Book Review: Gorillaz Almanac

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Gorillaz Almanac is just a fun excuse to come up with a Gorillaz artbook.

According to the editor Beatrix Blotter, this almanac is "inspired by the British tradition of comic and pop music annuals, which come out every year and feature cartoon characters, celebrities and pop stars getting up to all kinds of mischiefs". That's a pretty accurate description of this book. This book is something like Mad Magazine where anything goes. There are comics, movie scripts, fake classified ads, essay from a roadie, cut out face masks, crossword puzzles, plenty of collage, scrapbook pages, photos of fan cosplayers, and more.

The art from J.C. Hewlett looks as good and timeless as ever. Half the book is a gallery of Gorillaz artworks from the last 20 years.

This book is not a full retrospect on the story of Gorillaz. It does not cover the very obviously rich history of Gorillaz, their albums and fans. That definitely deserves a book on its own.

This is a fantastic book for all Gorillaz fans. At the official retail price is US $24.99, it's really worth the money.

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

Gorillaz Almanac is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

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3 Comments

Hmm, I have mixed views on

Hmm, I have mixed views on this one. I love Hewlett's style and the Taschen book is beautiful. This is nicely priced and if you are a die-hard Gorillaz fan, it's probably worth a look.
That said, I feel it's a little sad that it doesn't feel quite like an art book. It would have been nice to get some annotations or a little history about the art. Some sketches etc would be nice.
The weird feeling that you get is that by trying to be an annual, the likes of which us Brits might have picked up in WHSmith in the 1980s, it's trying to be slightly edgy and cool. It's sort of trying to be Scarfolk. It's edgy nostalgia aimed at people like me who are maybe one decade away from buying cosy slippers and arthritis medication.
It's weird looking at something that is trying to be edgy but that also knows that young kids probably ignore Gorillaz (I hope not, it's their loss) but also that its target demographic are not as edgy as they used to be.
Look, this is probably more about me than about Gorillaz. Albarn, Hewlett etc are amazingly talented. I am more into the art than the music but they are strong on both fronts. This book just made me reflect on getting old rather than my love of the style. Hey-ho. If you love Hewlett, get his Taschen book. If you have a few quid left over, get this but try to get it cheaply.I have bought so many great art books over the years and I just can't help but feel that this doesn't quite cut it. I guess 'not fitting in' is something Gorillaz is all about but this book is not quite the square peg in the round hole that they may have wanted. Or maybe I'm not.

Absolutely agree with you. An

Absolutely agree with you. An artbook showing the evolution of the Gorillaz along with interviews/narrative etc would be great although I guess that might be too mainstream for them.
This book reminds me a little of Goldtiger which was a humorous pastiche of 60s spy comic serialisations that would appear syndicated in newspapers. This is another humorous pastiche but I think in both cases the people behind the humour tried too hard. I love what I have seen so far of Song Machine. The Gorillaz have certainly not run out of juice at all but I just feel this doesn't do them justice. It seems like someone of a certain age trying to be funny and missing the mark slightly (as Goldtiger did, I feel. It's that knowing humour of the clever nudge-and-wink brigade).

Anyway, I shall stop ranting. One thing I do love is your site and your continued work to bring to our attention some amazing material. I have bought quite a few titles on the basis of your work and am grateful for your blog. Thank you so much.

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