Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review - Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall

I thought it only appropriate for Valentine's Day that I review a book about matters of the heart. Sophie Blackall is an Australian illustrator living in New York and 'Missed Connections' started as this blog before it turned into this book:

I loved following the blog, so was pretty keen to get my hands on the book when it was published last year.

Missed Connections is the online place (in this case, in NYC) where people leave a little note to the person they made a connection with but, for one reason or another, missed their chance. Like this:

'Chinese Food in Queens - W4W I met you in a Chinese restaurant nr Juniper park, you ordered General Tso's Chicken and we talked about horseback riding briefly. I thought you were cute.' p48-49

Sophie Blackall has then used the these Missed Connections classifieds to illustrate tales of imagined love, lost love and could-have-been-love in New York City. Her quirky illustrations elaborate on the original note and imagine further details of the initial fleeting connection.

Sophie began to illustrate the Missed Connections messages because she, like many others, found them obsessive reading. In her foreword to the book she writes: 'I knew why I was glued to them: the voyeurism, the vicarious romance, the unintentional comedy, the angst, the imagery.'

She writes how she prefers to illustrate a Missed Connection with 'peculiar details' and 'striking imagery' and at this she excels.

The book is full of funny scenes, poignant moments, fantastical imaginings and flights of fancy. I love Sophie's unique and often surreal interpretations of these notes.

Sophie says, writing last year, 'I received twenty-seven e-mails this year from happy couples united after having posted a Missed Connection. Some even sent photos. Six of them asked me to illustrate their wedding invitations'. If that doesn't warm your heart this Valentines Day, I don't know what will!

Missed Connections is for the romantic in us all. It's published by Workman Publishing.