The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 6, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

100 Classic Graphic Design Journals

A copy of 100 Classic Graphic Design Journals by Steven Heller and Jason Godfrey just landed on my desk. The book will be in stores in the US and Canada later this month, and it looks fantastic: It doesn’t seem … Continue reading

March 3, 2014
by Dan
1 Comment

Writing and the Cost of Living

I finally just got around to reading Emily Gould‘s spiralling essay on writing and debt ‘How much my novel cost me‘ over the weekend. It’s an excerpt from the new n+1 book MFA vs NYC edited by Chad Harbach (author of The Art of Fielding), which … Continue reading

November 7, 2013
by Dan
2 Comments

Q & A with Gene Luen Yang

I wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling a little disillusioned with comics right now — frictionless superhero movies that deliver ever-diminishing emotional returns; ham-fisted editorial decisions; disputes over rights, compensation and artwork; violence; stupidity; institutional misogyny and racism; and generic … Continue reading

September 25, 2013
by Dan
2 Comments

Q & A with Luke Pearson

I’ve been a fan of Luke Pearson‘s work since picking up a copy of Hilda and the Midnight Giant from Nobrow Press a year or so ago. The beautiful illustrations, quality printing and oversize format gave it the exotic feel of … Continue reading

August 30, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Art Spiegelman: Mixing Words and Pictures

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman interviewed at NEA Arts Magazine: It never occurred to me that comics were anything other than worthy. They were in fact among the most worthy endeavors I could imagine. They were how culture got introduced to me, … Continue reading

June 25, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet

In this short film, designer Keith Lovegrove discusses his book Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet and how the culture of air travel has developed from the 1920s:   (disclosure: Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet is published by Laurence King and distributed in Canada by … Continue reading

May 21, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Paul Pope: In Your Space

In an interview for BookExpo, cartoonist and artist Paul Pope talks about his work, influences, and, yes, his studio space:   Pope’s new book Battling Boy is out in the fall from First Second (and, for the sake of disclosure, … Continue reading

August 14, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Instant: The Story of Polaroid

Led by the visionary Edwin Land, Polaroid grew from a 1937 garage start-up into a billion-dollar pop-culture phenomenon. Instant by New York magazine editor Christopher Bonanos tells the story of Land’s unique invention, Polaroid’s first instant camera, its meteoric rise in popularity and adoption … Continue reading

April 3, 2012
by Dan
1 Comment

Midweek Miscellany

Comics critic Paul Gravett profiles cartoonist and illustrator Luke Pearson. Coincidently, Pearson has created an amazing cover for a new Penguin edition of Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (pictured above). Desirable Comparisons — Part three of Mark Medley’s series on House of Anansi for … Continue reading

December 5, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Raincoast Spring Books

I was out west for the Raincoast Books spring 2012 sales conference last week. Sadly I didn’t get to see much of Vancouver or catch up with half the people I meant to, but I did get to hear about a … Continue reading

November 7, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Address Change

If you’re in the habit of sending me catalogues or review copies, it is time to update your address books — please drop me a line  and I will send you the details. And, yes, sadly I am losing the … Continue reading

August 9, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Laurence King on the Future of Design Publishing

In a great interview for Design Observer, UK publisher Laurence King discusses the future of design publishing with Mark Lamster: Illustrated book publishers, and in particular art publishers, need bookshops to survive, especially the increasingly rare specialist ones where there are discerning … Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: