The Ulysses Guide to the Los Angeles River, Volume 1 [Purchase Here]

The culture of Los Angeles flows–both figuratively and literally–through its central vein: the river.

Born of a fascination with its concrete banks and the way they have shaped the look and feel of the city, this book documents the waterway’s impact on the flora, fauna, and citizens of the area.

Created exclusively by UGLAR, the book utilizes narration from a ficitious Angeleno named Ulysses L. Zemanova.  Make no mistake though: the book was written, edited, and produced by Christopher D. Brand, Evan Skrederstu, Steve Martinez, and J. Matthew Brand.

The first volume focuses intensively on the biology and art of the L.A. River.  Featuring intricately detailed illustrations of insects, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as photographs of cacti, algae, and plants, it takes the science of the ecosystem seriously–exploring its flora and fauna in beautiful detail.

Yet, the book contrasts these natural features with the man-made marks that a community of graffiti writers and fine artists unleashed on it over a period of many years, effectively turning its miles of bare concrete into canvas.

A number of these artists share their thoughts about the river and the way it was in the book, telling tales of comedy and danger, memorializing the life of the river and its surroundings during a time when it still wore the voices of its community on its banks like colorful bruises, each one more telling than the last.

Los Angeles-based artwork contributions include: Chaz Bojorquéz, ZES MSK, Jack Rudy, Chuey Quintanar, Steve Martinez, Gregg Stone, Espi, Jose A. Lopez, Robert Meinhardt, Christopher D. Brand, Siner LTS, Evan Skrederstu, Rob Sato, and more.