Guest contributor: Luc Sante

The fact that it took so long for photography to get any respect is illustrated by how long it took for photographs to appear on book jackets, fiction in particular. When photos did appear they did so in France and on the noir tip, naturally. The Simenon is one of the first series of books he published under his real name, starting 1931. The Fantômas is from the 1932 second edition (after two decades of reprints). Both were published by Arthème Fayard, while the slim 60-odd-page Collection Police and Police et Mystère series (1932-1940) were put out by Ferenczi. The photographers repeat from one house to the next: Studio Piaz (best known for showbiz portraits, lasted into the 1950s), Lecram ("Marcel" backwards), Henri Manuel (a maker of official portraits, then an image factory), Hug Block (once Robert Capa's employer). Together they might make up the output of a small-time movie studio, with the Fayard titles upholding the high end like solid B pictures and the Ferenczis fizzing like slap-up improvised two-reelers.

Luc Sante decided at age 18 to be a writer rather than a graphic designer, and often thinks the grass looks greener over there. His cryogenically preserved blog can be found here. (He is also the author of one of the great books about New York, Low Life.)

Thanks Luc!


Protect and Observe

All this talk about police photography put me in the mind of my favorite traffic cop with a camera, Arnold Odermatt. Plus, this will be a good lead in for next weeks guest blogger. Stay tuned.


Beautiful mugs

The most amazing mug shots I have ever seen. Go here immediately!

Thanks to Laura Levine


Cutting Edges

More info on forthcoming collage book and a nice video interview with editor/collagist James Gallagher. via The Casual Optimist.


Michael Bierut's 100 Day Project

A selection from five years worth of workshops. At the very least you have to check out "Boombox".

Murakami/Sartorialist mash-up

Courtesy of Hur Chariot.

Also, design the poster for the forthcoming film of "Norwegian Wood".
New Murakami coming later this year. IQ84. Published by Knopf, October 2011.


Face books

Having fun in the bookstore. From corpus libris.


Friday morning barrel scrapings

From a folder I keep on my desktop called "random stuff" (don't we all have one of those?). I have no idea where most of these images came from so I can't link to (or vouch for) their sources.