In her first book for adults, the artist Sophie Blackall creates a deeply felt, poignant book about love—a book that captures the mystery, the yearning, at times the cosmic humor behind the “what if?” of a missed connection.
Like a message in a bottle, a “missed connection" classified (usually posted on a website) is an attempt however far-fetched, by one stranger to reach another on the strength of a remembered glance, smile, or blue hat. The anonymous messages are hopeful and hopeless, funny and sad. Ms. Blackall, award-winning illustrator of Ruby’s Wish and Big Red Lollipop, has turned some of the most evocative (or hilarious) of them into exquisite paintings.
Missed Connections is a collection of illustrated love stories. There’s “We Shared a Bear Suit.” “If Not for Your Noisy Tambourine.” “Hairy Bearded Swimmer.” Each is told in the shorthand of a “missed connection,” and then illustrated in Chinese ink and watercolor. The paintings are extraordinary: delicate yet full of feeling, each springing from one little detail of the post into a fully imagined world. Each brings the voyeuristic pleasure of watching love at first sight, and the pleasure of watching an artist discover a fresh new way to tell a story. And not all the connections are missed. Hidden in the book are three pieces that conjure up the magic of love found.