Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In which Trish whines like an old lady about annoying trends at the Book Store.

So I was in a book store the other day and I brought my camera along. I went ahead and recorded some of the irksome things I've been noticing lately:

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Now I know you've all run into these "Whatever-Ology" books recently. (SO much Flash in that website. All I wanted to do was learn who the illustrators were. They're Wayne Anderson and Douglas Carrel.) The art is nice for the most part, but the main thing that gets me all chagrined is that they're full of stuff. Maybe I'm being an old lady about this thinking that an illustrated book should stand on the merits of it's artwork and not on how much glitter they can package in, how many jewels can be embedded in the pages, and how many books-within-books they contain. One last thing:

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People inventing creatures to inhabit alternate universe versions of Australia, please stop doing this. (Yes, that's a kangaroo-dragon and a koala-dragon. Because no matter what kind of animal you are, living in Australia will make you evolve into a marsupial.)

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Manga, manga, manga. Now you know I like Anime. But it's also sadly impossible to discuss the "let's learn how to draw by drawing in this one style" trend without sounding Old (I wonder if earlier illustrators had the same problem criticizing the Draw Fifty Whatever books?) A gateway drug is a gateway drug (there's got to be a better analogy for "a thing that gets you into whatever your passion is"), but it just seems like every "learn how to draw" book out there is in this same one style. Wait a second...

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A. WTF?

B. Hmmmmm?

For a while, it looked like I was safe from the 3-effin'-D trend in the bookstore... until I saw this:

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(Note: I couldn't find the credits for the illustrators for either this or the Manga books. Go figure.)

This series of oversized books might be the most annoying thing I saw at the book store. Again, maybe I'm an old lady but I thought the point of an illustrated book about dinosaurs was to -call me crazy- illustrate the dinosaurs, showing what they looked like. Can you even identify the animal in the second picture? Did the person who drew (or badly rendered, from the look of it) this picture even know what this animal looks like? (HINT: Draw a cross between a weird emu and a weird ground sloth. Add fluffy feathers. Add Wolverine's claws.)

A less recent trend in Books that Do Things Books Don't Normally Do is the Book That Makes Noise. These were wildly popular about fifteen years ago, and I recall thinking to myself the first time I saw one, "man, why don't they do a Guide to Bird Calls in this format?" (They eventually did, a decade later. Which is kind of hilarious.)

You don't see publishers making these very often anymore. The most recent variation I found was this, which hurts my inner child:

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Why, why, why?

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Hey, take a look at this thing, which exists:

Now, why do I not think strapping a hummingbird feeder to your face is a good idea?

5 comments:

Zachary said...

Yeah. I'm sad to say that I have that Draconology book--my wife got it for me without knowing any better. I voluntarily bought the "Demonology" book which has some interesting illustrations, nothing like Barlowe's "Vision of Hell" or whatever it's called, though.

The trend that annoys ME is that the books I'M interested in are shrinkwrapped. I'm talking books about arachnids and sharks and dinosaurs. These are not books about naked women (in which case shrinkwrapping is more understandable). Bizarrely, books about naked women are, often, NOT shrinkwrapped. But a book about spiders? Com'on.

Trish said...

A. There's a Demonology book? By the same Whatever-Ology people? Whuh?

B. Ah, see I knew I forgot to b*tch about shrinkwrapping. Look at how many of those Draw Some Manga books are shrinkwrapped for some damn reason. (OK< Erotic Manga I can understand but the Super Cute one?)

Zachary said...

Yeah, or maybe it's "The Demon Hunter's Handbook" or something. It's big and has a puffy cover. Supposedly written by Mr. Van Helsing himself. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I have two comments (this is the same person who recommended "Giants"): That "Demonology" book, whatever it is, is NOT from the Dragonology people. Here's their complete lineup as of August 2011:
Dragonology
Egyptology
Pirateology
Wizardology
Mythology
Monsterology
Spyology
Oceanology
Vampireology
Alienology

"Can you even identify the animal at right? Did the person who drew (or badly rendered, from the look of it) this picture even know what this animal looks like? (HINT: Draw a cross between a weird emu and a weird ground sloth. Add fluffy feathers. Add Wolverine's claws.)"

I have that book. That picture's supposed to be Baryonyx, not Therizinosaurus.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Trish said...

Anonymous - You know the illustration style is bad when I couldn't tell.

OK, seriously, this post is back from the days when I was just getting used to formatting pictures for this blog, and the Blogger "preview" feature is notoriously bad at actually showing you what the post will end up looking like. Therefore, there is no animal "on the right". >.< (I have fixed it.)