I was able to see Adrian Tomine, one of my favorite writer-artists at the Harvard Book Store in October. Adrian is the creator of the long-running comic book series Optic Nerve and, more recently, a cover and interior artist for The New Yorker. He was appearing in Cambridge as part of his national tour promoting his new book, New York Drawings.
This beautiful hardcover is an homage to the city Adrian has called home for the last seven years (he's a West Coast native), and features all of his New Yorker covers, illustrations, and sketches that were inspired by the city and its people.
He gave a great presentation, which included a reading of the three-page comic that serves as the book's introduction. A real highlight of his talk centered on the "old school" approach he first used to make contact with The New Yorker. Following his presentation, Adrian talked at length with each of us interested in receiving an autographed copy of the book. He's a real class act.
I love New York Drawings, but the reason I made sure I attended this event was to tell Adrian that his latest issue of Optic Nerve, published last fall, is the best comic I've read in years.
I'm grateful to him, and publisher Drawn & Quarterly, for continuing to publish "comic books" at a time when more and more independent publishers and creators are opting to publish larger (by page count) graphic novels and hardcovers.
Sure, when the contents of this issue (#12) are reprinted and combined with his next couple of issues as a squarebound or hardcover collection, I'll buy it. I buy all of his stuff. But these 40 pages--two great feature stories, a letters section, and auto-bio back-up--cannot be beat as a stand-alone comic book. It's a complete package.
You can preview and order New York Drawings and order Optic Nerve #12 direct from Drawn & Quarterly here.
Thanks for the signed copy of New York Drawings, Adrian. And thanks for signing a copy of my favorite comic book!