TORONTO'S HIDDEN PASSAGEWAYS BROUGHT TO LIGHT IN A CELEBRATION OF URBAN LIFE Michael Cho began creating drawings of the back alleys near his Toronto home in 2008. With this book, he has amassed a collection that speaks to the beauty of the urban landscape: sometimes grittily citified, sometimes unexpectedly pastoral, and always bewitching. Cho is a skilled draftsman, and Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes shines with lovingly rendered details, from expletive-filled graffiti splayed across backyard fences to the graceful twists of power lines over a bend in the road. Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes meanders through the city, functioning as a sort of caught-on-paper psychogeographical Jane's Walk. With each season's change, different color schemes become dominant, and a whole range of moods and moments are articulated. Cho lets the reader visit his city as a virtual flaneur, lingering equally over dilapidated sheds and well-groomed gardens in a dazzling tribute to the urban environs.
Michael Cho is an illustrator and cartoonist whose work has been published in The New York Times Book Review, Maclean's, and Scientific American. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.