The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Midweek Miscellany


A Wall in Palestine — more quiet mastery from Henry Sene Yee who excels in projects that require maximum discretion and minimal commentary. Like his cover design for ColumbineA Wall in Palestine is notable for what it leaves out. An early contender for cover the year. You heard it here first.

Making the World Fun to Look At — The Cleveland Plain Dealer has (what is believed to be) the first interview with Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes,  since 1989:

I think some of the reason “Calvin and Hobbes” still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it.

I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.


Seven Things Publishers Need to Remember — A nice post by Kobo Books exec (and compulsive list maker) Michael Tamblyn on e-books and pricing:

A reader should never have to worry about “leaving books behind” or “losing their library”. If you can’t download it and move it somewhere else, it’s worth less. Seriously. They’re books, not Atari 2600 video game cartridges.

(But I’m waiting for the “7 Things E-tailers Need to Remember” post Michael. When’s that coming? You can post here if you want)

The Lost 1970 Man Booker Prize — Commemorating novels missed out because of rule changes in 1971. Bonkers. But kind of great.

Problem SolverIan Shimkoviak of The Book Designers interviews the legendary Carin Goldberg for their new blog CoveredUp:

I’m not a sentimentalist. The e-book is inevitable. And they make sense. The publishing industry can’t sustain the old/current model for making/selling books. It’s wasteful and unsustainable. They have to embrace change. Good content will continue to be created whether it’s represented on paper or on a screen.  And there will always be a market, albeit small, for beautiful picture books. The role of the graphic designer is shrinking but it’s in our court to get involved in the next wave of imagery and ideas.

And finally…

Jonathan Lethem, author of Chronic City (which I liked, but wanted to like more), interviewed on KCRW’s Bookworm (via the incroyable Largehearted Boy):

Similar Posts:


  1. This is my FAVORITE blog!

  2. Jason: Thanks man. Appreciate it. :-)

Leave a Reply