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Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, The

Chusid, Irwin

31 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1560976004 / ISBN 13: 9781560976004
Published by Fantagraphics Books, Seattle, 2004
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Softcover, Large, square wrappers with flaps, 178 pages. Illustrated in full color. James (Jim) Flora concocted dozens of diabolic and hallucinatory album cover illustrations, many for Columbia and RCA Victor jazz artists, in the 1940s and "50s. This is the first comprehensive collection of album art by Jim Flora (1914-1998), featuring more than 225 images. This book contains most of his known covers, rarely seen illustrations from Columbia"s Coda trade journal, and some of Flora"s commercial work for magazines of the period. Excellent condition. Record # 410503. Bookseller Inventory # 410503

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, The

Publisher: Fantagraphics Books, Seattle

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Soft cover

Illustrator: James (Jim) Flora

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: None

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The first retrospective of one of the defining visual stylists of the 1950s.

Vintage music buffs have long been bedazzled by bizarre, cartoonish album covers tagged with the signature "Flora." In the 1940s and '50s, James (Jim) Flora designed dozens of diabolic cover illustrations, many for Columbia and RCA Victor jazz artists. His designs pulsed with angular hepcats bearing funnel-tapered noses and shark-fin chins, who fingered cockeyed pianos and honked lollipop-hued horns. In the background, geometric doo-dads floated willy-nilly like a kindergarten toy room gone anti-gravitational. He wreaked havoc with the laws of physics, conjuring up flying musicians, levitating instruments, and wobbly dimensional perspectives. Yet Flora's wondrous, childlike exuberance was subverted by a sinister tinge of the grotesque. As Flora confessed in a 1998 interview, "I got away with murder, didn't I?"

This is the first collection of the marvelous, mischievous album art of Jim Flora (1914-1998). The book contains most of Flora's known covers (around 50), which command high prices on eBay. The gallery includes rarely seen illustrations and covers from Columbia's new release monthly, "Coda" (1943-1953), and some of Flora's post-WWII commercial magazine work. The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora also presents the first reprinting of Flora's fabled Little Man Press work (1939-1942). LMP was a small publishing imprint started by literary nutjob Robert Lowry, who recruited Flora as his graphic co-conspirator. Their LMP editions were printed at home in small runs of 125 to 400 copies. These books served as artistic rites of exorcism for Flora, as the budding illustrator's images veered from childish whimsy to disturbing freakishness. The book encapsulates Flora's life with a biographical profile, interviews, photos, autobiographical reminiscences, and tributes from Alex Steinweiss, Gene Deitch, Shag, R.O. Blechman, Tim Biskup, and others who knew Jim and/or were influenced by him. Full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout

About the Author:

Irwin Chusid, based in Hoboken, NJ, is a journalist, music historian, radio personality and self-described “landmark preservationist.” Since 1975, Chusid has been a DJ on free-form radio station WFMU in New Jersey. He is the author of Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music. He has produced landmark reissues of the music of composer/bandleader/electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott, Space Age Pop avatar Esquivel, the Langley Schools Music Project, and has salvaged the careers of now-celebrated icons like Jim Flora.

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We have an open shop. Hours are: 9AM to 6PM Monday-Saturday and 11AM to 6 PM Sundays. The shop is located at 1485 Route 7 North, 2 miles north of downtown Middlebury, VT. We are located at Paquette self-storage across from Euclide Quenell Farm (It's Vermont!) and have over 150,000 books. Some have said we're the best used book store in the State and Book Lover's Guide has listed us as a "must see." So if you're out our way, please stop in.(When weather VERY bad, please call ahead. We do close during snow storms, etc.)

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Monroe Street Books. Owners: Richard and Flanzy Chodkowski. Mailing address: Monroe Street Books, 70 Monroe Street, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Store Located at: 1485 Route 7 North, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Phone: 1-802-398-2200 Email:
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