Miscellaneous: An incredible archive of the beautiful, much-loved Ladybird Books

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Did anyone catch that BBC Ladybird Book documentary that was on just before Christmas? It was a fascinating look into the creation and the artists behind the books most of us grew up with. Whether you wanted to read about how to tie knots, the difference between villages and towns, or just animals that hibernate, Ladybird Books had a publication dedicated to nearly every subject on the earth and beyond.

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Publication: Illustrators and writers come together for special new book

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It was during the dying embers of 2013 (Remember that? How young we were…) when this little book dropped through our letterbox and it’s fair to say it’s had me engaged, engrossed and utterly charmed ever since. You Are The Friction is the latest release from Sing Statistics, the independent publishers run by illustrator Lizzy Stewart and designer Jez Burrows (once of this parish).

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Animation: A group of animators create a paean to terrible nights out we’ve all endured

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This animation is described as “a film for everyone who has ever been on a shit night out,” and is a super-fun tribute to those evenings in dingy clubs where the music is too loud, the drinks are too pricey and the clientele is too dickhead-y. Compiled by Kristian Antonelli, James Duveen, Wesley Louis, Tim McCourt, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Sam Taylor and Bjorn-Erik Aschim (who also directs), there’s a great deal to identify with alongside some more off-the-wall characters. Also keep your eyes peeled for a little Keith Haring cameo about half way through.

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Illustration: Amazing editorial illustration from Kyoto’s Studio Takeuma

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We don’t post nearly enough about Japanese artists, so it’s our very special pleasure to introduce Takeuma and his cheerful editorial illustration. Takeuma’s choice of colours mixed with his ever-optimistic cartoon-style make him the perfect candidate to illustrate lengthy magazine articles, which the people of Japan seem to have cottoned on to and have subsequently been commissioning him to spice up the pages of their weeklies for a long while now. Maybe it’s the cryptic Japanese characters alongside his drawings that make them sing, or maybe it’s just Takenama’s knack for representing the human race in the best light possible, but something about his images gives off a friendly kind of magic. I mean come on, he can even make a stapler look fun.

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Film: A pottery zoetrope animation? Go on then, it is Friday after all

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Long before the days of the Nintendo Wii and Hug Me Elmo there was the zoetrope; a very cool old-school gadget which creates the illusion of motion from a series of images which you spin around rapidly on an axis. It may have been sadly shunted to the toy-store sidelines but in December RAMP Ceramics collaborated with Jim Le Fevre to bring the humble zoetrope back into the limelight, stepping it up a notch by creating a ceramic pot which works in the same way.

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