Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sky High by Germano Zullo or "My house is better than your house!"

Every now and again I come across a title that looks like a picture book but on careful perusal really is a whole other animal. Sky High by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine (both from Switzerland) is a perfect example of this.

Tall and thin, this hardcover is designed to showcase the wacky story within. Agenor-Agobar Poirier des Chapelles and Willigis Kittycly Junior are two Gorey-esque characters who live side by side and are consumed with one-upmanship. They add on to their homes with more and more involved and excessive rooms (swimming pools! hanging gardens! turrets!), and employ progressively more expensive architects to impress each other. In the end, one building can not stand and another leaves it's owner marooned at the tippy-top, forever looking down at the levels he just can't reach. Yeah, we're talking hubris here, on an epic scale.

For artists the story, as amusing as it is, will be secondary to Albertine's careful pen and ink drawings. She has let her imagination run wild here and the care in which she makes sure everything fits together (like Zenga on the page) is delightful. Take a look at this illustration and then see if it doesn't inspire you to draw a fanciful home or two!

See also the review at Cool Hunting.


Debra said...

This is a really cool book. It kind of reminds me of the houses I'd draw using Ed Emberley books as inspiration (and I'm pleased to note my little cousins are currently enjoying EE as well).

Colleen said...

Yes -very Ed Emberley (with a cross of Gorey of course!)