Jugs & Capes: Radioactive Dirt Candy

I had to miss this month’s Jugs & Capes. Life got in the way and I never read it in time, even though the book was my suggestion.

R a d i o a c t i v e  is a biography about Marie & Pierre Currie, written & illustrated by Lauren Redniss. While I did not make Sunday’s meeting, I finally picked up my copy at the library and I’m super excited to finally dive into it. The illustrations and design of the book are simply beautiful, reminding me more of Maira Kalman than a comic book. Illustrated books that appeal to the adult demographic which mix gorgeous typography and drawings are definitely my soft spot. Just look at these stunning layouts.

So while I missed the comic ladies of J&C for September (and their ever-awesome food spread), I attended the graphic novel launch party for Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, coordinated by Amanda Bullock (Jugs & Capes creator) at Housing Works Bookstore.

“Amanda Cohen’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel.” (check out the book trailer here!)

Onto the food! Free booze, free appetizers, free giveaways. Too good to be true? We didn’t think so at first, up until the rest of Manhattan showed up to grab some free veggie cuisine. For all the trays brought out to the crowd, and despite being super early, here are the two little bites that Tim & I got to sample (left, Popcorn Pudding: salted caramel corn, and right, Pepper Appetizer: smoky red pepper mousse, yellow pepper soup, jalapeño chips).

Stangely (and unintentionally) our hands mimic one of the spreads from Radioactive.

The crowd got a little feisty once the free food came out. Below is just a snippet of the insanity, even though this photo doesn’t do it justice:

Since I couldn’t capture the craziness, I’ll leave you with my own drawing that pretty much sums up the food experience in one panel. (Or, because all NYC roads lead back to Seinfeld, think George Costanza pushing through the crowd in The Fire, only this time to snatch up some seriously delicious morsels). Enjoy!

photography & zombie comic © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), Radioactive illustrations © 2010 Lauren Redniss, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook illustrations © 2012 Ryan Dunlavey, book by Amanda Cohen & Grady Hendrix

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U P D A T E  The photo below was emailed to me by Grady Hendrix from Dirt Candy! I call it “The (zombie) view from up here.” I also found myself in the crowd, just in case you were wondering:

The New Adventures of an Old Magazine

When I saw Domino Magazine on the newsstand again I nearly fainted. My favorite magazine was back, resurrected from the dead! Oh happy day! Dance of joy! But just as soon as I began rejoicing, I remembered that Domino was only back for two limited editions: Spring/Summer “Quick Fixes” & Fall/Winter “Best Rooms.” Suddenly, its presence was a little more like seeing your best friend as a zombie, knowing they have to be killed shortly after.

A few disappointments prevail: both issues consist of mostly recycled material from the magazine’s 4 year run, so there isn’t too much that is new, and it’s $11 to boot (those of us who renewed our subscription lost out 3 years back when the magazine cancelled, joining the ghosts of Blueprint and ReadyMade).

However brief though, it is nice to see our beloved magazine sitting among the other home decor magazines, some of whom have lived long before and after Domino, some whom I hope will survive.

I still love paper magazines. In my collection are art magazines, graphic design, home design, illustrated J. Peterman catalogs, Anthropologie catalogs, and the ever-precious Domino. I also hold onto the first (and possibly last) issue of Living Room Magazine, Fall 2000, with one of my favorite decor covers (illustrated birds!)Though I mourn the loss, I’ve had to move on. These days, I browse through Lonny (which is by far the best substitution I have found for Domino so far), Rue, Living Etc, Dwell, Elle Decor (preferably UK), Home & Decor (Singapore), HGTV, Flea Market Style, Flea Market Decor, and House Beautiful…just to name a few. Not to mention all the design blogs, but don’t even get me started on that long list.

At any rate, Domino, I miss you… perhaps this little resurrection is a test to see how well you fair in this new market, with the economy on the rise, with the constant growing interest in home design. Perhaps you will be back after all. And if not, a girl can still dream.

magazine display photos © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); Living Room Magazine © 2000 Better Home & Gardens; all other photos © Domino Magazine

Bushcraft: Piñatas & Animal Heads

Usually I come to Bushcraft ready for spontaneously unplanned artist playtime, a real divergence from my daily life. But I’ve had a long-standing professional interest in learning paper mâché, so this time I arrived armed with ideas + a (sort of) plan on how to execute it. This month’s theme was piñatas, with the intention of smashing them next month at Bushcraft’s one-year anniversary party. Here are my sketches of animal heads that got me started:

The first thing we did as a group was collect newspaper, toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, egg crates, etc, in between last month’s Bushcraft. I don’t recall ever making paper mâché as a kid, so this was all pretty new to me. The rest goes a little something like this:

Stay tuned for more paper mâché updates! You can also check out my Flickr photo set here.

photography & sketches © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), karaoke photo © 2012 Declan Zimmerman (motiongraphicsnyc.com), Bushcraft group shot © 2012 Laura Lee Gulledge (whoislauralee.blogspot.com)