Scrapbook

Adrian Tomine

This collection of Tomine’s “uncollected work” from 1990–2004 is divided into three sections: miscellaneous comics — either unpublished, drafts, or work that appeared in places other than Optic Nerve; (mostly commissioned) illustrations; and selections from his sketchbook. While these represent distinctly separate aspects of his work, they blend together nicely and given a well-rounded look at his career.

It probably goes without saying that people not already familiar with and interested in Optic Nerve might not have enough context or patience to appreciate this book. Many of the comics he calls the equivalent of “outtakes” and aren’t as polished as his other work, and the illustration section is pretty much a portfolio that varies from indie rock cover art to copious little New Yorker illustrations (many for movie reviews). The sketchbook section may be most interesting to even the casual reader, as there’s something compelling about getting a window into any artist’s process. I felt like that part could have easily comprised more than the fifty or so pages it fills in the book.