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Gulliver’s Travels: London, Illustrated

Written by in Books, Features, Inspire


Book Review

All the Buildings in London
*That I’ve Drawn So Far

by James Gulliver Hancock
from Universe Publishing, an imprint of Rizzoli New York

Following up on his popular, gleefully illustrated book, All the Buildings in New York (*That I’ve Drawn So Far), James Gulliver Hancock returns to his roots with All the Buildings in London (*That I’ve Drawn So Far). In this treasure-filled illustrated walk-about, Hancock captures many of London’s architectural highlights—and some of its hidden, humble, unheralded gems.

AlltheBldgsLondon_p036-037 StPancras

For those who love to walk or bike, this book is a carry-along delight.  Turn off Google Maps. Get lost in the book. Get found in the London you’ve never seen before. Hancock’s quirky, humorous, and artful travelogue is a journey through an illustrator’s wonderfully whacky mind. Says San Francisco-based designer, illustrator, and friend Jessica Hische:

“James is like no one else I’ve met. He’s one of the easiest people to meet. You get a sense he’s up for any project or adventure you have a mind to share.  All you have to do is call him and he’ll become your co-conspirator. This willingness to just ‘go for it’ manifests itself in his ‘All the Buildings’ projects. When we shared the same workspace, I watched  him experimenting with different materials, building things out of paper, drawing on new surfaces, etc. His crazy craftiness and work ethic majorly rubbed off on me and pushed me to get weirder with my work. I only wish we still shared the same hemisphere.”

AlltheBldgsLondon_p024 PortobelloRoad

The buildings in his book are his version of the truth. In that, they are personal reflections, memories of the places he visits. Iconic structures such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, St. Pancras Train Station, the Gherkin, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Modern are there, but perhaps not as you recall. And that is the point: Hancock doesn’t ask us to take of tour of London—he invites us to journey the London he wants to share with us. Accuracy is a skill. Shared dreams are a blessing.

I hope Hancock’s next book is entitled “All the Nutters in [Fill in the Blank]. *That I’ve Drawn So Far.” Roz Chast and Maira Kalman then would have competition in the caricature of crackers aisle. What fun that would be.



ABOUT THE ARTIST: James Gulliver Hancock is an artist and illustrator. His work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide, and he has worked with a wide variety of high-profile clients, including Coca-Cola, the New York Times, and Herman Miller Furniture. He chronicles his attempt to draw every single building in New York City at the popular blog www.allthebuildingsinnewyork.com and he is the author of All The Buildings in New York published by Rizzoli in 2013. For more about this project, please visit www.allthebuildingsinlondon.com.

*That I’ve Drawn So Far

Hardcover 7.5” x 9.75” / 64 pages with 100 color illustrations
$19.95 US, $19.95 Canadian, £12.95 UK
Universe Publishing, an imprint of Rizzoli New York
ISBN: 978-0-7893-3112-0
Publication Date: February 2016

© James Gulliver Hancock, ALL THE BUILDINGS IN LONDON, Universe Publishing, an imprint of Rizzoli New York, 2016.