Coffee-Table

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Dead Inside: Do Not Enter — Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse

Dead Inside: Do Not Enter
by Lost Zombies
Chronicle
2011, 160 pages, 8 x 10 x 0.5 inches
$15 Buy a copy on Amazon

Some of my favorite things about zombie movies are the details of the changed world. The dead grass, broken windows, toppled telephone poles, abandoned cars with missing wheels and trunks left open, boarded-up buildings, spent ammo shells, and other signs of struggle and desperation serve to create a fascinatingly creepy environment.

And that’s why I like Dead Inside: Do Not Enter so much. The book consists entirely of letters, hand-written warnings, and pages torn from journal entries that were written during the zombie pandemic. The notes are on matchbooks, napkins, photographs, advertisements, shopping lists, road maps, scraps of cardboard, and gum wrappers. Some of the notes are written with pen and pencil, others are written with lipstick, burnt wood, crayons, and blood.

The messages of the notes themselves tell the tale of the rise of the zombie pandemic, from tentative, joking questions about a “really bad flu,” escalating to confused panic, and later to grim acceptance of the new reality that the survivors now must live in.

In the introduction to Dead Inside, we learn that these notes had been found in a Dora the Explorer backpack. The first note presented in the book was written by the man who killed the owner of the backpack, a girl who was about 10 years old and had been bitten by a zombie (but had not yet turned into one). The man wrote “I opened her backpack and found all these notes and letters. This stuff is poisonous. No one in their right mind should read it. Reading this is like looking into the sun.” – Mark Frauenfelder

September 16, 2014

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When every day is Halloween one can never have too many skeleton-shaped housewares. These awesome skellingtons are the work of artist and metalsmith Simon Fearnhamm at Skelemental, a branch of the Raven Armoury. Pictured here are coffee table, bookends, candleholders, and a three-piece set of cutlery. Each piece of functional art is painstakingly sculpted in wax and then lost-wax cast into steel, bronze, or silver.

Visit the Skelemental website to check out more of their morbid metal marvels.

[via Haute Macabre]

9

Art Forms in Nature – Eye-popping art prints from an eccentric scientist

Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel
by Ernst Haeckel
Drawn and Quarterly
Prestel, 140 pages, 12.6 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches
$15 Buy a copy on Amazon

Zoologist and artist Ernst Haeckel (1834 - 1919) had some odd ideas about the origins and evolution of life forms. That’s understandable, because at the time, scientists were just beginning to accept Darwinism. Haeckel himself was a champion of Darwinism, but he added Lamarckism and some unpleasant conjectures about race into his philosophical worldview. I’m not much interested in his religio-scientific ideas, though. It’s his drawings that fascinate me.

Art Forms in Nature was originally published as a series of portfolios between 1899-1904. This book of the same name compiles 100 color plates of Haeckel’s meticulously composed, obsessively detailed drawings of plants and animals arranged to show the similarity of different species. Haeckel’s lifeforms radiate vitality from the page and the peculiar way they are drawn seems to stimulate the same part of the brain that’s affected by psychedelic drugs.

The plates were intended to illustrate Haeckle’s ideas about life and evolution, but they ended up being more important to artists than scientists. His blend of crystalline geometric patterns and swooping organic curves feels very Art Nouveau, and in fact many Art Nouveau artists were influenced by Haeckel’s drawings. His work continues to inspire and amaze people today.

See also: Art Forms from the Ocean, which Kevin reviewed in May 2014. – Mark Frauenfelder

January 13, 2015