Friday, 6 July 2012

High Times and Rise and Fall

A couple of appointments with a couple of hours between them in the cooler quarters of town on Wednesday gave me an opportunity to pay a visit to the Nobrow Shop; a pilgrimage I'd been meaning to make for a while.

Nobrow is a small independent publisher of original graphic illustration and art comics of unparalleled gorgeousness that I have been acquiring a quiet addiction to over the last year (see my earlier reviews of 'Hilda and the Midnight Giant' and 'The Wolf's Whistle'). I knew that entering the shop would expose me to the possibility of spending large sums of money and I was right. On top of their own titles they sell a carefully chosen selection of some of the most beautiful and seductively designed children's books around. I wanted to buy their entire stock but managed to exert the same sort of control I exercise at a dessert trolley and limit myself to four choices. All will be making appearances here I'm sure. But as we're bigging up the Nobrow, today I'll draw your attention to their in-house wordless concertina books.

A few months ago we acquired the first of these:
 'Rise and Fall' by Micah Lidberg is a slim looking volume that opens out a full 136cm to illustrate the entire chronology of the dinosaur era on one side and the rise of the mammal on the other. There are as I say, no words; this is not a fact-spewer for an animal nerd but it is. just. beautiful.
We have a bare white mantelpiece halfway up our stairs which was once officially The Least Exciting Vista in the house.
No longer. 'Rise and Fall' turned out to fit the space perfectly and gets rotated on a daily or so basis to make Eddie's already slow progress up the stairs to bathtime become even slower. I am also capable of being distracted by some new detail within as I carry up laundry or go to fetch something. This may mean I have to come back downstairs in order to try and re-remember what it was I was going up the stairs to do. You could call that an irritation but I'll spin it as Art as Fitness Aid.

And now we also have their newest concertina book; 'High Times' by Golden Cosmos. Similarly beautiful, but concerning machines rather than animals this time; the subject is the history of aviation, beginning with Icarus and ending with the flight to the Moon. This one is also wrapped in a folder which does have a potted history for those desperate for factual context.

When Bill was a baby and learnt to point, the first things he chose to point at were the tiniest specks of aircraft way up in the sky. I can remember being heavily pregnant with Eddie and taking an 18 month old Bill on his first trip to the RAF Hendon air museum and thinking 'I wonder how many more rainy Sundays of the next few years will be spent in this way'. The answer predictably enough 6 years later is too many but in a household where 3 out of 4 resident would disagree with that analysis 'High Times' has been well received.

And when aircraft look this pretty I'm happy to give them their turn in the shelf spotlight. I may need to buy the 'Swan Lake' concertina book too however to redress the balance...
Our rotating display

'Rise and Fall' by Micah Lidberg, pub. Nobrow and 'High Times- a history of aviation' by Golden Cosmos, pub. Nobrow both available mail order from their main site if you don't want to risk stepping into their shop.


  1. Funnily enough I only discovered this publisher a month or so ago and I too am amazed by the beauty of what the produce. I didn't know they had a bricks and mortar shop. I wish I didn't know as I can already feel myself being sucked inexorably in to it!

    1. leave your card at home and take only pocket money!