Il­lus­trated Worlds

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Li Yi Edited by Scott Bray

Draw­ings can take di­verse forms and ex­press many kind of ideas. One Il­lus­trated hand­book show­ing an­i­mals us­ing pho­to­graphs and hand- drawn pic­tures can be de­scribed as a zo­o­log­i­cal mu­seum, ready to be taken home.

Draw­ings can take di­verse forms. When an il­lus­trated hand­book of an­i­mals ex­presses the beauty of those an­i­mals' lives and the beauty of nat­u­ral sci­ence through pho­to­graphs and hand-drawn pic­tures, it's truly a trea­sure worth col­lect­ing. Books like these are zo­o­log­i­cal mu­se­ums, ready to be taken home.

Draw­ings can ex­press ideas. An­drew Rae is well known for the sense of hu­mour and fan­tasies in his works. His most well-known pro­tag­o­nist is a boy with a moon for a head. This sum­mer, his sto­ries speak of life at school for se­nior high school stu­dents un­der the cover of Rae's whim­si­cal fan­tasies and light-hearted, hu­mor­ous tone.

When a graphic novel is themed on ar­chae­ol­ogy about the “cre­ation of the uni­verse” and “the time of gods and kings” in an­cient Egypt, it can help read­ers learn about mytholo­gies 5,000 years ago and ex­plore the source of Egypt's bril­liant civil­i­sa­tion.

In his book, Hans Bacher, a key fig­ure lay­ing the foun­da­tion for the con­tem­po­rary art style in Dis­ney's car­toon films, the reader is treated to mas­ter's classes on visual de­sign. More than 400 orig­i­nal manuscripts se­lected from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mu­lan and Aladdin dis­close tech­niques unique to Dis­ney.

En­cy­clo­pe­dia of An­i­mals

The En­cy­clo­pe­dia of An­i­mals in­te­grates in­for­ma­tion about an­i­mal clas­si­fi­ca­tion and be­hav­iours, ecol­ogy, con­ser­va­tion bi­ol­ogy and evo­lu­tion­ary bi­ol­ogy. It is in­ter­est­ing and draws in its read­ers.

The book cov­ers an­i­mals in just about ev­ery aspect: il­lus­trated clas­si­fi­ca­tions, pic­tures in the wild, maps of fauna dis­tri­bu­tion, present liv­ing con­di­tions, in­for­ma­tion about skele­tons and struc­tures, data on the types of body fig­ure and sizes…the book is an en­cap­su­lated mu­seum of an­i­mals in its own right, and can be used as a ref­er­ence book in the study of zo­ol­ogy.

Karen Mcghee, au­thor of the book, is a se­nior pop­u­lar sci­ence writer and sci­ence re­porter. Her rich bi­o­log­i­cal knowl­edge and over 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in writ­ing about na­ture, in ad­di­tion to a fond­ness for field in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has given Mcgee wealth of first-hand ma­te­rial. Her re­search cov­ers a wide range of sub­jects, from the behavioural habits of great white sharks to mea­sures for pro­tect­ing rare birds.

Co-au­thor Ge­orge Mckay is also a world-renowned ex­pert on Aus­tralian an­i­mals. Hav­ing de­vel­oped a spe­cial in­ter­est in re­search­ing birds and mam­mals, he has made a sur­vey of bi­o­log­i­cal dis­tri­bu­tion ar­eas all over the world out of his con­cern about an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment. His re­search cov­ers a wide range of sub­jects, from the liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment and behavioural habits of Asian ele­phants to Aus­tralian mar­su­pi­als.

More than 1,500 pic­tures record­ing an­i­mals liv­ing all over the world have been col­lected in the book, mak­ing it pos­si­ble for read­ers to get an up-close look at a wide ar­ray of fan­tas­tic an­i­mals. Zo­o­log­i­cal de­tails are clearly dis­played and an­no­tated with Latin and Chi­nese ter­mi­nol­ogy, fa­cil­i­tat­ing read­ers' study and ob­ser­va­tion. Im­ages of the in­ner struc­tures of these crea­tures fa­cil­i­tate fur­ther un­der­stand­ing of their makeup and evo­lu­tion. Set against an ar­ray of en­gag­ing in­for­ma­tion, pho­to­graphs taken in the wild vividly dis­play be­hav­iours, while dis­tri­bu­tion maps make it an easy un­der­stand where dif­fer­ent kinds of an­i­mals live. In­for­ma­tion about their present liv­ing con­di­tions tells read­ers which species are dis­ap­pear­ing or on the verge of ex­tinc­tion and the role hu­mans are play­ing be­hind these oc­cur­rences.

Mytholo­gies in Comic Strips: Isis and Osiris, Chil­dren of Dis­or­der

The story of Isis and Osiris, Chil­dren of Dis­or­der un­folds from Ra, god of the sun, to Horus, the last god of kings. From the easy-to-un­der­stand and suc­cinct lan­guage used in the book, one can tell the au­thor has care­fully gen­er­alised the story to make

it more ac­ces­si­ble to a wider au­di­ence. The mo­tives be­hind the many mytholo­gies in­volv­ing hu­mans and sym­bols unique to Egypt still have the power to in­stantly ig­nite the cu­rios­ity and imag­i­na­tion of read­ers. Driven by imag­i­na­tion and the urge to know more, go­ing through the pages of these cap­ti­vat­ing sto­ries, one quickly be­comes fa­mil­iar with cul­tural knowl­edge. Back­ground knowl­edge rel­e­vant to the sto­ries is also in­tro­duced at the end of the book, cou­pled with a glos­sary for terms and a list of names. This metic­u­lous prepa­ra­tion makes it eas­ier for read­ers to learn more about an­cient Egyp­tian cul­ture.

Vi­viane Koenig, au­thor of Isis and Osiris, was born in Paris in 1950. Koenig used to spe­cialise in his­tory and fine arts and worked as a teacher. She later went to Egypt, where she was en­gaged for a num­ber of years in ar­chae­ol­ogy and chart­ing. Af­ter re­turn­ing to France, she be­gan de­vot­ing her­self to dis­sem­i­nat­ing that spe­cialised knowl­edge to her read­ers and es­pe­cially younger au­di­ences. She has writ­ten or drawn more than 10 works on Egypt. Isis and Osiris is char­ac­terised by its clas­sic draw­ing style and re­fresh­ing sense of hu­mour. Clé­mence Pal­dacci, the young il­lus­tra­tor who cre­ated the book's il­lus­tra­tions, has been mak­ing waves, and is par­tic­u­larly adept at draw­ing pic­tures themed on Asian his­tory and mytholo­gies.

Dream Worlds: Pro­duc­tion De­sign for An­i­ma­tion

Hans Bacher, a mas­ter of car­toon art, was an art di­rec­tor in Dis­ney's an­i­mated film depart­ment. His works in­clude Who Framed Roger Rab­bit, The Lion King, Mu­lan and Lilo and Stitch. Bacher has been en­gaged in spe­cial ef­fects with an­i­ma­tion, ad­ver­tise­ment il­lus­tra­tion, CG de­sign and live-ac­tion film. It is no over­state­ment to say that Bacher has reached per­fec­tion in the field of artis­tic de­sign when it comes to colour and com­po­si­tion.

More than 400 rough sketches are col­lected in Dream Worlds: Pro­duc­tion De­sign for An­i­ma­tion, in­clud­ing con­cept maps, back­ground im­ages, plans, sto­ry­boards, com­po­si­tion sketches, maps and other ma­te­ri­als re­lated to clas­sic an­i­mated films like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mu­lan, Cin­derella and Bambi. These sketches are ex­quis­ite works of art and pro­vide read­ers with an ac­cu­rate il­lus­tra­tion of the de­sign meth­ods. Cou­pled with con­cise writ­ten ex­pla­na­tions, these sketches al­low one to quickly un­der­stand how lines, shapes, light­ing, shad­ing and colours cre­ate at­mos­phere and how back­ground and char­ac­ter de­sign serve story de­vel­op­ment. Bacher's ap­proach de­tail's the “rules of the lens” and pro­vides a com­mu­nica­tive-style read­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Fol­low­ing the be­hind-the-scenes work­ing meth­ods and tech­niques of front-line art de­sign­ers that worked on Dis­ney's an­i­mated films is like hav­ing a di­a­logue with a men­tor or a fel­low il­lus­tra­tor and lets read­ers quickly ab­sorb the cre­ative ex­pe­ri­ences of these masters and im­prove their own ap­proaches to de­sign.

Avail­able in a sewn hard­cover edi­tion and printed in full colour, Dream Worlds fully re­flects the ex­pres­sive power of the clas­sics' orig­i­nal colours and how de­tails were por­trayed. It is def­i­nitely a good book to have on the shelf for an an­i­ma­tor and is equally en­light­en­ing for those cre­at­ing video games, films, il­lus­tra­tions or graphic nov­els.

Moon­head and the Mu­sic Ma­chine

Sup­pose one lives a fan­tas­tic life with a moon for a head. This head com­fort­ably can float out of the earth's at­mos­phere and probe into in­ter­plan­e­tary space. Joey has a head like that. His school life is not very happy. He is ridiculed by his class­mates for his pim­ply face, and moon­head is of­ten kicked around like a foot­ball. How­ever, things change com­pletely af­ter a tal­ent show, where Joey changes au­di­ence mem­bers' opin­ions of him with his per­for­mance and his mag­i­cal self-made in­stru­ment…

An­drew Rae, a Bri­tish il­lus­tra­tor, graphic de­signer and art di­rec­tor, cre­ated an imag­i­na­tive car­toon— Moon­head and the Mu­sic Ma­chine, based on this story. As a medium, graphic nov­els make use of the huge nar­ra­tive po­ten­tial of visual art. Rae's visual story in par­tic­u­lar exquisitely tugs at read­ers' heart­strings and de­scribes how im­por­tant mu­sic is for peo­ple who fret about the fu­ture. One can't help but get emo­tional when Joey says: “But maybe I'll start a band and go on a world tour.”

The au­thor is a mu­sic lover him­self, as one might ex­pect. Out of his love for mu­sic, Rae pays trib­ute to the al­bums of stars such as Michael Jack­son and David Bowie. This “pri­vate hobby” is dis­played in the au­thor's book nat­u­rally, with­out a hint of awk­ward­ness. The Chi­nese ver­sion of the book was re­cently pub­lished by the Hu­nan Fine Arts Pub­lish­ing House in Au­gust 2018, in time to be in­cluded on some sum­mer va­ca­tion read­ing lists.

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