Ten things French illustrator Serge Bloch wants you to know about him
French illustrator Serge Bloch has illustrated more than 300 books, his editorial illustrations appear regularly in several newspapers around the world, and two of his book series have been turned into animated series.
Starting at 11:45 a.m Sunday, November 4, the Denver FilmCenter will be screening a series of Bloch's short films, followed by a reception at Tattered Cover Colfax, where he will be answering questions and signing books. In advance of that, here is a list of ten things Bloch would like you to know about his work.
10. His children's series Max et Lili sells over 1.5 million copies a year.
Written by Dominique de Saint Mars and illustrated by Bloch, this series depicts the adventures of siblings Max and Lili. It's been published in France since 1992 and deals with subjects that might be difficult for families to talk about, including religion, where babies come from, parents who argue and having a family member in prison. The series sells about 1.5 million books a year. Only a few of them have been translated into English, but the French versions could be helpful to someone trying to learn the language. Many of them can be found on Amazon.
Continue reading for more facts about Bloch.
9. SamSam is seen by more than 200 million people worldwide.
Bloch based the main character of his series SamSam on his son. He drew him in all sorts of adventures, and it became an animated series in association with Bayard Presse; it was created with the help of Eric Guillon, who was the art director for Despicable Me. The series has been translated inoo various languages, including English, Spanish and Cantonese, and has been seen by more than 200 million people around the world.
8. The illustrations from The Enemy were exhibited by United Nations and Amnesty International.
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Bloch, The Enemy is a picture book about two soldiers from opposing armies who face each other across a lonely battlefield. They get to know each other while they're trying to kill each other. They think the enemy is a monster, but each discovers that the enemy is just like them: a real person with a family and dreams. The illustrations were used by the United Nations and Amnesty International as a message of peace; the book is now being turned into a play.
7. His editorial illustrations appear in American publications.
Bloch regularly draws editorial illustrations for publications like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as Time and New York Magazine.
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6. He illustrated The Tweets of Steve Martin.
Steve Martin's book The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten. The Tweets of Steve Martin was designed by Mucca Design and illustrated by Bloch. It contains the comedian's tweets sorted by topic, as well as the responses he gets from some of his readers. Martin has more than 3.3 million Twitter followers, and his tweets are constantly mentioned in blogs and media outlets. Here is one of Martin's tweets from the book: "Doing cameo on CSI as face down dead body without a chalk outline. Why? New Emmy category: face down dead body without a chalk outline."
5. He illustrated and designed The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse
Bloch illustrated this book of poems by J. Patrick Lewis, which discuss such unusual jobs as crossword-puzzle maker, exterminator, philosopher, marathon runner and, of course, underwear salesman. It was chosen as the Children's Poet Laureate pick of the month in December 2011 by Poetry Foundation, which recommends a poetry book for children each month.
4. He illustrated How to Count Life, by Kundo Koyama.
Kundo Koyama, the author of the script for the Academy Award-winning film Departures, wrote this book that tells the story of a girl from the moment she is born. Her life is catalogued in countless measurements, like how many miles she crawled as a baby, how many hours she will spend dreaming and how many tears she will cry in her lifetime; Bloch did the illustrations.
Continue reading for more about Serge Bloch.
3. He illustrated a book written by a French rock star.
Et Avant (And Before), written by French musician Charlélie Couture, tells the story of a man who reflects on his own life and origins by observing other people. Couture has recorded more than 25 albums and 17 film soundtracks; he is is also an artist, photographer and author of fifteen books. Bloch illustrated this one; each page of the book has a circle cut out of it so the reader can observe the world through it as well.
2. His artwork has been displayed in major cities around the world.
Bloch's works have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, France and Italy. One of the most memorable exhibitions he's been a part of was Monsters and Miracles at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. That exhibition was produced by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and curated by Neal Sokol; it included work by such beloved children's book illustrators as Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, William Steig, Margaret and H.A. Rey, Simms Taback, Donald Sultan, Mordecai Gerstein, Nonny Hogrogian, Jill Pinkwater, Lisa Brown, Art Spiegelman and Uri Shulevitz.
1. He has received various awards for his work.
Bloch has received awards for his artwork and illustrations from around the world, including a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, the Prix Baobab, the Bologna Ragazzi Award and the Best Book Award in Taiwan.
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