There are plenty of New York-based creatives whose bookshelves we long to have a nosy around – digging out their gems, admiring their knick-knacks and generally basking in the well thumbed pages of their favourite tomes – and Tim Lahan, one of the busiest chaps in illustration is certainly one of them. It’s a good job that we have a feature whose sole purpose is to allow us to do just that then, isn’t it? Hurrah!
Daniel Clowes: Twentieth Century Eightball
I came across Dan Clowes’ work in my first half of art school, and Twentieth Century Eightball proved to be more valuable than most of the expensive course-requisite books I had to empty my wallet on. It was like a big, warm, misanthropic blanket that affirmed unpopular feelings I had about everything from sports, organised religion, popular culture, people, to art school itself.
Bill Daniels: Mostly True
I was never a huge fan of graffiti, but this book has always resonated with me. It’s a journal-like compilation of stories and train scribblings from hobos and transients of yore. Tons of great photos and anecdotes from a lost breed of people who refused to gel with society. Inspiring stuff.
Lawrence Weiner: Something to Put Something On
This is technically a picture book for kids, by one of my favourite contemporary artists, and one that I learned a lot from as an adult. It deals with the question of what to do with something you’ve made and where to put it. As someone that frequently makes a lot of odds and ends, this book helped me to think about my own work way more objectively.
Iceberg Slim/Robert Beck: The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim
A gritty yet heartfelt retelling of an ex-pimp’s history as a hustler and his struggle to get away from the game. This one sits next to Brave New World and Siddhartha.
Charles Bukowski: The Last Night of the Earth Poems
I have a handful of Bukowski books on my shelf, but this collection is probably my favorite. I like to pick up this up at random and open to any page, not knowing if I’ll land on something hilarious, depressing, disgusting or totally uplifting. The whole spectrum is here, even if it’s covered in grease.