Ignore Everybody (and 39 Other Keys to Creativity)
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In the West Texas town of Alpine, Hugh MacLeod writes Gaping Void, a cheeky blog he launched in August 2001 with the deadpan tagline “Cartoons Drawn on the Back of Business Cards.” Now a 13,000-word essay from the Web site has spawned his first book, Ignore Everybody (and 39 Other Keys to Creativity), a mishmash of career advice, pop-psych mantras, and single-panel comics that are, not coincidentally, three and a half by two inches in size. MacLeod uses self-deprecating anecdotes from his years in the online and advertising industries (he still works in both) to deliver snarky advice, and though his recommendations can veer from the pragmatic (“Remain frugal”) to the borderline saccharine (“Everyone has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb”), they frankly sound as worthwhile as any. But the real highlights are his sardonic micro-funnies. Exhibit A: MacLeod’s depiction of a bitter bar patron grousing, “Living a complete lie wouldn’t have been so bad if I could’ve just gotten more people to believe it.” Portfolio, $23.95