50 Watts Illustrated Book Club volume 1: featuring Puppet, Plum Pit, Plum, Log and Back to Puppet by Vojtěch Mašek, illustrated by Chrudoš Valoušek + a new special set of ten 50 Watts postcards (see the last image) featuring vintage illustrations from around the world / 94-page hardcover, 10.25 x 13.75 inches, just published by Centrala (UK)
When I first saw a tiny jpg of this book a few months ago I knew I had to stock it. Once I got my hands on it, the book exceeded my expectations -- the physical size, the vibrant colors (by Juraj Horvath), the crazy invention -- so I decided to make it the first volume of an illustrated book club. The original Czech edition won the best fiction award at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2019. I think most people who see the book know it is special.
The publisher says the book is suitable for ages 6 to 12. I view it as a wild illustrated book for all ages.
Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi’s peppy impish wooden puppet, must encounter many adventures before finally coming to his senses... But what must a plum pit endure before it can become a puppet? This adventurous and comic tale told by a talking plank recounts the winding and capricious life story of a plum pit given to escapades. Screenwriter, comic book creator and author, Vojtěch Mašek, exhibits a sense for lively, nearly theatrical, storytelling and returns absurdist humor and biting levity to the children’s literary scene. Abundant linocut illustrations and graphics by artist Chrudoš Valoušek are, as always, stunning.
"What’s new about Pinocchio? It’s a long story, this book tells us. Everything about this psychedelic, pop, absurd, humoristic and satirical picturebook is unexpected. The beloved puppet of children’s literature, a figure that has been a continuous inspiration for artists all over the world, here presents an entirely new gallery of heroes and adventures. The graphic design plays with scale. The pages are peopled with historiated initials reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts, giant page numbers, avant-garde references and a medley of geometrical characters, their neon colours boldly outlined in black. Spread after spread, the mix of different layouts and the uncommon use of line-cut technique make for a truly extraordinary picturebook."--The Jury of Bologna Children's Book Fair 2019
Vojtěch Mašek is the author and illustrator of a dozen graphic novels, including 'Elephants in Marienbad', 'Look for Doc. Woman in Everything', 'Pandemonium', 'St. Barbora', 'Sisters Dietl',' The Dragon Never Sleeps', and more. Most of these were awarded the Muriel Prize of the Czech comic festival KomiksFEST! for best story or best graphic novel. He has also written three plays and many screenplays, for which he was nominated by the Oscars for a Student Academy Award and awarded a Crystal Globe for Best feature film in the 52nd International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.
Chrudoš Valoušek is a unique Czech illustrator, specializing in linocuts. His book 'Mix Přísloví' won the prize of the Most beautiful book in the world in 2010 in Leipzig. He used to work as a night watchman, now he lives in Prague and works in National Gallery.