For the last month or so the most used book
in my classroom has been Pictoplasma, a taxonomy
of Internet characters and cartoons that range
from the whimsical to the down and dirty, with
every stop in between.
I run an art room in a suburban, yet very urban
(read Black) high school. It is very hard to take
these teenagers' minds off of hip hop and thug life.
This book has been the perfect set of images to
inspire drawings and prints from these highly
distracted young people.
The collection was only started in 2000 yet fills
over 200 pages in a beautiful leather bound volume.
There seems to be pages and pages of thumb sized
icongraphic characters as well as full page images.
There is an attractive modernism to this volume.
It is totally twenty first century in its cooled
down cartoon imagery and presentation.
The figure to the left of this review
was made by Chana Hayes. She carefully
perused the book for many days and then
selected this character to use. She
added the words HIP HOP. Truth be known,
the figure looks remarkably like
Chana, tall, dark and pretty.
the book was published by
Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin
(Consortium is their US distributor)
The best place to buy books or link to Amazon is
at their web site,