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Emshwiller: Infinity x Two: The Life & Art of Ed & Carol Emshwiller

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933065083
ISBN-10: 1933065087
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hugo-winner Ed "Emsh" Emshwiller (1925–1990), best known for his covers for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Galaxy, was one of the most popular SF artists of his day. In this heavily illustrated and meticulously researched survey, Ortiz (Arts Unknown: The Life & Art of Lee Brown Coye) hits the high points of his subject's career, commenting knowledgeably on such topics as the influence of the surreal artists Dalí and Tanguy on Emsh's work. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick held Emsh in such high regard he sought his input for 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Emsh finally put away his brushes and devoted himself to his pet project of abstract stop-motion films, Ortiz makes the cinema terminology accessible to the lay reader. The author also traces the development of Ed's wife, Carol, from an uncertain mother of three to a successful writer of SF (see review above of The Secret City). (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Three artists dominated 1950s sf magazine and book illustration. Richard Powers pioneered abstraction in the genre. Frank Kelly Freas excelled at contextually valid humor. Ed Emshwiller exploited both abstraction and humor and, as an excellent figural draftsman, regularly portrayed female—and male—bombshells, as additional detective and men's adventure-mag clients doubtless demanded of him, and as the examples of his art on every page of this tribute attest. Definitely tops in his field, he quit, except for the occasional cover, in the early sixties to make experimental films, which entailed grant hustling and eventual university teaching and program administration but in which he again rose to the top. Meanwhile, his wife and model, Carol, developed into a first-rate sf and fantasy writer, particularly respected by her peers. Ed died in 1990 (he was then creating early nonobjective computer animation), and his film work, especially, needs revival. In her mideighties, Carol still writes, arguably better than ever. Ortiz's survey of their careers covers Ed more extensively than Carol, but both lovingly and, given high-quality art reproduction, beautifully. Olson, Ray

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: NonStop Press (July 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933065087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933065083
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,177,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Symes on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My major interest is Ed Emshwiller's science fiction art, so just having a collection of reprints of his work is wonderful. I still have many of his paperback covers form the 60s: they are not in the best of shape. The biography of him and his wife, the intro by Alex Eisenstein, and what amounts to a short history of science fiction magazines in the 50s and 60s, were all icing on the cake. If you're an SF fan, you'll probably love this book. There is some coverage of Ed's experimental film and video work, and of Carol Emshwiller's writing, but it is secondary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Dickinson on April 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ed Emshwiller was undoubtedly one of the best cover artists in the history of science fiction. As far as I know, this is the only book that features a lot of his paintings in one place. If you're a fan of wild imagery you really can't go wrong with this one. Emsh could do weird aliens and pretty girls and put it all together in one striking cover. Reproduction is top-notch. My one complaint is that I'm not as interested in his film and video work and would have preferred more of his paintings. But that's a very minor complaint. However, Emsh did so many covers that you could do another book featuring stuff left out of this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was growing up, "EMSH" was my favorite science fiction artist. I often bought books just for the covers, which I collected along with those of numerous others. I was devastated when he chose to leave the art world for experimental cinema, but I always knew I had hundreds of his magazine and book covers. Then, I lost my collection a few years ago during an unfortunate circumstance.
This book, though a bit pricey, was my salvation. It is loaded with many of Ed Emshwiller's best covers, mostly in color and many without overtype -- which is almost as good as seeing originals in a gallery. The printing is high quality, and the text is extremely informative. An apology to Emsh's wife Carol, whose life and career as a writer comprises a good part of this book, but this review is designed to reflect my joy at finding a source -- a quality one at that -- for Ed's work. Many thanks to Luis Ortiz for a true labor of love.
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