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James Jean’s XENOGRAPH Provides Complex Look Inside Artist’s Mind

You most likely know James Jean best as the Fables cover artist; for the first 75 issues he produced beautiful and enchanting illustrations to compliment Bill Willingham’s characters. Earlier this year those famous Fables illustrations were collected into a massive art book, Fables Covers: The Art of James Jean (2015). Jean has also lent his in-demand talent more recently to The Sandman series, creating an exclusive lavish cover for The Sandman: Overture #6, the beautiful and insane conclusion of the series’ prequel whirlwind. And since Fables Covers, the art book bug hasn’t stopped for Jean, and he set out to self-publish another, XENOGRAPH, based on his surreal moleskin sketches and Japan-inspired pieces.

XENOGRAPH picks up and expands from where his previous, shorter art book, REBUS, left off in 2011. Completely self-published, XENOGRAPH was set up with an ambitious one year timeline of 3,000 pre-orders (only allowed during May via his website), with production completed from June to September, and the last shipments of pre-orders hitting customers by the end of this week. Inside this clothbound book, full colored pull-out style features are also added to enhance his prints beyond the 12½″H × 9½″W page limitations.

© James Jean, 2015 Inside pages of James Jean's XENOGRAPHIn 292 beautifully bound pages, XENOGRAPH covers Jean’s work from 2012 to early 2015 and, for a handful of pre-ordered purchases, included a specially created letterpress print and clamshell box cover.

It’s becoming more and more common that nothing is ever off-limits or dull with Jean’s art books. And the ‘replay’ value for them—such as XENOGRAPH—is tremendous; you might find yourself entranced by the details and complexities of his drawing and painting techniques for hours.

© James Jean, 2015

But don’t despair if you aren’t one of those lucky 3,000 people; XENOGRAPH will get a second printing some day, but no word on a release date has been announced so far.

In the meantime, Jean has set a furious schedule of events and releases for yet another art book, this one called PAREIDOLIA.

Limited signed copies will be given out by Jean himself through  Hennessey + Ingalls Bookstore from Santa Monica, California on Sunday, November 1. Or a signed copy can be ordered and ship straight to your doorstep via the website!

Will you be picking up XENOGRAPH? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: James Jean

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