Rare centuries-old book with intricate unfolding plates

Philosopher Jacob Böhme had a small but enthusiastic following who created stunning fan art of his ideas. The William Law editions of his writing have beautifully designed plates that open up thirteen successive layers of illustrations nested inside one another. Read the rest

Enjoy some of the most satisfying pop-up card designs ever

Peter Dahmen is a world-renowned pop-up book designer. In addition to books, he makes cards, sculptures and displays. Here he picked ten of his most satisfying. Read the rest

The psychedelic nightmares of the pop-up Necronomicon

I'm a big fan of Oakland psychedelic artist, Skinner. Back in 2016, I posted here on Boing Boing about his incredible animated video for High on Fire's "The Black Plot."

I also love the work that pop-up book artist, Rosston Meyer, is doing with his Poposition Press. Last year, I did a review of his collaboration with Japanese pop artist Junko Mizuno, for her book, TRIAD.

So, imagine my excitement when I heard that Meyer and Skinner were collaborating on a pop-up book illustrating scenes from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The resulting tome is truly a mind-twisting artifact. Skinner's Necronomicon renders five scenes from Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Out of Time, The Call of Cthulhu, At The Mountains of Madness, and The Colour Out of Space. Each pop-up spread also contains two quotes from the work that drop down from the outside edges of each page. The whole effect is one of wonder, high-weirdness, and the kind of eyeball-popping, slavering insanity you would expect of anything associated with Lovecraft. And Skinner.

Here is a video tour of the book from the Best Pop-Up Books YouTube channel.

You can order Skinner's Necronomicon directly from Poposition Press. Read the rest

Japanese pop artist Junko Mizuno goes pop-up in this gorgeous piece of book art

Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno is known for her dizzying mix of everything from Japanese cute culture to erotic and pin-up art to religious and fairy tale imagery. In TRIAD, an absolutely stunning 16-page book, she brings three of her characters to life in 3D pop-up form — the Nurse, the Witch, and the Wrestler. The trio appears in five pop-up spreads, Ocean, Serpent, Triptych, Mansion, and Tree.

There is no text to the book, and no explicit narrative that I could discern. But there’s so much going on here, so much whimsy and weirdness, and some very clever use of pop-up book technology. This is really a piece of interactive art exploiting the book format. If you’re a fan of Junko Mizuno, Japanese manga and pop art, or of pop-up books in general, you will likely be as blown away by TRIAD as I was.

This little video flick-through by Poposition Press will give you a better idea of the blazing eye-candy to be had in TRIAD.

TRIAD by Junko Mizuno Poposition Press 2016, 16 pages, 11.5 x 9.0 x 1.5 inches, Hardcover $50 Buy one at Popsition

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Sharks and Dinosaurs – Pop-up books on steroids

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

There are only five “pages” in each of these books despite their 3-inch thickness. That is because each page is stuffed with layers and layers of ingenious interacting bits of printed paper, which magically assemble themselves into an alternate reality when each page is opened. Yes, it is a pop-up book, but a pop-up raised to an exponential level. A pop-up on steroids, or acid. Pop-up as extreme sport. The engineering is astounding. As a page is opened a 3D apparition appears, often with its own narrative, first one part and then another. The resulting paper sculpture is the story made real. The textual story is minimal; all the action is in the structures. Kids love to see how they work. The only downside to these books that belong on paper is not letting children paws tear the mechanics. These two books feature all kinds of pre-historic dinosaurs, and sharks of all types. But the artist behind them, Robert Sabuda, has half a dozen other books with the same kind of extreme pop-up-ness.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters

by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart


2006, 12 pages, 7.8 x 9.9 x 2.1 inches

$1 - $50 Buy a copy on Amazon

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs

by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart


2005, 12 pages, 8 x 10 x 2.5 inches

$24 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

There's a new version of The Little Prince pop-up book

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Little Prince, published in 1943, is a classic, emotionally stirring novella written by a French author that has since become the third most translated book in the world. With so many adaptions to both screen and stage, including a major animated motion picture debuting in the United States in 2016, you might be forgiven for assuming that the story has little more to offer in the way of novelty. One covetous glance at this enormous, intricate deluxe pop-up book and you’ll understand how very wrong you are. This tale of the enduring power of friendship, told by a narrator stranded in the sands of the Sahara, rises from the pages and extends into your world with enchanting, whimsical paper art.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry proclaims himself no “great artist” and this pop-up book stays true to the delicate pastels of the watercolors he used to create The Little Prince’s illustrations. The book begins with the Little Prince himself, being held aloft from the title page by a harnessed flock of birds, the white and pale gray of each wing a stark contrast to the enveloping black mass of the space that surrounds him. Beginning pages are full of hidden doors, windows and flaps that contain treasures of minuscule fold out animals and tiny doodles. As the classic tale unfolds and we learn more about the Little Prince’s miniature home planet, the pop-up art evolves into cratered orbs that spin at the pull of a tab or twist their flower clustered faces to the warmth of a rising sun stretching above the page. Read the rest