This vision of DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY (Bloomsbury, $20) features Dante as a 1920s noir detective seeking answers to the great mysteries. Fedoras, Tommy guns, and peacock feathers adorn the cast in a portrayal differently inspired than those of Dore, Blake, or Birk. A bit more jaded, Seymour Chwast’s primitive depictions of anguish are full of geometry and symmetry, giving a sense of musical entertainment. The depiction of each canto is beautifully divided into three vignettes with gilded columns, neon lights, or celestial arcs. Seamless melding of stark iconic images and bold Broadway stems with hairline serifs evoke art deco signage. This graphic designer’s incorporation of maps and graphs make for a clever, if crude, condensed schematic of the afterlife.
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