Author Archives: Buzz Poole

About Buzz Poole

Buzz Poole has written about books, design, art, and culture for numerous outlets, including Print, The Village Voice, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Millions. He is the author of the story collection I Like to Keep My Troubles on the Windy Side of Things; the New Statesman named his examination of unexpected iconography, Madonna of the Toast, one of 2007’s Best Underground Books.

What Do You See?

News of Cecilia Gimenez’s “restoration” of an ecce homo fresco in a Catholic church in Borja, Spain, has been making the media rounds. Ecce homo (“behold the man”) is its own genre that depicts Jesus before the crucifixion, often wearing a crown of thorns. As the image below demonstrates, Gimenez took some creative liberties...

Letterpress Adventures with Moveable Type's Kyle Durrie

Kyle Durrie is the proprietor of the letterpress studio Power and Light Press. I first met her in 2009 at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, where she was sharing a table with my good friend Brandon Mise, of Blue Barnhouse fame. In 2007, Durrie’s apprenticeship with Blue Barhnouse turned into a job, which...

Seeing the Olympics from a Different Perspective

As Londoner Gareth Hague commented in this space in early July, the pomp and national pride that usually marches in during every Olympic cycle has been supplanted by ridicule, aggravation, and protest, thanks to an Olympics that is, as the New Statesman put it, “suffocated by sponsors.” The angst that the denizens of London...

The End of Print (Again): Why David Carson Still Matters

David Carson came to the fore of visual culture in the early 1990s, solidifying his place in 1995 with the publication of The End of Print: The Grafik Design of David Carson. His frenetic lettering and layouts inspired countless designers to push boundaries and break classical rules, qualities that are still prized today. So...

The Value of Childish Things

Like most book lovers, I have fond memories of being read to as a child, hearing and seeing a story unfold with the turn of each page. Dr Seuss’s rhyming whimsy, Maurice Sendak’s respect for irreverence, the foodtastic excitement of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs—these books made impressions on me. But I really...

First Words: Designers Take on Page One of Great Expectations

“My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip.” Those lines may not be as recognizable as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but they are nevertheless part of the literary canon,...

Let There Be Neon

True story: my first trip to Europe, a summer backpacking adventure with some college friends, all guys. We met in Paris, explored, ate, drank. One was vociferous about visiting a strip club, but much to his disappointment, it never happened. Not too long after Paris, we were in Madrid. We didn’t know about the...

"Electrical Banana" and the Selling of Psychedelic Art

In Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art (Damiani, $39.95), co-authors Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel cite the 7UP “Uncola” advertising campaign, launched in 1967 by the J. Walter Thompson Agency, as “the ultimate mainstream psychedelic expression. . . . This was the first time psychedelic art had gone mass market on such a scale, and,...

The Blackwing Pencil

“I have found a new kind of pencil—the best I have ever had. Of course it costs three times as much too but it is black and soft but doesn’t break off. I think I will always use these. They are called Blackwings and they really glide over the paper.” So said John Steinbeck,...

Between Page and Screen

Between Page and Screen, a ground-breaking collaboration between poet and book artist Amaranth Borsuk and programmer Brad Bouse, is truly a first: a book that only can be read when simultaneously using a codex book and a computer’s webcam. When placed in front of a webcam, the black shapes printed on the pages, sans...