Thursday, December 9, 2010


Bienvenue to my new blog! This one will aim to be slightly more professional than the last, which basically means that I'll try to discuss library-related things, and there will be fewer comics that involve nudity.

Currently reading: Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft by Dard Hunter. This is undeniably a classic of the rare book world, as Hunter and his progeny remain important figures, and Dard the first was probably the foremost paper expert anyone was likely to encounter. The work itself is surprisingly readable. Dard traveled extensively and collected countless books on paper and papermaking paraphernalia, resulting in the most inclusive history of papermaking that could be produced in his time. There are moments when it is impossible to ignore that the book was written by a well-to-do white American man during the 1940s, just from an sociological point of view, but that doesn't detract from the importance of the work. I mean, it's not as though he said 'They make some nice paper... for a bunch of Japs." No, you'll just have to shrug off the use of a fair amount of Orientalist and colonizing language as he describes the origins of papermaking, which began in China and traveled through Persia, Korea and Japan.

I'm reading in the spare chunks of time I can find, mostly during my lunch breaks at work and while I'm on the long ride on the N train to and from work. I just got up to the Hollander, which is a damn exciting machine. Once this Dutch machine came about some time around 1680, the rate of production for paper stock ("stuff") increased exponentially. Shit got real.

I'll close out with a comic, because what's a blog without pictures? This comic is rather old, just over a year old, as a matter of fact. It goes back to my time as an Unemployed Librarian™. It's a conversation with my favorite economist, John Maynard Keynes. This was the first comic I produced entirely digitally, with no initial paper version scanned before inks or colors. It remains one of my favorites, for a variety of reasons, and begins to sum up the experience of looking for a library job. Glad I'm not on the job hunt anymore.

Giant comic after the break.