Lani Russwurm Is Awesome

My younger brother, historian Lani Russwurm, began blogging “Past Tense…Vancouver Histories” in 2008. These days, his longer more in depth Vancouver history articles appear in his blog Past Tense on WordPress, while images and shorter stories are featured on his Past Tense Vancouver on Tumblr.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lani began contributing Vancouver Was Awesome stories to the popular Vancouver Is Awesome site a few years ago. It was that association led to the publication of Lani’s very first book, Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History in November of this year.

But I knew him back when . . .
Lani Russwurm IS AWESOME

Lani Russwurm ~ portrait by Liana Russwurm
Lani Russwurm portrait by Liana Russwurm

Lani always did like the seaside, so it’s not at all surprising he wound up living in a city on the Pacific Ocean.

As a young man, Lani and our sister Liana emigrated to to the cosmopolitan city of Montréal; perhaps not the best choice for monlingual English speakers.  A few years later he went west.

Vancouver is where my brother put down roots to raise his daughter, Sophia.  He’s lived in the Down Town East Side ever since.

Lani reading comics
Reading vintage comics

The youngest of seven kids, Lani was born at the Kitchener-Waterloo hospital (since renamed Grand River), but raised in a rural farm house just outside Elmira, in Southern Ontario.

Lani Russwurm as "Batman"
Lani Russwurm as “Batman”

Growing up in a family bursting with kids, books, music and art, our creative parents encouraged us all to express our creativity and follow our own dreams.

Lani’s interest in history and media may well have been sparked by the pop culture of our parent’s generation as well as our own.  Our dad exposed us to vintage comic books, Big Little Books, radio plays, and movies of bygone years.  All of the Russwurm siblings are creative in one or more areas; Lani’s include writing, digital imaging and photography.

A high angle photo of Vancouver's Cordova Street under a glowering sky.
Lani’s photograph of Vancouver’s Cordova Street is part of his series on the Woodwards redevelopment project

Lani Russwurm Online



“Vancouver Was Awesome”

a stack of "Vancouver Was Awesome" books

Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History excerpt in the Vancouver Sun ~ The Alexandra Ballroom ~

A rare peek inside the Arsenal Pulp Press manufactory, as they assemble copies of Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History”

You can order your copy of Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History direct from Arsenal Pulp Press, through your local retailer, or from Amazon or iTunes. And you might still be able to order a signed copy direct from the Vancouver Is Awesome website.  Even if I wasn’t Lani’s proud sister, I would tell you It is a great read, because it is,  You’ll just have to see for yourself.

Lani Russwurm, Kitchener 2012 (cc by laurelrusswurm)
Lani Russwurm, Kitchener 2012

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