Thursday, May 3, 2012

Peter Mendelsund, Osamu Tezuka and Vertical Publishing

This is a bit of an "out of the box" topic, but I wanted to share two of my favorite artists/designers, Peter Mendelsund, a graphic designer known for his book covers (If you've heard of Vertical inc., he took the place of Chipp Kidd as essentially their in-house designers), and Osamu Tezuka, a comic/cartooning master from japan (Astro Boy, Black Jack, etc).

Vertical is a NYC based publishing firm who have been publishing various "alternative" and "old school" manga in the past several years. Pairing classic 60's-70's manga like Osamu Tezuka's work with such radical modern design sense as Chipp Kidd and Peter Mendelsund leads to some really amazing must-have books.

On hand, I have two of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack comics to share, and then I've included some LQ images from the internet of some other work.

Osamu Tezuka is known for a lot of things ("the father of manga"), but he has a unique storytelling sensibility, character and narrative design, as well as a keen awareness of (sorry, unrelated to books) panel layout in his stories that make them very exciting, even after all these years.

Peter Mendelsund does a _lot_ of book covers, along with his Osamu Tezuka work, he's also done some other impressive work like the Steig Larsson "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" covers.  You can check out his work and his blog at ( and )

Vertical is a really interesting publisher in terms of their design sense and also "what they like to publish" too, although it's really mainly english translations of japanese work. All their books are very "desirable" objects for me, not only because of content, but because their covers look gorgeous, on a shelf on in a hand. Here's a link to their website:

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