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A Brief Interlude With Herb Ryman

A rarely-seen and never-used concept painting for EPCOT Center by Herb Ryman (Special thanks to John Donaldson)

The greatest casualty of my real-world existence lately has been a series of book reviews that need writing (and books to review that need reading). First on my list is John Donaldson’s Warp and Weft: The Life Canvas of Herbert Ryman, a combination biography and memoir of the legendary Disney artist and Imagineer. While I’ve finally been able to pick up a book again, the reviews are yet to come. But in the meantime I thought I’d share a nice video that Donaldson made in support of the book’s release; it’s a visual triptych through Ryman’s life and it gives a peek at the scope of this amazing artist’s accomplishments.

The book itself is perhaps the most surprising and unusual – and eyebrow raising – Disney title to emerge in quite some time; it’s also, as far as I know, the most detailed biography of any of Walt’s great artists. There’s a lot more to say but it’ll have to wait for my review; in the meantime, if you can’t wait, you can always order the book from its website.

View the video

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5 comments to A Brief Interlude With Herb Ryman

  • This sounds like pretty fascinating stuff, but the promo copy on the book’s website is just killing the life out of me. Those random commas and reckless ellipses remind me of my dad learning how to use email.

  • The prose is definitely stylized, to be sure – you’re correct in noting that there are many, many commas – and it takes some time to become acclimatized. The information, however, is superb. There is a great deal in the book that I had never heard before, and to his credit Donaldson really did his research. Style clouds substance at times, but I think it’s absolutely worth a read.

  • Wow. That piece of concept artwork is shockingly amazing. I mean wow. It’s (Obviously) just like the very famous EPCOT concept art, but like amazing with some Walt thrown it. Maybe he should have a slightly more disapproving look (I kid, I kid). But that is shockingly awesome.

    I’ve had my copy of Warp and Weft since February, I started a few pages of once, but I’ve been distracted by school and other books, I’ll have to get back to it. Actually I have no ide where my copy is in my spring move. Well annnnnnyway. Awesome. Thanks for sharing. I love the video too, wish that stuff was in the book.


  • Jeffk, I just re-read your comment and I really enjoyed the phrase “Killing the life out of me”. Which leads me to the important question, is your website named after the Otis Redding song? I presume it was originally sung by someone else but I’m not sure.

  • Not directly, mfeige, no. I registered the domain at a time when cigarettes and coffee comprised about 80 percent of my overall diet (we’re talking two packs and three pots a day). It’s not a lifestyle I’d recommend to anyone. Otis Redding, though – now that’s something I recommend without hesitation!

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