What Is the Essence of a Book?

Over the last couple of months, I have been picking my way through I Read Where I Am, “82 reflections on the future forms of reading.” In the book, some contributors claim that we read less than we used to, …

Many Happy (Tax) Returns: A Marxist Doctrine

With all of us looking at the Fiscal Cliff on the horizon, who better to explain things than Marx . . . . . . GROUCHO Marx. About 15 years ago, I traded my signed copy of The Groucho Letters …

Bucky Fuller's Book: "I Seem To Be a Topsy-Turvy Design"

Last week, Steven Heller covered Quentin Fiore, designer of books by the medieval-minded media theorist Marshall McLuhan and the yuppie-brained Yippie leader Jerry Rubin. Heller also mentioned a 1970 paperback that the architect/engineer/designer R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller put together with Fiore …

My Ideal Bookshelf: The Books That Make the Designer

Visually, the average bookshelf is a mess. Arranged along single planks are these hundreds of objects of every conceivable dimension and color, spanning decades—centuries, even—of our cultural history. Stately black-and-orange Penguin Classics butt against the garish hues of a science …

A Report on Comic-Con… and Covert CIA Actions

Last week’s Comic-Con at San Diego’s Convention Center was overloaded with activities. If you were a Hollywood celeb–obsessed fan you may have spent much, if not most, of your time stuck in lines. But if you were a lover of …

Illustrated Classics of African-American Literature

Students: If you plan to cheat on your book reports, take a look at Graphic Classics. As Art Spiegelman put it, “Comics are a gateway drug to literacy”; for the visually oriented, this series will open doors to literature. It’s also …

Say, What's a Flong?

Does anyone know what “flong” means? I bet you don’t know what a “pop test” is? I enjoy collecting antique terms, especially for the design and printing fields. I take impish joy asking young students what “leading” means and how …

3:02 PST. Pacific Standard Gift Book Time, part 2

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on holiday gift suggestions for people who like their art, and art catalogs, served with a hearty helping of design content. . Catalog L.A.: Birth of an Art Capital 1955-1985 Centre Pompidou …