edward tufte care package
Edward Tufte care package

I’ve thought recently about abandoning sketchbooks in favor of single sheets of paper, index cards, legal pads, and binders: sketchbooks are convenient for carrying around, but they’re really hard to scan, and they don’t afford remixing or reshuffling pages. I want to make little books that are more like collages, without destroying the pages by using adhesive on them. I just need a little portfolio with plastic pages…something like what Lynda Barry has in this picture. Or like this. I could also just do the three-ring binder with page protectors. Any suggestions?

I’m thinking about this because Michelle Malott wrote in and asked me what kind of paper I used for my mind maps. My usual reply would be, “Whatever’s around,” but recently I’ve been a big fan of Edward Tufte’s graph paper he sells on his website. It’s acid-free, really nice and smooth, and has a “ghost” grid on it, which makes it easy to lay things out. I’ve been using the regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, saving up the 11 x 17 sheets for something really awesome.

You can see the results from my last two maps:

Tufte sent me a big batch of the paper after seeing my Beautiful Evidence and Envisioning Information maps. Tufte’s a “hero thinker” of mine, so it was a thrill to get mail from him. Come to think of it, I’ve had good luck getting mail from my heroes. Love how classy this little card is:

edward tufte compliments

If you don’t know his work, you should.


la cagouille no 6

When my father-in-law was down from Cleveland last week, he brought me an envelope sent to our old address, postmarked Europe. I couldn’t imagine what European would be sending me anything, so it was a real treat and a surprise to find two copies of La Cagouille No. 6—a little zine that a couple of French folks put out. I had totally forgotten that way back Gabriel Papapietro had asked me if they could print an old comic of mine called “Rendezvous.” The package contained a note from Gabriel…so nice to get handwritten letters!

rendezvous in la cagouille no 6

Other than my comic, everything else is in French, so I’m piecing my way through. Here’s a spread from Gabriel’s comic, “Royan Sur Brie,” which you can read online if you add him as a friend on Myspace.

Very cool. Thanks for the mail, Gabriel!