Hand drawn type tells stories

I came across this book while browsing books under the subject: type. I was intrigued with the front cover, so I decide to investigate it further. Turns out it was half storybook and half designed hand drawn type. I like stories and I like type. So going off of the synopsis of the book, I decided to purchase this book. And was it well worth the price? My answer to that is, yes it was well worth it and let me explain why.

This book has an elegantly designed softcover and spans over 168-pages of beautifully hand rendered type. Each story, or theme, showcases itself in a visually unique and complex way from page to page. Making for each page to differ from one to the next. Sure, the style consists of a lot of line work, flourishes and hand rendered type, but the manner in which they are placed upon the page, as well as the visual hierarchy of what the author wants you to read first, is fantastic. As a learning student in the field of graphic design, this in not only a prefect book to have for its aesthetic purpose, but as something to study when one needs inspiration. The stark black and white colour palette, or lack there of, really showcases the inventiveness of the type and graphical backdrops in which house the stories atmosphere. Since there is so much going on on each page, to have the book put into colour would have been overwhelming.

Overall, I would recommend Hall of Best Knowledge to anyone who enjoys: witty and humorous observational stories/allegories, creative and inventive ways of displaying type, studying of art, reader of comics or all of the above. It is a well worth the investment because of the amount of visual complexity and creativity found from front to back.

Here is a short preview of the book, Hall of Best Knowledge.

How common is your sense?

This confusion has been stalking my mind since my growing understanding, although very minimally, of the language and idioms I’ve learned. I’ve always taken it as a general rule that we apply it to situations where people should have “known better.” What gets me is that it’s a sweeping generalization that we all share in this common knowledge. When I hear the words common and sense in the same sentence, my reaction, although said aloud in my head, is “not all sense is common.” It’s like being expected to know that which you don’t. My point, however, is what makes sense or sensibility common, as majority should know, and who determines it? I, from the standpoint of young student and with little life experience, am confused by what I should already know to be “common sense.” When I’m told that I should have used my “common sense” I feel somewhat puzzled. I’m posting this as a general inquiry on the subject. For those who wish to share their thoughts or would like to constructively correct me on the topic, I greatly encourage replies.

Simply Drawn

John Arne Sæterøy, a Norwegian born cartoonist who goes by the moniker, Jason. Born May 16, 1965 in Molde Norway, he made his debut in 1981 in the Norwegian comics magazine KonK. In 1989, he studied graphic design and illustration at Norway’s National Academy of the Arts and graduated in 1994. He has won several awards, e.g. Eisner Awards, for his work and has had his work published in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

Jason’s work is drawn in a very clean and minimalist style with a colour palette that follows suit. His characters are anthropomorphic animals who, for the most part, rely on a gesticulatory form of communication due to Jason’s infrequent use of speech bubbles.

Why do I like Jason’s cartoons so much? Everything about his comics are great, but I’ll try my best to summarize the reasons why. Essentially, it’s the animals who have human-qualities, that sometimes, in completely wordless plots, are able to express complex ideas, and onto of that, are beautifully rendered in a sleek and minimalist style.

The following link is a showing of select book published Jason called Low Moon.

Glorious Monstrosity

It all began late one night when my bother and I were mindlessly channeling surfing. I was sitting in a chair while my brother laid on the couch. Click, click, click. There was just nothing on the TV that grabbed our attention. It was either because everything on TV was crap or that we lost all interest in what we were doing. Just then, I happened the land on channel 90, G4 TV. We sat up immediately and leaned forward with a curiosity normally reserved for more brain-building activities than watching TV.

Am I really seeing this? What’s going on – there’s so much happening? The colours, the fluid animation… and the blood! I couldn’t believe that something so disturbingly graphic – yet cleverly thought out– was being shown on the television.

So what is this Superjail? Man, it’s hard for me to fully explain what the hell it is. The animation style segues smoothly from scene to scene, with a train of thought and brutally gory violence like that of a hallucinatory drug (without side-effects.) The plot of each episode may not be overly complicated, but the opposite is true for the animation. The humor on the other hand is perverse and sometimes, if not a lot of the time, down-right appalling. The pace of Superjail is perfect; it has the right amount of manic battle scenes, mixed with steady rests allowing for a pleasing unraveling of the plot. Sure, you could watch the show’s hysterically deranged action for the full 11 minute run-time, but trust me: your eyes, and most definitely your mind, will need a break.

My brother and I were astounded to stumble upon this intergalactic freak show. Finding this quenching entertainment was like finding water in a desert of poor programming. It was like finding God – or at least several gods in the creators of the show bringing to life such a glorious monstrosity.

If you enjoy oddly maniacal trains of thought that jump tracks and that border on the absurd, and fantastical visuals with hallucinogenic qualities, then I urge you watch this sensory bending cartoon. If not… well, then stick to the Care Bears.

The cover of the Superjail Season 1 DVD

The type of humor to be found in Superjail