Category Archives: Words and Pictures

Pocket Review: How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons by Bob Mankoff

How about Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons Bob Mankoff Henry Holt & Company, 2014 As a geeky, funny, animal-loving, endlessly doodling little kid, I basically had two career choices in mind: Veterinarian or Cartoonist. Soon enough I realized that veterinary studies involved a lot more school than interested me, so I […]

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Color Picker, Circa 1692

It’s always fun to pull rank on the whippersnappers: Back when there was no cut-and-paste, back when there was no Undo command, back in the days of 3×5 notecards and rubber cement and Wite-Out—you kids don’t even know how to spell Wite-Out anymore, do you? But then there are those who, in turn, put me […]

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We Go to the Gallery: Penguin Is Not Amused

Just when you’ve figured out how to talk to your children about divorce, and sex, and terrorism, along comes conceptual art to throw off your average. I’ve never met a kid who didn’t get abstract expressionism on some level, and they all love Richard Serra (other than the not yelling really loud while running around […]

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Visual Editions: Great Looking Stories Within Reach

Design within reach is a great concept. But the definition of “reach” isn’t exactly a fixed quality; even on our best days, most of us aren’t LeBron James. So it’s good for everyone when nice things are priced nicely—you don’t expect to be able to buy a new sofa with change gleaned from the cushions […]

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Wednesday Moment of Zen: Shelley Jackson’s Snow Story

Snow, huh Good God, y’all What is it good for? Absolutely nothing Say it again With all due apologies to Edwin Starr, I think this is how a good two-thirds of the country feels right now. No, really, I do understand the actual geo-meteorological necessity for snow, and why we need cold temperatures and snowpack […]

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ABC News: Nathan O. Marsh’s Alphabet Apocrypha

Attention abecedarians: absolutely aching to access awesome alphabetic art? Attendez: Alphabet Apocrypha. Formerly titled Alphabet Horror Vacui, Nathan O. Marsh’s illustrated alphabetic cabinet of curiosities is a dark and wonderful marvel. His comic, rendered in crowquill pen and ink and watercolor, harkens back to naturalist engravings of yore, but Marsh’s alliterative inventions bounce back and […]

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On Edward Gorey, George Herriman, and Creative DNA

Eve Bowen’s recent NYRBlog article on collecting Edward Gorey is full of enough eclectic links and images to make any fan happy. It also reminded me that I only had a few more days to catch “Gorey Preserved” at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. RBML is my former employer, and I’d been seeing […]

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Alison Bechdel: My BFF in the NYT

Everybody has a secret creative BFF, right? Someone whose writing or art you adore, who loves the same things you love, whose aesthetic influences are just the same as yours. Which is not exactly the same as being a fan. And writing a fan letter—almost always a good thing to do when someone inspires or […]

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Something for the Fourth: The Artillery Book

Where once I was the kind of bad urban teenager who bought paper bags of fireworks from shifty kids in Chinatown dealing out of the back of their parents’ kitchens, now I’m the cranky kind of broad who worries about the neighborhood kids setting her roof on fire, and is just as glad if the […]

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Train of Thought: The Underground New York Public Library

I’ve lived in New York for a long, long time, and while there are obvious things to hate about it—the dirt, the inequity, the weather, the armies of the oblivious, both native and tourist varieties—I have never not loved it here. Part of that is about the resources, the ready culture, but a lot of […]

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