Pattern Behavior: The Seamy Side of Fashion, Natalie Kossar. Running Press, 2017. 9780762462742.
Natalie Kossar never learned to sew as a kid, despite the efforts of her mom and grandmas. She was too busy pretending to be a horse and building forts (don’t skip her introduction, it’s hilarious). As an adult, her mom asked her to find an old sewing pattern. She searched online and found hundreds and hundreds of patterns people had scanned. She started a sort-of-comic using the images she found, in which the long-gone garment “models” have conversations about their improbable poses and odd facial expressions, or are just plain silly. Your conservative aunt who sews may not like it, but you will, whether or not you sew.
In addition to her Tumblr site, her comics ran on the now-defunct humor site The Toast.
Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz And The Art Of Peanuts by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear. Abrams, 2015. 9781419716393. 304pp.
Sarah: People ask what is the use of core strengthening classes? Look, I can grab a book from behind me and move it out front.
Gene: (revealing the book with a flourish) A heavy book like Only What’s Necessary?
Gene: It’s beautiful, so you can tell at a glance that it was designed by Chip Kidd, who is the best book designer in the world because he’s the only book designer I can name.
S: And I can’t stop touching the cover because the ink that makes up Charlie Brown’s face is in relief.
G: The thick boards make it feel like a box, so they give reading the book the sense of opening up a box of treasures. The endpapers are comic strip art. But after the title page, there is a two page spread of those tiny paperback Peanuts comic collections we grew up with. These pictures elicit pure joy from me because I read them as a kid. They’re creased and imperfect and wonderful.
S: I have no idea why we loved Peanuts and Garfield so much because I think we didn’t get any of the jokes!
G: I disagree — I think we did. Chip Kidd has designed several books on comic books for Abrams. One is on Batman, and it’s full of objects and art from Kidd’s collection. It’s also got what I think is the first Batman manga translated and published in the US. It convinced me that I don’t need to own every collectible that I love, I can just have photos of them. Then Kidd did a similar book on Shazam, who was my favorite superhero when I was a kid. I think I loved him because he’s a kid who magically becomes a super powerful adult. And this is his Peanuts book in that vein. It is full of so many amazing things.
Continue reading “What do you need?”
Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero by Michael DeForge. Drawn & Quarterly, 2017. 9781770462700.
Gene: This is a little more realistic that some of DeForge’s other books. It’s the story of Sticks Angelica, 49-year-old former Olympian, poet, scholar, sculptor, minister, activist, governor general, entrepreneur, line cook, headmistress, mounty, columnist, libertarian, cellist. She has left Ontario and is now residing in Monterey National Park. Now, I looked that up online and the only Monterey National Park is in California. So she is there, she’s becoming one with the animals. Living a crazy life. There are geese, there’s craziness, she always wears this red sweater. It’s very random, It’s got a DeForgean stream of consciousness flow to the narrative, and it reminds me more of Ant Colony than anything else he’s written. (That’s my favorite book by DeForge.)
Sarah: Oh, yeah. Continue reading “Wow, Forest Folk”