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Kiddography: The Art and Life of Tom Kidd

A fascinating glimpse of the artistic life of American illustrator

Editor Tom Kidd | Publisher Paper Tiger | Price £20 | Web www.papertiger.co.uk |

While Tom Kidd is happily taking us on a journey through his life’s work, he doesn’t want to call his book an autobiography – it’s a Kiddography. After discovering the meaning of the title we delve straight into Tom’s early life as he discusses what led him to become an artist.

Luckily for us, Tom has had quite an interesting life. He describes how falling into a coma caused by a mosquito bite, and the subsequent recovery from it, became a huge turning point towards him becoming a great artist.

Along the way he narrowly missed the Vietnam War and soon moved to New York where he began his working life colouring comics. As you’d expect the majority of the book details Tom’s career, and as he tells his story the pages are filled with interesting and beautifully painted images. Most of his work was created before the widespread use of computers and digital techniques, and it’s hard not to be impressed with the detail and size of his work – a true sign of great talent. Because he paints with natural media a lot of his work has a classical feel to it, and along with the light hearted commentary from Tom, this makes for an enjoyable read. From painting the classic tripods in War of the Worlds to his visions of a fantasy world, there’s certainly a lot to absorb. His futuristic cityscapes mixed with classical architecture and themes are a particular highlight.

This is a personal trip through Tom’s life with a sprinkling of helpful guidance along the way. Sadly, you won’t discover any step-by-step instructions here, although there is a four-page spread that details a few of his artistic secrets.

This book is pure eye candy if you’re a fan of Tom Kidd’s work, and even if you’re not familiar with his artwork you’re still sure to find this a compelling read.