The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Somehow I missed that the second volume of Baltimore came out in June. It will soon be on the ‘to read’ pile along with the new Darwyn Cooke ‘Parker’ book The Score.

And just so you have ample advance warning: The Golden Age of DC Comics: 1935-1956 by Paul Levitz will be published by Taschen early next year:

See also: Sean T. Collins list of the 15 Essential Batman Graphic Novels at Rolling Stone.

Changing tack completely…

How it Felt to be There — Neal Ascherson reviews Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life by Artur Domosławski  (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones), for the LRB:

Domosławski has written a book which is three sorts of cautionary tale: about journalism engaged or disengaged, about the political maze through which intelligent Poles made their way in the later 20th century, about the endless capacity of human beings to believe their own fictions and keep secrets from themselves. He ends up still confident about Kapuściński’s stature as a writer, still attracted to the memory of him as a friend, but amazed at what he has found out. As one of Kapuściński’s former lovers said, ‘he was a complex man living in tangled times, in several eras, in various worlds.’

The brilliant Isaac Tobin, senior designer at University of Chicago Press, interviewed at From the Desk of…

Almost all book covers I design are secretly collaborations with Lauren [Nassef], especially the successful ones. She’s often both the source of the initial idea, and an invaluable editor and critic — she always sees the dozens of variations I go through before settling on a final design, and tells me what’s working and what isn’t.

My 2009 interview with Isaac is here.

The folks behind Designers and Books have announced Designers & Books Fair 2012 to be held  Saturday October 27, and Sunday October 28 at the F.I.T Conference Center in New York.

See also: nominations for the new 50 Books / 50 Covers, co-sponsored by Designers and Books, Design Observer and AIGA. There are some astonishingly good entries. My list for 2011 looks meagre by comparison.

Have a great weekend.

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