How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London

A Muralist Finds Herself Captivated by the Bay Area Writer, Crusader for Justice, and Drunken Brawler

Growing up in the Bay Area, I heard a lot of family lore about Jack London, and my great-grandfather George Samuels.

Samuels had been a district attorney, a police court judge, and a Superior Court judge in Alameda County, serving continuously from around 1903 until his death in 1925. The famous author had appeared in his court as a defendant several times. Apparently, the encounters produced hard feelings in London. My aunt, prone to exaggeration, bragged that London had threatened to set off a bomb under my great-grandfather’s house.

My questions about …

Ed Ruscha and the Art of Being in Los Angeles

The Artist Captures the Deeply Two-Dimensional City Like No One Else

Ed Ruscha is expected to reappear in Los Angeles this summer, after having been absent for a decade. Ruscha is the artist who famously didn’t leave, when leaving L.A. for …

The Greatest Muralist You’ve Never Heard Of

The Work of One of L.A.’s Best Chicano Folk Artists Has Largely Been Forgotten

Manuel G. Cruz has produced the best folk art I have encountered in Los Angeles. Through his religious and historical murals, he proves himself a good storyteller and colorist, with …

A Piece of Home in a Lost Mural

Last summer I went on a bit of fact-finding mission to little National City, just across the municipal border from San Diego’s south side. Every summer and school break when …