Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
Jessie, a graphic and product design major at the School of Visual Arts, admits (with a smile) to papering her walls with creations by some of her favorite artists, and in some cases, instructors. The work serves as Jessie’s daily dose of inspiration, and prompted her to immortalize her heroes on paper.
These simple ink drawings made me smile. And the portrait of Paula Scher ― also one of my heroes ― is kind of genius. But Jessie’s earnest humor is what captivated me more than anything.
“My impression of Steve Heller,” she says, “is that cute man who is so passionate about what he does. His entire look is adorable.” I concur, and was even able to get somewhat of a thumb’s up from the man himself (“She nailed … my ears.”).
The length of time spent on each portrait is sometimes based on how well Jessie knows her subjects. She is fortunate to have been selected for an honors class with no less than Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar. Of the storied duo, Jessie comments, “They’re both so clever, and their partnership is heartwarming. They’ve achieved together, but also have tremendous names for themselves individually. There’s an interesting balance to their partnership that I get to witness each week, and that’s what made their portraits come pretty freely. As an instructor, Tom is nice and yet strict, and Ivan is the type of creative person who ponders several directions as he finds his ideas. It seems like a wonderful balance filled with mutual respect.”
“I don’t know Paul Sahre,” Jessie says, “but I’ve always heard about him. He seems like an edgy, contemporary designer. It took awhile to capture him because I don’t have the same personal experience with him as some of my other heroes.”
“When I think of Milton Glaser, bright colorful patterns come to mind, she continues, “so that one was easy.”
Jessie’s focusing next on important designing women (Louise Fili, for example, not TV’s Delta Burke). And she’s pondering some of the up-and-coming female designers. “There are women who are making an impact right out of the gate, so I’ve got my work cut out for me,” she says with a smile.
What to do with Jessie’s gang? A blog? A book? A hat? A brooch? A pterodactyl?
Copyright F+W Media Inc. 2012.
Salon is proud to feature content from Imprint, the fastest-growing design community on the web. Brought to you by Print magazine, America’s oldest and most trusted design voice, Imprint features some of the biggest names in the industry covering visual culture from every angle. Imprint advances and expands the design conversation, providing fresh daily content to the community (and now to salon.com!), sparking conversation, competition, criticism, and passion among its members.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.
Salon is proud to feature content from Imprint, the fastest-growing design community on the web. Brought to you by Print magazine, America's oldest and most trusted design voice, Imprint features some of the biggest names in the industry covering visual culture from every angle. Imprint
advances and expands the design conversation, providing fresh daily content to the community (and now to salon.com!), sparking conversation, competition, criticism, and passion among its members.