Art and Photography
How Art Works
A Psychological Exploration
By Ellen Winner
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 23rd 2019.
How Art Works by Ellen WinnerEllen Winner sets out the psychological study of art in a methodical and approachable fashion. She says what she will show, she shows it, and then she summarizes what she has shown. Her approach is very much empirically based, with many experiments explained and discussed. The questions she addresses are often inspired by philosophical discussion but she sticks to the empirical issues. Most of the experiments she discusses are relatively simple and thus don't attempt to capture the sophistication of some fancy psychological theories of art (such as psychoanalytic) which are essentially untesta
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Why Comics?
From Underground to Everywhere
By Hillary Chute
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 2nd 2019.
Why Comics? Is a survey of the history of comics for adults with a focus on the last 20 or years. Author Hillary Chute is a professor at Northeastern University and while this is not an academic book, it is a big heavy book at well over 400 pages with a lot of writing. After the introduction, there are chapters on disasters, superheroes, sex, the suburbs, cities, punk, illness & disability, girls, war, queer, and fandom. The book is nicely illustrated in full color. Chute discusses most of the big names in comics today: Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky Cru
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Why Comics? by Hillary Chute

RX
A Graphic Memoir
By Rachel Lindsay
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 1st 2019.
RX by Rachel LindsayRX is primarily an account of Rachel Lindsay's working in corporate marketing for Big Pharma, getting sick of it, being diagnosed with a manic episode, and being hospitalized. It is a graphic work drawn in bold black and white panels. The style is on the crude side, but there's also something careful and controlled about it, with an economy that is pleasing. She conveys her emotions and thoughts powerfully with her art. She worked in New York City on the advertising industry on Madison Avenue, living in the East Village in 2010, having graduated from college not long before. She
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Great Hiking Trails of the World
By Karen Berger
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 27th 2018.
This beautiful book features wonderful pictures taken while on some of the great hikes. It samples trips all over the world. The book is divided into six main chapters, with diverse categorization, and chapter titles including The Way of the Pilgrim, Peak Experiences, and the Longest Walks. Each of these chapters has photos from many different areas. There is accompanying text that gives context and background for the images and provides some thematic connection from page to page. However, I doubt that many readers will really pay a lot of attention to the text because it is the pictures that
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Great Hiking Trails of the World by Karen Berger

The Pervert
By Michelle Perez
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 26th 2018.
The Pervert by Michelle PerezThe description of this graphic novel on the publisher web site explains that it is about a trans sex worker in Seattle.  Some parts of this are more obscure than others when reading it. There is not much clue the story is set in Seattle, and it takes a little working out that the main character is a trans woman, at least until we see her naked. This is a melancholy narrative gives people dog and cat faces, which makes them look sad but pretty hard to read apart from that. The narrator, who is the main character, leads a brutal life trading sex for life, getting harassed and experiencing
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Portraits of Resilience
By Daniel Jackson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Daniel Jackson is a professor of computer science at MIT. Following a number of suicides at MIT he engaged in a project to document the struggle of people dealing with the pressures of life, especially when added to the strain of meeting the standards of a demanding university. The resulting book, Portraits of Resilience, features the stories of about 23 people accompanied by photos of them and the MIT campus. There are undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty, from a variety of backgrounds. The photographs are monochrome. They are conventional in style, with subjects looking at t
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Portraits of Resilience by Daniel Jackson

Not My Shame
By T.O. Walker
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Not My Shame by T.O. WalkerThis short monochrome graphic novel  doesn't so much tell a story as explore themes about the effects of sexual abuse of young people. Most pages are split into 4 panels, and have rather crudely drawn pictures showing a haunted child and abusive or passive adults.  There is writing too, expressing anger at parents and authorities who just allow abusers to do what they want. There are also images of self-harm and bottles of alcohol, with some words about the need to escape. Nearer the end of the book there are some statistics about the prevalence of sexual abuse and the low rates of r
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Early Exposures
A Photographic Memoir
By Bill Pennell
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
  A memoir (from French: mémoire: memoria, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEMOIR. The voice is first person singular: I, not we, one, or you. The memoirist is the main character, the someone for readers to be within the story. The writer's thoughts and feelings, reactions and reflections, are revealed. Many will remember one of th
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Early Exposures by Bill Pennell

 
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