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Hands down, there is no better place to people-watch than right here in our own backyard. And two new illustrated books broach the subject in very different ways.
New York Drawings Whether or not you know his name, surely you’ve seen Adrian Tomine’s thought-provoking cartoons and covers for The New Yorker--with such scenarios as a bookstore owner watching a neighbor receive an Amazon package, or a man and woman catching each other’s gaze from opposite subway-car windows. While all are fictional, many of the works were inspired by Tomine’s everyday encounters around the city, as revealed in his fascinating index commentary.
Ami Underground Taking a direct observational approach, artist Ami Plasse sketched thousands of fellow subway riders during his daily Brooklyn commute from 2007 to 2011. The abstract drawings (impressively steady for having been created aboard a moving train) depict a wide variety of folks--with amusing titles (like “Woman w/ Sideshow Bob Hair” and “Fear and Loathing on the 3 Train”) and relatable descriptions from Plasse’s point of view.
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