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Pop-up books in the news

November 23, 2009 |  2:58 pm

Wallyhunt

The man behind the modern pop-up book, Waldo "Wally" Hunt, has died. Hunt, a Los Angeles advertising executive, sold his company and traveled to New York, where he became disenchanted. He was charmed by a pop-up book imported from Czechoslovakia. "I knew I'd found the magic key," he told the L.A. Times in 2002. "No one was doing pop-ups in this country." Hunt's first pop-up company was so successful that Hallmark purchased it. Then Hunt returned west and started another company -- making pop-up books, of course.

"He was such an important publisher of pop-up books who really advanced them technically. The pop-up designers who worked for him were amazing creative engineers," Cynthia Burlingham, director of the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum, told the L.A. Times.

Hunt was also a collector; many of the 300 works in a 2002 exhibit "Pop Up! 500 Years of Movable Books" at the Los Angeles Central Library were from his collection. He passed away at 88 on Nov. 6.

Meanwhile, the website Hilobrow, which has just undergone a snazzy design upgrade, celebrates pop-up books as underutilized subjects of book trailers. The site has posted a series of examples -- including some that are mediocre and lousy -- that includes a few real charmers. One winner -- for "ABC3D," a design favorite of 2008 -- is after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Wally Hunt in 1986. Photo credit: Associated Press

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