The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Sweet Nuttin’ — A primer on George Herriman’s classic and wonderfully idiosyncratic comic strip Krazy Kat at Robot 6:

Krazy Kat is far from a chore… Indeed, it is rarely anything less than a delight to read, although it can be a bit challenging for newcomers. The early strips are dense with wordplay, while the later strips take on the quality of near-abstract paintings at times. Then there’s Krazy’s off-kilter dialogue (“If only I could be star or a moom or a komi or ivin a solo eeklip. But me, I’m nuttin”). Thus, whichever book you decide to dive into first, I’d recommend taking your time. Read (and reread) the strips slowly and don’t feel the need to rush through.

Unhappy Endings — Jason Zinoman, author of Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror, talks to Terry Gross for NPR’s Fresh Air:

I think that as you look at this period from ’68 to the end of the ’70s, generally, first of all, you see a lot more unhappy endings. There isn’t this kind of catharsis at the end that you see in a lot of movies before that.

The central kind of monsters are no longer werewolves and vampires and the supernatural. The central monsters are – or I guess I would say the central monsters become serial killers and zombies… And I think the other thing that marks it is there’s a certain kind of moral ambiguity about these movies and just generally a sort sense of confusion and disorientation that marks most of these films.

Meanwhile, over on KCRW filmmaker and author John Sayles talks about his hefty new book A Moment in the Sun with Michael Silverblatt for Bookworm.

And finally…

Rick Poynor on the dictionary as art concept for Designer Observer:

With book design, we should value appropriateness to subject, vivid animation of content, and the dexterity and panache with which the designers interpret every purposeful, cherishable convention of the book. The notion of continual reinvention as a worthwhile or attainable goal is particularly misplaced here…

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply