This beautiful tome had to arrive in the mail to remind me that I have work on show at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. STRIKETHROUGH: TYPOGRAPHIC MESSAGES OF PROTEST, curated by Silas Munro and Stephen Coles, is exactly what it says on the tin; a look at visual works of activism across time and space with a particular focus on typographic usage.
The tome in question acts on one hand as the catalogue for the exhibition, but on the other hand as a standalone overview of over a century of typography in relation to activism.
Within its pages are powerful works from the black liberation movement, anti-war protests, OSPAAL, feminist uprisings, pro-vote campaigns, indigenous struggles and so much more.
Absolutely essential to anyone even remotely interested in activism or graphic design and even better for those interested in both. Available direct from the Letterform Archive shop.
Getting back into the habit of reviewing things semi-regularly. Most recently a couple graphic novels:
– SHUBEIK LUBEIK by Deena Mohamed
– PATIENCE by Daniel Clowes
These two beauties landed in my mailbox at exactly the same time. Excited to sink my teeth into them.
I may have started the month with this:
I hate myself.
One of the first entries in my new notebook because I have a terrible book problem and very inadequate space to accommodate it, yet here I am eyeing a 700+ page type specimen book as I type this.
Why am I like this?
The Chris Ware quote is from IN THE STUDIO: VISITS WITH CONTEMPORARY CARTOONISTS which—initially—I was a bit disappointed with only because I was expecting to see cartoonists in their studios and get a good look at their setups, daily routine, and much talk about process and craft stuff. None of that is in there. But now that I know what is in the book and possess no false expectations to be crushed, I find that I enjoy returning to it now and again, picking up on something new every time. Like that quote for instance, which rings true to me as a perfect methodology for crafting stories.
First day of one full week of solo parenting has commenced and I am already dead. And it just so happens to coincide with the week I'm determined to wrap up this chapter of TSG because it really has been an awful lot of time, hasn't it?
His mother though—gods bless her—did book a sitter for 2 days out of the week, and organized daycare transport for 3, so at least that's some of the load taken care of.🤞
Currently reading: BLOOD, SWEAT, & CHROME: THE WILD AND TRUE STORY OF MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, and the title does not lie. If half of what is recounted in this book is true, then the making of this film is truly mad and most certainly unlike that of any other film in history. The book reads fast and drops glorious little nuggets throughout along with much inspiration. And I'm willing to bet that the 384 pages dedicated to chronicling the movie's wild journey barely scratches the surface. I was only 50 pages in when I realized I had to go ahead and order THE ART OF MAD MAX: FURY ROAD immediately, which I'm actually surprised took me this long to get around to.
#journal #work #comix #TheSolarGrid #reads
“And the strangest thing about the nightmare street was that none of the millions of things for sale were made there. They were only sold there. Where were the workshops, the factories, where were the farmers, the craftsmen, the miners, the weavers, the chemists, the carvers, the dyers, the designers, the machinists, where were the hands, the people who made? Out of sight, somewhere else. Behind walls. All the people in all the shops were either buyers or sellers. They had no relation to the things but that of possession.”
As much as I enjoy seeing Ursula K. Le Guin rip Capitalism to shreds, her prose has failed to captivate me. At least as far as THE DISPOSSESSED is concerned. 139 pages in so far, and I care not for a single character or any of the events that might transpire, which is a good reminder that ethos alone—however important it may be—is never enough to fully carry a narrative.
Still, there are a great many nuggets sprinkled throughout:
“To make a thief, make an owner; to create crime, create laws.”
From Le Guin's THE DISPOSESSED:
“Sabul had ceased to be a functioning physicist years ago; his high reputation was built on expropriations from other minds. Shevek was to do the thinking, and Sabul would take the credit.”
And then later:
“Shevek's career, like the existence of his society, depended on the continuance of a fundamental unadmitted profit contract.”
There's a high concept nugget of a story there. An analogy for the rebellious independence of a small nation state from the tentacles of colonialism told through the microcosm of a post-graduate “rebellion” within a university setting.
Le Guin's story isn't that, but that would be a story worth telling, as it is my understanding that much of how universities operate is in need of complete reimagining.
I wouldn't be the one to tell it though. This would require the expertise of someone neck deep in university life and that ain't me.
I know fully well that the Kindle is terribly old tech (as of 5 years ago), but the luddite in me kept me on the fence for years about acquiring one for myself. I finally took the plunge mainly in response to my dwindling shelf space. My love for reading paper books aside, there's also my love for bookmaking and book design itself that I tend to appreciate, in addition to—quite frankly—the heavy discounts on some incredible paper books you might find at second hand stores, which has been my usual go-to for acquiring books for years now.
I'm not really a complete luddite. I'll embrace the latest piece of tech when it comes to some things (hello, Terra Kaffe), but rely on tried and true traditional approaches when it comes to others (pencil + paper for me, baby). With books though, the shelves (or lack thereof) made the decision for me.
And y'know what? I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Reading a 400 page book that is in fact lighter and thinner than my phone is certainly a convenience. The fact that you can connect it to your Goodreads account where your highlights turn up? * chef's kiss *
I just wish it would auto-update one's reading progress though. On a completely different note, I would love to see more laptops incorporate e-ink displays into their design, not entirely unlike what Lenovo did with their ThinkBook Plus series.
“The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin, THE DISPOSESSED
It occurs to me that what Neil Gaiman did with Silas in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, in that he describes everything around and about the character for us to conclude that he's a vampire without ever once actually telling us he's a vampire is the literary equivalent of what Sergio Toppi does visually with his negative-space silhouettes.
I love this a great deal and would love to work it more into my practice (both in my writing as well as my visuals).