Last week, our office was delighted to receive a visit from Zak Foster, winner of Strand Bookstore’s Tote Bag Design Contest, which TOON Books co-sponsored this spring.

Zak’s visit was a joy: he came both in his capacity as a talented young artist and as an engaged teacher at Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He brought a small group of his students along for the afternoon, and it was thrilling to see how bold and brave these high-schoolers were, as they sketched the New York City skyline for us on scraps of paper around the office, read the Japanese posters on the walls, and asked TOON artist Geoffrey Hayes how to plot comic story lines.

Zak and his students met Fran├žoise Mouly, TOON’s Editorial Director, for lunch at the New Yorker‘s office in midtown Manhattan. As she gave them a tour of the magazine and explained how the publication is constructed each week, one student, Daniel, stopped and pointed to a gigantic aerial map of New York City that was posted on an office wall. ”Here we are,” he told the rest of the group. Sure enough, under his finger lay the exact location of the building where they currently stood — he’d found it after only a glance. We have to congratulate Zak doubly, then. Not only does he create his own exceptional designs, but he also fosters in his students the same strength of visual literacy that TOON works to promote in a new generation of readers!



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