Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Acme Catalog: Quality is Our #1 Dream
When I first heard about the book "The Acme Catalog: Quality is Our #1 Dream", (written by Charles Carney and illustrated by Scott Gross in 2006), I figured it was little more than a fluff-piece. But when I found a used copy for about 5 bucks today, I figured "what the hell" and bought it. It's a 95-page paperback book designed to look like an old 1950's catalog, using selected Acme products from various Road Runner and other Looney Tunes films, plus a couple that I'm pretty sure are original creations specifically for the book. What makes it worth a look (though I never thought I'd say this) are Scott Gross' wonderful illustrations of the products. Gross may have done some horrible comic book covers and stories for the D.C. "Looney Tunes' series, but his renditions of the Acme products really shine here. They genuinely look as if you've picked up a 1950's Sears catalog, and are very faithful re-imaginations of the cartoon devices, in close-up, 3-dimensional renderings that look just like the photo-real paintings from old-time catalogs. "Acme Anvils", "Acme Bumblebees", "Acme Wildcat" and "Acme Hand Grenades" are all here, plus such cult favorites as "Dehydrated Boulders" and "Instant Girl". Don't buy it if you're looking for any in-depth historical information, or really any depth at all...but I can honestly say that I would not be ashamed to leave this out on my coffee table or in my bathroom for passers-by to browse through.