In 2000, I was struck by a simple infographic in Wired magazine comparing earnings between several major industries. I was surprised by the low ranking of movies with respect to their command of popular culture. Moreover I was moved by how the bar graphs told a story; I tore out the page and taped it to my studio wall. Five years later, as I was formulating the idea of an illustrated book about coffee and drug prohibition, I read that coffee was the second most-traded commodity after oil. It seemed fantastic that coffee was that popular. I began to research the trails of several interrelated commercial, cultural, and political behemoths, and I imagined ways to compare them . . .
Continuing our feature Akashic in Good Company, which spotlights our colleagues in other corners of the publishing world, Akashic Books Managing Editor Johanna Ingalls speaks with Margarita Shalina, Small Press Book Buyer for St. Mark’s Bookshop.