The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


A two-part interview with Chris Ware, author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth,  in The Comics Journal:

I just wanted to make a comic book that had a bit of density to it, and build on the cartoonists whose work I really deeply admire. I could list hundreds of cartoonists whose work I’ve stolen from, and I try to acknowledge them all, so I just wanted to make a book that didn’t lie, as much as I could.

Part One | Part Two.

And, designer Eric Heiman on Chris Ware for Eye Magazine:

Ware’s aims are literary, not pragmatic. But his work is still a subtle reminder that no amount of order we – as designers or otherwise – impose on our lives can ever eliminate the unexpected twists and turns they take. Quantitative data, no matter how clearly and beautifully presented, is not always the know-all, end-all answer, even in this age of Google analytics.

The Literarian — The new online journal for The Center for Fiction.

Science Fiction Lesson – Author Ursula K. Leguin talks about writing and science fiction with Owen Bennett Jones for the BBC World Service.

Split Personality — Author John Banville on author Benjamin Black in The Boston Globe:

I do a Benjamin Black in the spring and early summer. I hate summer so this is a wonderful excuse to sit in my room and pound away at a crime book. I write those quickly on the computer, in three to four months. What I want from Benjamin Black is spontaneity; John Banville writes in longhand with a fountain pen. I can’t do them both at the same time. Banville was never much interested in character, dialogue, and plot, and Black is entirely character and dialogue and plot. With the crime novels, it’s delightful to have protagonists I can revisit in book after book. It’s like having a fictitious family.

And finally…

A neat animated trailer for the documentary Waiting for “Superman”:

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