Category Archives: Reviews

Top New Media Books: “Mag Men – Fifty Years Of Making Magazines”

Richly illustrated with the covers and interiors that defined their careers, Mag Men is bursting with vivid examples of Bernard and Glaser’s work, designed to encapsulate their distinctive approach to visual storytelling and capture the major events and trends of the past half century.

Columbia University Press logoFor more than fifty years, Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser have revolutionized the look of magazine journalism. In Mag Men, Bernard and Glaser recount their storied careers, offering insiders’ perspective on some of the most iconic design work of the twentieth century. The authors look back on and analyze some of their most important and compelling projects, from the creation of New York magazine to redesigns of such publications as TimeFortuneParis Match, and The Nation, explaining how their designs complemented a story and shaped the visual identity of a magazine.

Mag Men Fifty Years of Making Magazines by Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser Dec 2019

Highlighting the importance of collaboration in magazine journalism, Bernard and Glaser detail their relationships with a variety of writers, editors, and artists, including Nora Ephron, Tom Wolfe, Gail Sheehy, David Levine, Seymour Chwast, Katherine Graham, Clay Felker, and Katrina vanden Heuvel. The book features a foreword by Gloria Steinem, who reflects on her work in magazines and her collaborations with Bernard and Glaser. At a time when uncertainty continues to cloud the future of print journalism, Mag Men offers not only a personal history from two of its most innovative figures but also a reminder and celebration of the visual impact and sense of style that only magazines can offer.

To read more and/or purchase: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/mag-men/9780231191807

Comics Books: “George Herriman’s Krazy Kat – The Complete Color Sundays 1935-1944” (Taschen)

George Herriman's Krazy Kat The Complete Color Sundays 1935-1944 TaschenThe premise is simple: a black cat loves scheming a white mouse who incessantly throws bricks at the cat’s head, which police dog Officer Pupp, secretly harboring a passionate love for the cat, tries to prevent.

George Herriman endlessly plays with the above formula in his legendary newspaper strip Krazy Kat, published from 1913 until his death in 1944. Through his witdetailed characterizationand visual-verbal creativity, Herriman introduced even the least comically-inclined to the young medium; Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, US President Woodrow Wilson, Jackson Pollock, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Capra, P.G. Wodehouse, Willem de Kooning—all KK fans among many others.

It was thanks to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, a confirmed fan who gave Herriman carte blanche in his newspapers, that the artist was allowed to freely explore countless absurd and melancholy variations on the theme of unrequited love for years on end. Herriman unabashedly took advantage of this, radically exploring the medium’s potential and pushing all of its formal boundaries; readers had to put up with surreal, Dadaist sceneries, a language that whirled slang, neologisms, phonetic spelling, and scholarly references, and diffuse gender roles—making Krazy Kat probably the first gender-fluid star in comic history.

To read more or purchase: https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/graphic_design/all/01173/facts.george_herrimans_krazy_kat_the_complete_color_sundays_19351944.htm

Classic Car Nostalgia: “1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster” (Classic Driver)

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Interior Classic DriverThe 300 SL celebrated its premiere at the? International Motor Sports Show? in New York, which took place from February 6th to 14th, 1954. Mercedes-Benz experienced an enormously positive response from visitors to the 300 SL at the Motor Show, so series production began in August 1954 at the Sindelfingen plant.

A total of 1,858 units of the Mercedes 300 SL Roadster were produced between 1957 and 1963.

Classic Driver logoThis 300 SL Roadster was delivered in Germany on September 22, 1960. In the mid-1980s, the car came into the possession of an experienced Mercedes specialist. The roadster underwent extensive restoration under his direction. According to the available documentation, the body was separated from the chassis and completely overhauled. Since then, the car has only been moved about 28,000 km and serviced regularly. A few years ago, the vehicle changed hands within Germany to a businessman and classic car enthusiast who used the roadster for nice trips and events.

To read more: https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/mercedes-benz/300-sl/1960/724393

Top New Films: “A Hidden Life” Written & Directed By Terrence Malick (Dec 2019)

NY Times Film Review LogoThe arresting visual beauty of “A Hidden Life,” which was shot by Joerg Widmer, is essential to its own argument, and to Franz’s ethical and spiritual rebuttal to the concerns of his persecutors and would-be allies. The topography of the valley is spectacular, but so are the churches and cathedrals. Even the cells and offices are infused with an aesthetic intensity at once sensual and picturesque.

The hallmarks of Malick’s later style are here: the upward tilt of the camera to capture new vistas of sky and landscape; the brisk gliding along rivers and roads; the elegant cutting between the human and natural worlds; the reverence for music and the mistrust of speech. (The score is by James Newton Howard.)

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/movies/a-hidden-life-review.html

Top Food Podcasts: “Los Angeles Times 101 Best Restaurants 2019” (KCRW)

The LA Times 101 restaurant rankings are here. Yale historian Paul Freedman traces the history of American cuisine. Journalist Charlotte Druckman shares what she learned from more than 100 women in the food world. Plus: a look at the surprising connections that take you from one recipe to another.

Film Actor Profiles: “An Essay On (64-Year Old) Willem Dafoe’s Face…” (Gentleman’s Journal)

From a Gentleman’s Journal online article:

Willem Dafoe Gentleman's Journal photo Dec 2019Thankfully, Willem Dafoe and Willem Dafoe’s face have used this innate recognisability to their joint advantage. To date, the actor has appeared in well over 100 films, and his prolific career can be charted through the cracks and comments — some nice, some not so nice — that those in the industry have made about his looks.

In fact, in the intervening decades, Hollywood has called many, many times — as have independent filmmakers, foreign studios, animation houses, video game developers and scores of theatres. On the big screen, Dafoe has taken roles in PlatoonMississippi BurningBorn on the Fourth of JulyThe English PatientAmerican Psycho and Shadow of the Vampire. He flew into The Aviator for a cameo, swung into the Spider-Man trilogy as the villainous Green Goblin and dipped his toe in voiceover work with Finding Nemo. He’s taken on John CarterJohn Wick and narrated films from Vox Lux to The Great Wall. He’s been Oscar-nominated several times, for playing characters as wild and disparate as hammy vampires, Floridian motel managers and Vincent van Gogh. The man is a chameleon — and has managed to become one despite having Willem Dafoe’s face.

To read entire article: https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/willem-dafoe-interview-face-hollywood-cover/

Architecture & Design Books: “Lo-TEK Design By Radical Indigenism” By Julia Watson (Taschen)

julia_watson_lo_tek_design_by_radical_indigenism_va_gb_3d_04698_1910101554_id_1260524.png-380x526Lo—TEK, derived from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs, countering the idea that indigenous innovation is primitive and exists isolated from technology. It is sophisticated and designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems.

Three hundred years ago, intellectuals of the European Enlightenment constructed a mythology of technology. Influenced by a confluence of humanism, colonialism, and racism, this mythology ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive. Today, we have slowly come to realize that the legacy of this mythology is haunting us.

With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 20 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.

To read more or purchase: https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/architecture/all/04698/facts.julia_watson_lotek_design_by_radical_indigenism.htm