The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 4, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Cover illustration by Adrian Tomine for the Japanese edition of Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, published by Shinchosha Publishing. The Darkness — Norwegian cartoonist Jason profiled in The National Post: “A comedy that has some darkness, like The Apartment, is … Continue reading

October 27, 2011
by Dan
6 Comments

Q & A with Jason

I’ve written about Norwegian cartoonist Jason for The Casual Optimist before and his work appears here with unerring regularity — if you are a frequent reader you are no doubt already familiar with it. Like British cartoonist Tom Gauld who I interviewed early this year, … Continue reading

August 26, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Jason’s cover drawing for his new book Athos in America (above). Nordic Provenance — A lovely essay by Matthew Battles on writer and cartoonist Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomintrolls and author of brilliant novels such as The True Deceiver … Continue reading

June 1, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

An introductory reading guide to the work of Norwegian cartoonist Jason from Robot 6: Since his U.S. debut in 2001, Jason has produced 15 books, with nary a drop in quality. More to the point, he’s been able to use … 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

August 18, 2010
by Dan
3 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

The Eyes Have It — An interview with gentleman book cover designer and advertising copywriter David Gee about his design for Jim Hanas’s e-book short story collection Why They Cried. You can find my interview with David here. Writers on … Continue reading

July 7, 2010
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

The Good, The Bad… — design:related‘s Karen Horton (also Art Director at Little, Brown and Co.) interviews Paul Buckley, Creative Director of Penguin US, about his new book Penguin 75: Designers, Authors, Commentary (The Good, The Bad…): Everyone was asked … Continue reading

July 5, 2010
by Dan
4 Comments

Jason, The Dharma Bums

As you may have noticed, I’m on something of Jason kick right now. I’m also preparing to interview Paul Buckley, Creative Director at Penguin US, about his new book Penguin 75, so I thought I would take the opportunity to … Continue reading

July 2, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Dieter Rams book by graphic design graduate Daniel Bartha: This project was a book I created around the ten most important principles for what Dieter Rams considered was good design. Taking on board these elements myself, I took away as … Continue reading

June 25, 2010
by Dan
6 Comments

Jason, Mon Amore

A few years ago when I still worked at Pages, one of the creative/media executives who frequented the bookstore sent his assistant to exchange a copy of comic book by award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason that he’d bought from us earlier … Continue reading

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