Encounters of the Craigslist kind

Missed Connections


Sophie Blackall's book, Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found (Workman Publishing Company, $13.95), just might induce a face-palm moment with the simultaneous lament, “I should have thought of that!” However, after seeing the creative visual interpretations of Missed Connections posts from Craigslist that Blackall has beautifully rendered, you'll be happy she did all the hard work of combing through the myriad ads instead.

The Brooklyn, New York City-based illustrator includes the text from original posts to concoct dreamy and quirky representations of them with Chinese ink and watercolor. Think mustaches, butterflies, skinny ties and sailing ships. In addition to gleaning details from the posters' brief encounters—like the charming “We Shared a Bear Suit” or the clever “Chinese Food in Queens”—Blackall evokes the feelings of unrequited love by drawing what might have been in the poster's thoughts.

Perhaps the greatest triumph of this collection is the archiving of a 69-year-old man's final attempt to find his friend from decades ago with whom he shared his first kiss on Coney Island. The accompanying illustration of the two unsure, gaze-locked youths standing in the pastel water holding a beluga is stunning. www.sophieblackall.com.