Monday, July 14, 2014

On the Spacecraft (1968) (Part 2)

Part 2 of my post on this colorfully illustrated book. I find the colors and illustration style of this book really unique.

See part 1 here:

On the spacecraft. Painted by Stakhursky. Poland: Zaklady Graficzne. 22 cm. 134 p. 

The mechanical device see almost surreal and I have never seen a "space dog" anywhere that was as strange as this.

The beautiful weirdness just goes on and on.

I am not sure if these are supposed to be androids or just heavily modified humans.

Exploration of alien worlds seems to include meeting aliens themselves.

 The books ends on a realistic note showing some of the actual planned spacecraft on both the Russian and U.S. sides of the space race.  I hope you enjoyed these illustrations, I am glad I had a chance to share such great bits of imagination.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On the Spacecraft (1968) (Part 1)

This is yet another "lost" children's book treasure from the Soviet Union. As always if you have a better title translation or can give me better author or publisher information I will add it to the entry.

On the spacecraft. Painted by Stakhursky. Poland: Zaklady Graficzne. 22 cm. 134 p. 
The illustrations/paintings in this book stretch space art into an abstract direction. I am fascinated how soviet art in these children's books can be so much more abstract/surrealistic/impressionistic than the American. Because there are so many great illustrations I will also break this up into 2 parts.

The colors and style make these illustrations beautiful objects separate from the text (which I can't read anyway.)

For example, the cosmonaut floating in the cabin look wonderfully symbolic of the tubes and fitting that you need to stay alive in space. The cosmonaut with his glass of water looks less than graceful and yet the overall image is framed beautifully.

This Russian space station illustration also is wonderful. The purple and blue make it glow like a jewel floating in space.

The rest of the illustrations are even better (and stranger) so be sure to look at the next post when I get my act together.

Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Draw Rockets & Spaceships (1958)

Probably not a children's book but I imagine a child finding this and learning how to draw their favorite stuff. Certainly I would have cherished this one if I had seen it at the right age (back when we decorated our notebooks).

Sargeant, Charles. Illustrated by Sargeant, Charles. How to Draw Rockets and Spaceships. London : The Studio Publications. (64 p.) 18 cm. (1958) 

 An unusual "children's" book, it is dedicated to "The Spaceship Pilots of the Future".  Straightforward text on drawing, shadow, perspective etc. with short sections on rocket theory and the future of space travel. It has very nice drawings of rockets, space stations, Moon landers and a moon base. Worth seeking out for the beautiful art. Part of a series of "How to draw" books. (How to draw, no. 43.)

What I enjoy most is that it gives you some basic art techniques to start but then much of the book is "inspiration" and examples of what you could draw. These examples are beautiful.

Charles Sargeant did a very nice job with the text describing the scenes he drew. He seems to have had some interest in manned space flight so the book reads like a guide for both non-fiction and fictional illustrations.

I have not been able to find out very much about him except this book and a science fiction novel of the time that he illustrated.

These illustrations show how perspective can be changed to create some dynamic illustrations.

Finally I love this flying car.  Most illustrations just show them going downtown but this one really can take you places!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Eagle Book of Spacecraft Models (1960)

Eagle Book of Spacecraft Models is a book about how to construct your own model spaceships from balsa wood. Back in the dark ages, if something wasn't available as a plastic model they would publish plans that allowed you to cut it out of balsa wood and assemble it.

Malmstrom, Ray. Eagle Book of Spacecraft Models. London : Longacre Press Ltd. (64 p.) 27 cm. (1960)

The text minimally describes some of the plans for space exploration. The book is not about manned space flight as such, rather it contains 9 full size plans “to build tomorrow's balsa wood models today”. These were inspired by both fictional rockets and by the real manned rocket efforts.

Rather than show all the plans I wanted to highlight the images of some of the spacecraft and the boys who fly them.

The text does talk just a little about the on-going space efforts.
Mostly it is the plans and instructions that make up the majority of the book.

It is these scraps of non-fictional encouragement that I am excited to find. The "grand spaceflight progression" is here too in the form of "man's penetration of deep space can only follow his successful conquest of the moon and the nearer planets.."  The readers were made to feel that by building these rockets they were part of this continuing exploration.