The 2014 Newmanology Holiday Book Gift Guide

Welcome to the Second Annual Newmanology Holiday Book Gift Guide. Here’s a collection of 10 favorite books released this past year. They all are strong visual collections, featuring design and imagery that includes posters, LP covers, magazines, comics, illustration, typography, and more. And there are handy links so you can buy your book presents with a click of the mouse! (If you buy a copy of one of these books via the link to, Newmanology gets a small portion of the sale proceeds.) And be sure to take a look at last year’s gift guide for even more cool books.

Sub Pop USA

By Bruce Pavitt >> The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980-88. This is a dense graphic collection of Bruce Pavitt’s groundbreaking music and culture writings and editings, gathered from his Sub Pop fanzines and later columns for Seattle’s The Rocket magazine. Much of the ‘zines and Rocket columns are reproductions from the original pages, and the result is an explosion of ‘zine-style graphics and photos. Pavitt’s passion for the music and culture surrounding it are infectious. This is simply the definitive chronicle of 80s alternative music and graphics by a guy who was at the center of the scene. [Note: I was Pavitt’s editor at The Rocket.] More information: Bazillion Points Publishing.


Separate Cinema

Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art

Edited by John Duke Kisch >> This is a big coffee table book filled with brilliant posters from the history of black movie making, from early independents right up to contemporary films like 12 Years a Slave. The posters are curated from the Separate Cinema website, which is a collection of over 25,000 African American film posters and photographs. There are wonderful vintage Josephine Baker posters, classic Spike Lee films, and many examples from the the 70s Blaxploitation era. This rich collection of cultural history is perfect for anyone on your list who loves movies, posters, or who has a special interest in African American history and culture. More info: Separate Cinema.

BUY HERE: Separate Cinema

Blue Note

Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression

By Richard Havers >> This huge 400-page visual history has been published to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the legendary Blue Note records label. It’s filled with obsessive detail on the making of 75 classic Blue Note albums, as well as a giant gallery of memorable photographs, posters, flyers, and of course LP covers, most of which were designed by the legendary art director Reid Miles. This is a motherlode for jazz lovers and graphic design fans of all kinds.

BUY HERE: Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression


Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream

By Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel >> A lush coffee table book filled with sparkling imagery of the billboards, illustrations, advertisements, packaging, baseball program covers, and other modernist graphic brilliance created by the remarkable husband and wife team of Dorothy and Otis Shepard in the mid-20th Century. Of special note are the series of Chicago Cubs program covers designed and illustrated by Otis Shepard from the 1940s-60s. More info: Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream website.

BUY HERE: Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream

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The System

By Peter Kuper >> A tough, wordless indictment of “The System” that is also an inspiring ode to the human spirit and life in New York City. The book is a collected reprint of the groundbreaking series of DC Comics from 1997, created with stencil and spray paint and brilliantly conceived and illustrated. This is visual political storytelling at its finest. More info: Peter Kuper.

BUY HERE: The System


Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Magazine Work

By Paul Marechal >> An expensive but compelling collection of illustrations, graphic design, advertisements, covers, and other magazine work created by Warhol between 1948-87 for Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, TV Guide, and more. It’s 400-pages with hundreds of examples of his stylish and elegant drawing style and his bold graphics.

BUY HERE: Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Magazine Week


Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1-2: 1975-83

By Ed Piskor >> Two volumes of the brilliant, ongoing weekly comic strip that runs on the Boing Boing website, all collected in a nifty slipcase and including a bonus 24-page comic book. Piskor lovingly and obsessively chronicles the early days of the hip hop scene in a classically bold and graphic comic style. More info: Hip Hop Family Tree on Boing Boing.

BUY HERE: Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1-2: 1975-83

Barbara Nessim Artful Life

Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life

Edited by David Galloway >> A rich and brilliant collection of magazine illustrations, covers, paintings, and much more, from the 1960s-90s, gathered from this groundbreaking artist’s 2013 show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, curated by Douglas Dodds. An expanded version of this collection is now on display at the Bard Graduate Center in NYC. Delightful, compelling imagery from an inspiring artist. More info: Barbara Nessim.

BUY HERE: Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life

Typographic Universe

The Typographic Universe

By Steven Heller and Gail Anderson >> A gallery of “letterforms found in nature,”  featuring imaginative and delightful typography that appears naturally in plants, on the street, in architechture, and in many other locations and objects around the world. This highly creative and just plain fun collection is the perfect gift for the type nerd on your list…and the kids will love it, too.

BUY HERE: The Typographic Universe

Second Avenue Caper

Second Avenue Caper

By Joyce Brabner, illustrated by Mark Zingarelli >> When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague. This gripping true story graphic novel chronicles a group of gay activists in early 1980s NYC who sell pot to finance a drug smuggling operation designed to help people with HIV/AIDS. A fascinating and inspiring story, rich with detail and wonderfully paced and illustrated. It’s a remarkable graphic history, appropriate for both adults and teens.

BUY HERE: Second Avenue Caper