LETTERING AT PLAY — Four&Sons
Art&Culture

LETTERING AT PLAY

Illustrator Cielle Graham forms the alphabet through the twists and turns of dogs chasing a ball.

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LETTERING AT PLAY

All great syllabary books assert the guiding principle of lettering: that the shapes come in multitudes, creatively varied but cohesive in style. In Cielle Graham’s illustrated book, An Alphabet of Dogs, each letter takes the form of a small shiny ball surrounded by a cast of dogs with fixated eyes, and can be read as a sweetly entertaining language of play as much as a character of sound. “Somehow I started wondering if there might actually be enough dog breeds to create something more considerable,” says the Montreal-based artist, whose project began with a single drawing simply titled, The Ball.

Graham regularly creates worlds of entangled animals, where the limbs of hyenas and the long tongues of okapi curl and tumble together. “Animals really [make] sense to me,” she explains. “Their language [is] clear, without reservation.” The intricately inked Alphabet of Dogs is filled with unshakeable determination high on competitive spirit and a singular purpose, but there’s also an air of quiet humour that pervades it. The nearly 200 dogs in her book are, in a sense, more frolicsome, searching for that happy ending—a ball caught—with joyful intensity.


All artwork courtesy of Cielle Graham
ciellegraham.com
@ciellegraham

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CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS

A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.

None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?

TOGO

He may not have a statue in Central Park devoted to him like Balto does, but Togo was the unsung hero husky of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska. Togo, a film starring Willem Dafoe, is here to tell his story. While Balto and his team ran the final leg of the run transporting diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Togo led his team through the longest and most hazardous leg of the journey, covering 264 miles (Balto ran 55). He navigated his fellow sled dogs and their musher Leonhard Seppala (played by Dafoe) through white-out storms, over a mountain and across the perilous exposed ice of Norton Sound. You can watch Togo on Disney+.

ROMPO I LACCI

Directed by Tilda Swinton and starring her four handsome springer spaniels romping and playing fetch in sea, fields and lakes. Set to the aria “Rompo i lacci” from Handel’s Opera Flavio, performed by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

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