The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 25, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

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

January 25, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Where Pilgrims Arrive in Bewilderment

In a long profile for the Globe and Mail, book review editor Mark Medley visits Nicky Drumbolis owner of the singular Letters Bookshop in Thunder Bay: Walking through the store is an overwhelming experience. Everywhere I look I spot something I’ve never seen before … Continue reading

November 17, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Super Science Friends

It has been an undeniably grim few days, but if you’re looking for a moment of light-relief, take 15 minutes and watch the brilliant (and joyously silly) ‘Super Science Friends’pilot episode. Successfully kickstarted November 2014, ‘Super Science Friends’ was created by Brett … Continue reading

November 11, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

The War of Words

Keith Gessen, writer and author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, has a long article in the December issue of Vanity Fair on the ongoing hostilities between Amazon and Hachette. Essentially it’s a timely primer on how the retailer’s relationship with publishers sank to its current low, … Continue reading

March 27, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Mourning Local Bookstores

Writing for the New York Times, Julie Bosman recently looked at how surging rents are forcing bookstores from Manhattan: The closings have alarmed preservationists, publishers and authors, who said the fading away of bookstores amounted to a crisis that called for … Continue reading

November 22, 2013
by Dan
1 Comment

Our Public Library

Earlier this week, someone I know (you know who are!) suggested that people who work in publishing like to pay lip-service libraries while not actually making use of the services they offer. I can’t speak for everyone else in the … Continue reading

September 13, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Françoise Mouly: In Love With Art

Jeet Heer discusses the work Françoise Mouly and his new book, In Love With Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman, with Dave Berry at The National Post: She’s open to the wider world in a way that was very … Continue reading

June 7, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Epilogue: The Future of Print

Epilogue: The Future of Print is a wonderful student documentary project by Hanah Ryu Chung about book and print culture in Toronto. In the film, eight local book and print professionals talk about their work and what the future holds for the printed … Continue reading

February 3, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Riga Black Balsam

I’m sorry — there won’t be a round-up of fascinating things from around the internet today. A lot of emails and late night with some of Canada’s most illustrious book designers is largely to blame. Take my advice, if a book designer … Continue reading

February 1, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Midweek Miscellany

The cover for Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander designed by John Gall. The Invisible Man — Lee Konstantinou, author of Pop Apocalypse, reviews Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus for the LA Review of Books: [T]here is something obsessive about MetaMaus, which … Continue reading

January 9, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

The Joy of Books

After organizing their bookcase at home, Sean Ohlenkamp and his wife Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp have now done a beautiful job of ‘organizing’ the shelves of Toronto independent bookstore Type Books on Queen Street West: Lovely.

December 22, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Burton Kramer Film Trailer

A trailer for a short film by Greg Durrell about Canadian graphic designer and painter Burton Kramer to be released in Spring 2012: Durrell has also published a book about Kramer’s design work called Burton Kramer Identities. (via Swiss Legacy)

%d bloggers like this: