Tag Archives: James Jean

Fables Covers: The Art of James Jean

James Jean is the kind of illustrator that I only ever dreamed of becoming when I was younger. With an exemplary draughtsman’s skill, a nod to early 20th century American illustrators and a designers eye in use of colour composition and new technology, this book is a great start to see some of his beautiful work. His lavish covers for the Vertigo comic book series, “Fables,” that he has produced monthly for the last eight years are always eye catching and it’s great to see them all gathered here in one place.

The great thing about the book is that on one side you get part of the process he uses to get to the finished product such as preliminary sketches and drawings. My only complaint would be that Jean does some commentary on his covers for the trade paperbacks of the series, but he doesn’t do any commentary on the individual covers, and an interview at the back by Fables writer Bill Willingham with Jean does little to draw out the character of the individual behind the work (Jean comes across as a very humble artist, it seem he prefers to let the work speak for itself. That said, the work is so beautiful, perhaps it is enough on it’s own.

The unfortunate thing is that this volume is not easy to come by in Australia, I ordered mine for an arm and a leg through my local comic book shop, your best bet may be ordering through Amazon, even with the exchange rate and cost of postage.

James also runs a blog called Process Recess which always features fascinating looks at how he goes about producing his illustrations, not only for The Fables covers, but other commercial and private work as well.

Recent Surfing Highlights 13

Welcome to 2008! Some more links of recent note that I’ve tracked down so you don’t have to.

Pitchfork media in their ‘oh so clever-er than you manner’ have listed their 20 worst album cover of 2007. I actually really like the ‘Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!’ cover, so what do I know!

I’m a huge fan of hand drawn type, the forthcoming film Juno has a beautiful hand drawn title sequence by Shadowplay Studio. By all reports, the film sounds like it will be pretty good as well, if you’re into that whole Napoleon Dynamite feel in your movie watching.

I guess it’s that time of year if you’re into making New Years reolutions (though I guess most people have already broken theirs by now). Jim Hargreaves has set out his own set of design resolutions for the year on his blog, so good luck with that I guess.

In the why didn’t I think of that? department name your design studio after you’re favourite band, though in my case, ‘Starland Vocal Band Design’ doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Soon to find their way onto my business card, pithy design quotes.

My business card is a ball of putty. I know some people who think of me that way!

Thw worst of Perth is a fantastic site that points out just that, I’m especially loving their graphic design section.

James Jean is the kind of illustrator I dreamed of being while I was growing up (a work still in progress). Check out his fantastic illustration skills and weep.

I loves me some work from local animation gurus The Peoples Republic of Animation checkout their fab Mitsubishi Lancer commercial here.