objects ranging from cars, to planes, to guns, and even an audio cassette tape, all having the ability to transform into robots is absurd. And as with all of the toys from my youth they created a series of cartoons or half-hour commercials to sell these toys--a series of TV shows (and even a feature length film starring Orson Wells, the animated movie from the 80's, not the recent live action one, which I know nothing about) with the most ridiculous narratives, but back then it was just about seeing these toys in action. talking, shooting, and Transforming, I was hooked. Jeff's comic effectively captures the ludicrousness of it all by poking fun while having fun, and somehow paying homage to it all. He created his own cast of Change-Bots, some of my favorites including 'Balls' a golf cart, 'Stinky' a garbage truck, and 'Soupy' a microwavable cup of soup, to name a few. To further sink the hook into his reader's nostalgic tendencies Jeff offers a membership to the 'Official Incredible Change-Bots Fan Club" in his book, and of course I signed up.



Not only does the membership include an exclusive mini comic and a membership card, you also get an original drawing of your favorite Change-Bot. Somehow I finagled Jeff into making a custom Change-Bot with the Buenaventura Press logo...



Jeff was also kind enough to include his study sketches for Imprint (click image below to enlarge). I have no idea how familiar Jeff is with printmaking machinery but from a xerox (of a similar diagram to the one I posted in my previous blog entry of a Vandercook Universal 1 press ) he actually made it look feasible that a press could change into a robot. I'll never look at a letterpress the same again.



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