Event: Reading at City Lights

Unfortunately I can not attend, but I wanted to pass it along anyway….

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by Jessica Trounstine, Associate Professor at the University of California, Merced

Where: City Lights Books on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:00pm, City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco.

Selfish plug alert: I designed the cover art and co-wrote the comic prologue. 

My wife has been lauding how well this book is doing from time to time, so I decided to ask Jessica–from her perspective–what the scuttlebutt was. I also asked if the comic was doing much for her discussions or her sales. She passed on some links where she’d been interviewed (New Books NetworkNiskanen Centeras well as on the radio) and some positive tweets (like this one, or two, or three). It seems the book and comic are being warmly received! She stated from a sales perspective, though, it’d be hard to know at this point what boost she might have, if any from the art, before a financial report comes to her in the middle of the year.

So I’m a little early bird on that one.

In my own world, the experience of handing out copies of Segregation by Design to friends, academics and other professionals has been delightful. Basically everyone gets excited when I show them a “science” book packaged with comics and art. We find ourselves discussing language, art, stories, creativity in everyone‘s work. Some people have seemed to lose their minds in the possibilities of combining comics with their own projects. You know that look. When you get your Dr. Evil face working and that one eyebrow winks up–and you giggle.

Yep. Seen that a lot.

City Lights Booksellers. Jessica Trounstine. A Reading. Segregation by Design. January 16

Book it, if you can.

Cover design by Darick Ritter

Cover design by Darick Ritter

Publication of “Segregation by Design” (belated announcement)

Last year I completed a dream project.

For years, I have wanted to make a comic with a scientist.

A scientist is an expert whose trade is about discovering and describing a part of our world. Unfortunately, most scientists only get the chance to share their ideas with small, specialized groups using highly sophisticated language that lay folk (like myself) often have difficulty understanding.

I wanted to see if I could help a scientist make their material more relatable and understandable to a broader audience.

Segregation by Design is a book written by the brilliant Jessica Trounstine (a political scientist at the University of California, Merced) about structural racism in cities–an extremely difficult and perplexing subject of incredible social import. What we did together is create an 8-page prologue comic summarizing and simplifying the main points and recommendations from her book.

I also had the opportunity to design and create the original artwork for the cover:

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Please buy your own copy of Segregation by Design to learn more about our challenges disentangling racism from local politics and finding new ways to alleviate what should be concerning us all. It’s an understatement to say that this is an important book.

But if you’re short on cash or time, at the very least give the comic a full look. You can view the entire color work, currently, on the construction page of my new site Sequential Potentialthe future repository of all my inter-married science and art projects.

I want to thank Jessica Trounstine for the opportunity to realize a dream and taking a chance on sequential art.

And thanks also to Cambridge University Press for being open to the potentials of comics as a vehicle for making academic material more accessible to readers of all kinds.