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Books 253 The Complete Book of Cartooning. John Adkins Richardson. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1977. 266 pp., illus. Reviewed by John Jensen* When the term was first coined, cartoon meant simply a joke drawing or an editorial cut. Today, cartooning as a generic term coversa diversity of works, many of whichhave nothing at all to do with jokes: strips, animation, caricature and some forms of graphics. Each facet of cartooning offers a separate career in itself. Those who draw ‘super-heroes’ employ vastly different talents from the individuals who supply cartoons to magazines such as the New Yorker and Punch. Any attempt to compress such skills and techniques into one book invites confusion. The confusion in this case arises from the author’s undoubted gusto, which is greater than his expository skill. Would-be cartoonists who would like to draw but cannot must be led patiently, step-by-step, through the elementary stages of draughtsmanship and self-expression. Richardson is an enthusiastic guide, but his method and means, not to mention his own, rather fussy illustrations, lack the necessary virtue of simplicity. He refers his readers to the slightly old-fashioned but still sound and useful book by Andrew Loomis, Creative Illustration (New York and London: Macmillan, 1947). He might also, usefully, have referred them to A Complete Guide to Drawing Illustration Cartooning and Painting by Gene Byrnes(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948).Published 30 years ago, this manual isa model ofits kind. It has thesimplicitythat Richardson’s book lacks, together with first-class illustrations and, not unimportant , restful design. For those able to seekit out, it remains an excellent beginner’s guide. Richardson’s book ismore useful to artists who have acquired someskillsbut are unsure how to embark upon a career. Here the author provides his most positive guidance. The chapters on marketing, copyright and printing techniques, the glossary of technical terms and the bibliography of comics, magazines and professional journals will at least allow neophytes to talk confidently about cartooning, which is an essential preliminary step to actually beginning a career. Revolutionary Soviet F i l m Posters. Mildred Constantine and Alan Fern. John Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, Maryland, and London, 1974. 97 pp.. illus.~$12.95;f6.50. Unofficial Art from the Soviet Union. Igor Golomshtok and Alexander Glezer. Michael Scammell, ed. Secker & Warburg, London, 1977. 172 pp.. illus. f7.95. Reviewed by John E. Bowlt ** The first book is, essentially, a collection of over 70 cinema posters from the 1920s,covering such celebrated names as Natan Altman, Alexander Rodchenko and, above all, Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg. Many pieces are reproduced in good color, and their sheer exuberance and vividness overwhelm the reader immediately. Some of the posters are known from previous sources,e.g. Rodchenko’s design for Kino-Glaz (1924) and the Stenbergs’for Man witha Movie Camera(1929),and, in any case, they can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modem Art in New York and the Library of Conegressin Washington, D.C. Even so, theseposters remain unfamiliar outside the U.S.S.R. As the authors point out in their Introduction, the posters of the 1920ssufferedthe samefate asconstructivist art during the Stalin period. Soviet scholars are now making up for lost time and are publishing a number of related studies (e.g. Volia Liakhov’s Sovetskii reklamnyi plakat 1917-1932 [The Soviet Advertising Poster 1917-19321, Moscow, 1972),but constructivist posters are still a promising sphere of enquiry. The reproductions in the book are complemented by a general essay that delineates the major influencesand developments peculiar to the Soviet poster of the 1920sand early 1930s,although, on several occasions, the text contains inaccurate information: the artist GeorgiiYakulov, not Tatlin, was in charge of the interior design of the Cafe Pittoresque in 1917(p. 5); Vertov could not have contributed to *46 Stalbridge Flats, Lumley St., London, WI, England. **Dept. of Slavic Languages, Box 7217, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, U.S.A. Lefin 1922, since this magazine did not start publication until 1923(p. 7); what was the curious international exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1906that, allegedly,‘representedthe avantgarde of the West and East’ (p. 3...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 253-254
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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