In which the unlikely publisher of Drawger points out some personal favorites from the year 2008 in no particular order what-so-ever. Thanks to everyone who made 08 one heck of a great read here. I love this place!
To my personal picks without delay:
Drawger launched into 08 with a fabulous post from Richard Borge where he documented his Jessica Hoop Video. This post remains one of my all-time favorites. Borge is the man in my book.
Okay, so I'm a real sucker for any type of detailed documentation of process. My favorite series of the year was back in July and August when Chris Buzelli posted his documentation on the Trophen Museum work. Chris gave us a really great look behind the curtain. Here's July posts on Trophen and here's August. Thanks Chris!
Anybody who didn't appreciate the Mingering Mike the Soul Supa-star post by Laura Levine back in February is just a bummer. I loved it and so should everybody else!
Zina Saunders caused HUGE traffic spikes at Drawger all year. Her Sarah Palin Bags a Big One may well have been the single most popular post at Drawger in all of 08. I liked it plenty myself, but my personal pick from Zina was her marvelous Marshall Erismon Profile. Simply yummy.
It's a given that Edel Rodriguez posts extreme coolness at a pace that makes the average bloggers head spin. His A Show in Spain documentation from January was one of my personal favs of 08 until he posted All About My Father in June which had me bawling like a baby. I also really appreciated his send-up to Tom Trapnell.Thanks Edel, I love you man!
No doubt about it, Steve Brodner has created a real show-stopper with his Person of the Day series. Traffic arrives here from far and wide to gobble up the brainy antics of this thoughtful master. His 4000 Persons of the Day was my personal favorite from 08 - as well as Steve's righteous and mighty Support Barry post which almost brought our dear server to it's knees. Thanks for keeping my brain buzzing this year Steve! I don't know what I'd do without you at this point.
Like I said, I'm a sucker for process posts. David Goldin's The Fruit of Our Labor post back in March was just coolness with a cork. I loved it and even got to taste it!
Fernanda Cohen's Illustrator Travel Kit. Nuff said. Too cool.
For the past three years, Tim O'Brien has documented his New York Marathon experience with the same degree of bravery and thoughtfullness as the amazing run itself. This year was no exception and it was his best run and his best post to date. Marathon is a great read and an amazing accomplishment. It also needs to be said that Tim's Cover of Rolling Stone post was easily one of the most viewed posts at Drawger this year, and for all the right reasons. Totally amazing.
Anita Kunz had me at hello with My new intern (I loved this too much for my own good) and Burn Baby Burn remains one of the most mind-bending posts I've ever had the extreme discomfort to witness. Thanks Anita!
Hanoch Piven does for Drawger what Captain Kangaroo used to do for me when I was two...keep me waiting for the next episode of wonder and delight. His Garbage Mountain post and his Keith post were both real keepers in my book. A world without Piven at this point is simply unthinkable. I salute you sir!
Rob Dunlavey has brought us some of his thoughts and insites into the state of affairs in Zimbabwe over the past few years. I really enjoy his contributions on this subject. Here's a look back at some of my personal picks from 08 - Hey Buddy Can Your Spare 50 Billion Dollars, Mugabe.
Harry Campbell (the undisputed king of spots) doesn't post a lot here, but when he does it's always some of my favorite stuff. His Op-Ed for Wednesday was my favorite from 08. I love to see the doodles that lead to the conclusion. Harry gives it up!
Linzie Hunter's Left or Right Brain? hooked me bad and her Back by Popular Demand! was a tastey treat as well. Thank God for the Brits!
Way back in January, Adam McCauley started a great conversation with his What is it article. I really love this kind of post. Represents the best of what Drawger does. Thanks Adam!
Do you like to get really close-up details of work, see all the brush strokes and cracks? Me too! At Drawger, Marc Burckhardt is your man. He posts a piece and then lets you see it up close and personal. BLAB! Show Los Angeles. Mmmmmmm.
Donald Kilpatrick was probably a journalist in a previous life. His posts are always a solid read. His touching tribute to Joseph Solman was a real stand out for me this year. I loved it and if you haven't read it, read it now.
I like childrens blocks, always have. I have a small collection of them. It should come as no surprise that I also liked the ABC post by Greg Mambly a LOT.
If Joseph Fiedler wasn't the worlds greatest living illustrator he'd probably be a documentary film maker. He has loaded Drawger with some amazing accounts of travels, events and studio tours. The one that really hooked me in 08 was his Marin Studio Visit: John Hersey in May. Cool details, expert timing, just what I needed.
Bob Staake has a way of writing his posts where the reader feels like they are getting a personal tour of his ever-expanding brain. One of my favorite examples from 08 was his super-cool Roomy Enough For Two Cockroaches And Up To Eighteen Deer Ticks article. And, being a complete sucker for any post that documents process, you can't beat My Odd Way Of Working from January! Thanks for memories Bobster!
Felix Sockwell occassionally stops in here to give us a lot to think about and I for one sure do appreciate it. His Tour De Force explanation of his iphone icons in his new iPhone nytimes GUI article was just solid amazing. I also love it when someone at Drawger sends out props to out-going art directors and Felix's send-up to Brian Rea was really cool.
Stephen Kroninger uses Drawger to talk about other people and show us what inspires him, which is cool. Very occassionally he will give us a peek at his own process and that's when my ears really perk up. His Nation Cruise for The New York Times post from February was one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing Stephen!
Robert Hunt cleaned his brushes in April and built a model of a dragon so he could paint it in November. Both of these posts had me blinking in disbelief and awe. Unreal.
For one reason or another, Drawger inspires some collateral activities. One of the funniest this year was Nancy Stahl's Drawger Scrabble Tournament which was documented here all the way to the winner. Another very cool contribution from Nancy in 08 is the Women's Work show which gets a TON of traffic and has over 200 brilliant works on display. Yeah Nance! Woo Hoo!
Carl Weins uses Drawger to talk about his family life, his sons, his brother, his life at home, his travels. I love that stuff and it's a really cool use of Drawger. His Last skate post from March is a great example of letting people see Carl in his natural habitat.
If Drawger has any lasting historical value, internet archaeologists will almost certainly point to Randall Enos' widely acclaimed My Life on the Slanted Board series. This year, we only got one instalment, but it may well be the best one yet. MY LIFE ON THE SLANTED BOARD...Chapter 28, "Stripping For Playboy". Brilliant!
If Drawger had a face, it would be the face of David Flaherty. My favorite stuff from David is his documentary work, whether it's an opening, a pool party or just a simple trip across town. His Quest for the Wacksman's Passage is best of show in 08 in my book.
An 08 highlight for me was Peter Kuper reporting from Mexico. I felt like we were getting a direct feed from the dusty streets. I'm really glad he took to time to document and post Mexico Street Art especially. I love that kind of stuff. Keep em' coming Kuper!
I'm a real sucker for babies. Gina and Matt let us have it with New Employee. Loved it loved it loved it.
A. Richard Allen tends to show just about everything that he can squeeze in. I love that. I especially love all the process sketches he shows. How To Live to be 100 was just one of my favorites from 08 - especially the annotated sketch on drag, which was hilarious!
In April, Leo Espinosa posted Friday Pencil Fiesta, in which he just started collecting and posting pencil drawings people would email to him. All of those drawings got relocated to here, and that single post resulted in the ongoing Pencil Fiesta gallery here at Drawger, which Leo bravely manages and edits. Yeah Leo! I love you like a rock!
Brian Stauffer has really put together a string of hits this year at Drawger. I really appreciated the insight into his thinking process with The Tough Ones in February and in March his Spitzer OP-ED post really showed how quiet and confident art direction (in this case from Brian Rea) can lead to amazing results.
Lastly not leastly, Lou Brooks uses Drawger to mostly post up things that inspire him, tracing his roots to jazz and pulp. It's always great stuff. Every so often he lets us in on a good inside story as well. The You and Your Turntable article was a cool insight into how illustrators can often effect smart editorial decisions and that's the kind of stuff that really gets me going. In June, Lou posted that his Art Supply Museum Tops '100' Mark!, referring to his Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies show here, which continues to be one of the most visited areas of Drawger. Way cool. Lou is the man.
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That's it for now! I probably left some of my favorites out, but I can definately recommend all of the above as a sample plate of what Drawger does best. Look forward to 2009!
Publishers Picks 2008 at Drawger
poster by Marc Burckhardt