GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Alternate Histories of the World by Matthew Buchholz | I Smell Sheep

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review: Alternate Histories of the World by Matthew Buchholz

Alternate Histories of the World
by Matthew Buchholz
This remarkable collection of maps, photographs, engravings and paintings from the early ages to modern day provides a stunning new look at the world as defined by our struggles and alliances with the monsters and supernatural creatures that have defined our existence. Learn how a mechanical man helped write America’s Declaration of Independence. Track the course of the Living Dead virus from Africa to Europe and on to the New World. View artifacts from our uneasy alliance with the Martian race, or simply delight in the vibrant colors and illustrations from a bygone age. More than 100 full-color images and insightful essays make this book an essential addition to the libraries of dedicated historians as well as casual fans of monsters and mayhem.

What happens when you take B-movies and history; put them in a blender and hit puree? The book Alternate Histories of the World! When I got this book from Penguin for review I thought what a cute idea. I figured I would skim through it and see what I thought. Instead I found myself reading each and every page and laughing my butt off.

Author and B-movie fan Matthew Buchholz took original historical art and photographs and photo shopped in aliens, monsters, zombies and robots then with a few paragraphs rewrote history. I gotta say I like his versions better. Who knew Vilnar the Destroyer played such a prominent role in world history?

Not only are the pictures eyes catching and the writing humorous, the actual book is beautiful. When you open a page you get a full image and the opposing page has a brief historical rewrite. I don’t know anything about the paper used in books, but the pages feel luxurious. They are thicker with a matte appearance like faux linen. I am sure there is a name for it. If you know please enlighten me!

 This is a great gift for the history buff or the movie fan with a sense of humor.

5 “Graaagg ahhhhh, Ahhhsssggg grrrrrr” sheep 

Sharon Stogner

About the Author:
Thanks for visiting Alternate Histories! I'm Matthew Buchholz and this is what I do. I grew up in Tucson, AZ, graduated from NYU, lived in Brooklyn for years and moved to Pittsburgh in 2008. I now combine my love of history and bad sci-fi movies into my art. I'm on the right in the picture.My work began with a show at Wildcard in 2010, a great store in Pittsburgh where I had the inspiration to photoshop a gigantic monster into an old engraving of the city. Since then I've expanded with different cities, holiday & greeting cards, original works and more, all taking historic images and adding in something from a pop culture sci-fi background.

I like to think that my work remakes and comments on history by incorporating shared pop-culture memories into visual records of the past. At times it can seem like there’s no distinction between “true” history and a collective pop history. Science fiction takes this one step further by introducing elements of otherness that we project onto our own social fears and concerns. I’m remaking history…with monsters and robots!

I've been fortunate enough to be able to travel to different cities selling my wares, and my work was recently featured as part of the Futur Anterieur show at the agnes b. galerie du jour in Paris.

Each piece starts with the original image. I do a lot of online and flea market research to find interesting pieces, then I look for some monster, robot, alien or other creature that fits the style of the piece. I do all this in playing with my dog Otis and listening to sixties soul music.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had a pet monster. How fun would that be? Traffic you say. Well, pet monster can smash my way out of that! :)

    Sounds like a fun read!