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Herblock: The Life and Works of the Great Political Cartoonist Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The first cartoon is from October 14, 1929 with a slightly crude drawing style but turn over the page to a drawing from 1933 and you can detect the first signs of Block's signature style: fluid motion of figures; strong lines that vary in thickness and the wonderful use of graduated tints. By the time he joined the Washington Post (permanently) in 1945 his artwork was perfect. Not only great drawings to look at but he had the knack of presenting complex political points in everyday situations that readers could easily grasp. I think his creation of Mr Atom, the bomb-shaped personality from the Cold War years is a good example of this.
Apart from the cartoons the front of the book has a couple of worthwhile essays about Herblock's life and the art of the political cartoon. Back pages have some fascinating insights by him and how he goes about creating his daily art.
I would be happy with the book as it is but to have a DVD with 18,000 cartoons is really the cherry on top of the cake. Using Adobe Acrobat it's easy to navigate through the material starting with cartoons from Herblock's high school years then just follow each year and see every cartoon up to his last on August 23, 2001. Text material on the disc includes his books, awards and nicely you can check out some online resources.
The book, the DVD make this a brilliant tribute to cartoonist who made a difference.
***SEE INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
Perhaps his most telling works are those done at the beginning of the conflicts that developed into WWII. Some of the most startling predictors of the conflict to come are those done even in the 30's concerning the ongoing problems in Europe. How talented and preeminent his genius was can be illustrated by the cartoon done in May of 1941 before the invasion of Russia by Germany. It shows the ghosts of Napoleon's retreating army meeting up with the soldiers of advancing Germans.
Each one of his works are interspersed with Herblock's biography, his work history and philosophy. The cartoons have a bit of explanation, making it easy to understand the point of each work, even if you are not familiar with that instant and time and crisis in history.
What a wonderful career he had, is shown, beginning with the bank failures in 1933 to George Bush and the NEA lobbyist in 2001. The work he did is wonderfully illustrated in an included DVD. It is a great resource for anyone engrossed in further and complete explorations of his work. Teachers would be well advised to use this marvelous resource both for history and political science classes, even as comparisons to current events - just a wonderful work and collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible that he captured nearly all of the 20th Century.Published 17 months ago by Judy Ferguson
A really fun way to review decades of US and world political historyPublished 17 months ago by J. H. Swain
Very good book outlining history and politics through cartoons. If you are political it is a must and if you are not... you will still enjoy the cartoons.Published on June 1, 2014 by Marlon S. Mcneill Sr
Herblock was a genius. I use these cartoons in my classroom all the time to help illustrate the time periods in a visual way. Its a pricey book but a timeless classic.Published on April 26, 2014 by Jason Yoesting
A huge cartoonist. Sharp, clear, light,accurate, and economical ( He just use the necessary pen strokes, as Mozart always used just the perfect amount of notes).Published on March 21, 2014 by J. jesus