The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 25, 2016
by Dan
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Darwyn Cooke 1962 — 2016

I was sadden to hear that Canadian cartoonist Darwyn Cooke had died earlier this month from lung cancer, age 53. I never had the opportunity to meet Cooke in person, but I liked his adaptations of Donald Westlake’s Parker novels very much, and thought that … Continue reading

July 25, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

A long interview with Darwyn Cooke about his latest Donald Westlake/Richard Stark adaptation, The Score (out this week if you’re interested). Shadows and Fog — Jimmy Stamp on Batman and architecture, for ArchDaily: Since its inception, Gotham City has been presented as the embodiment … Continue reading

December 31, 2010
by Dan
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Favourite New Books of 2010

Ducking in just under the wire, here is my list of favourite of new books of the year. It’s not meant to represent the “best” of 2010. Rather, it’s a completely unscientific, very subjective list of books (arranged in alphabetical … Continue reading

October 6, 2010
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

The Man With the Getaway Face — Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke talks The LA Times’ Hero Complex blog about his latest Richard Stark (AKA Donald Westlake) adaptation, The Outfit, released this month: With the first book, I was really trying to … Continue reading

July 20, 2009
by Dan
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Monday Miscellany, July 20th, 2009

Shelf Life — EMPRNT‘s Bookshelves Flickr Pool. I could look at other people’s bookshelves all day… You Don’t Belong — Lee Bermejo and John Arcudi’s Superman story for DC’s Wednesday Comics is also running in US Today. Two episodes in … Continue reading

June 24, 2009
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany, June 24th, 2009

New York Places and Pleasures — Cover design by Elaine Lustig and Jay Maisel from Kyle Katz’s amazing Flickr photostream (via Design Observer). A Very Bad Man — Douglas Wolk, author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They … Continue reading

May 12, 2009
by Dan
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Parker

Darwyn Cooke (author of one of my favourite superhero comics of recent years, the award-winning The New Frontier) talks about his comic book adaptation of The Hunter by Richard Stark (AKA Donald E. Westlake) — also the inspiration for John … Continue reading

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