60s Graphis books
MARCH 13, 2007
I've been steeling myself to go in my local bookshop for some time now and eventually went in last week.
Hans Hillmann poster
What's been keeping me away is more the meshugah owner than anything else. He rants about the internet being the deathknell for shops such as his, rails against modern society in general and rabbits on about his time as an art student in London in the 60s measuring his failure by his contemporaries' relative success. I'm coming across as heartless here. Look, I'm all for indulging eccentric and slightly bitter nostalgics but the prospect of being regaled by Rodney about his time on the fringes of the Bonzo Dog Doodah band wasn't thrilling me.
So I went in and started poking around. Rodney was over the other end of the store, bawling out a slightly soft-in-the-head assistant, launching into a well-worn soliloquy about how kids had no education, no sense of history. He then proceeded to tear someone off a strip for using a mobile phone in his shop only to have to back-pedal when the guy told him he was there to fix the cash register.
Hillmann and others
Anyhoo, I'd found me some ancient Graphis books, a few copies of something from the 60s called Motif and a book of old New Yorker Cartoons. Rodney takes me for a student but is impressed when I flash the illustrator badge and we shoot the breeze about our alma mater (Central Saint Martins College- albeit that we studied 30 years apart), I join in with a lament about kids' lamentable drafting abilities these days, we haggle over the prices and I leave £75 ($150) lighter (am sure I was fleeced) for six interesting books. One of the Graphis annuals was particularly nice- here are some of my fave bits. A feature on post-war Polish illustrator, George Him (I wish there was more colour stuff to show you) and a piece on Euro film posters. The Hans Hillman stuff is just exquisite. Apologies for the shoddy scans
George Him posters.