Minneapolis: Angel Bomb Press, 2020. Limited to 125 copies signed and numbered by the book artist, Todd Thyberg. He writes in the colophon that the book took over two years to write, create, and print. He states: "This experiential read was conceived as an ode to H.P. Lovecraft, whose books I had discovered and read profusely as a teenager growing up in a small town in rural North Dakota....I knew I wanted to be a writer, to breathe life into stories that transported the reader to realms unknown. H.P. Lovecraft gifted the world with a style of cosmic horror and weird fiction that was previously unknown. In homage, Todd created a mythical and mystical expedition to the steppes of Siberia to find the temple and artifacts of a mysterious people that supposedly once inhabited this barren and forbidding land. He says, "In the winter of ‘18, I rented a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin and sequestered myself for a week, sketching, researching and writing down plot points. I took an historic event that fascinates me and turned it on its head, spinning it into the world of old gods and monsters that thrilled me as a kid. I wanted to celebrate and honor the creepy cosmic horror that made Lovecraft’s work so unique. One of the men on the expedition is required to document their findings. Odd diagrams and even odder structures are found and recorded for the archives at Miskatonic University. What is it that they find? What happens to the expedition when they find it?" It’s all hidden within. But be forewarned! Many who have seen the contents of The Miskatonic Papers have died horrible deaths or gone completely insane! The valiant quest for knowledge may lead you down a path that branches into dark corners of the night, filled with arcane shadows. Never travel there alone and be cautious where you step. If you hear a wet, rustling noise behind you, you had best run screaming. After exploring Todd's remarkable and complex production, the reader will indeed understand Todd's warning! The work comes in a foil-stamped grey clothbound clamshell box with three sealed folders inside.Todd urges the reader to break the seals and pore through the contents of the folders. One includes a broadside for the expedition, drawings, two letters, a rubbing, telegrams from the field, and an amazing handwritten expedition journal. All of them letterpress printed, aged, and weathered. The Expedition Broadside appears stained with ale and smudges from the hands of inquisitive sailors. It states that Professor Tyler Freeborn seeks able-bodied men to risk life and limb for the advancement of science. Do you have a thirst for adventure? Perhaps you should apply. Each piece of the book was made to look as if it was created 100 years ago. Stains, creases, and even burned edges will provide the reader with a rich experience when delving through the ephemera and piecing the story together. Printed on a selection of stocks as well as vintage business cards and journal pages, with too many typefaces to name and lots of handwriting as well. Letterpress printed at the Angel Bomb studio. In fine condition. ARTSB/071320. Fine.
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Sebastopol, CA: Deeply Game Publications, 2020. Hardcover. Number 4 of 20 copies. Signed by the book artist. From the preface: In the 19th and early 20th centuries a great many people were fooled into believing that "spirit photographers" were able to pierce death's veil to document the ghosts of lost loved ones. "These photographers, also known as mediums, used double exposures and other tricks to manufacture the supernatural encounters. Their popularity attests to the power of love and loss in people's lives then and now. The hauntings were real, even if the ghosts were not. We are haunted still, and not just by love and loss. This book makes visible some of what bedevils us - psychological demons; social & factual distortions; the force & folly of the culture around us." For this compelling book, the artist produced plates using paint, camera, and ink to create specters - haunting figures - immaterial subjects that comprise both fact and fiction, encompassing both the rational and absurd. The apparent spectral images in the plates are able to be identified using a fold-out guide that provides keys to the bedevilments that haunt each image. Key words (or "bedevilments") include: fake news, extinction, lonliness, police murder, rage, social distance, xenophobia, climate change, demise of democracy, etc.). The relevant key abbreviations are printed on the white page across from each of the images. The painted images in the plates were based on spirit photographs by Ada Deane, William Hope, Edward Wyllie, and others. Bound in dark blue cloth with silver titling to front cover. Letterpress printed using News Gothic and Century Schoolbook fonts designed by Morris Fuller Benton. In fine condition. Measures 8 x 11 inches. [38 pages] ARTISTSB/120321. Fine.
Baltimore: Flying Fox Press, 2017. Paperback. 1 of 25 copies, initialed and numbered by the artist. Linocut of an imaginary serpent-bird printed archivally in dark green ink on tan paper. Printed at PaperBase with Sarah Robbins. Thirty-seven additional copies were printed for the Guild of Book Workers "Bird in Hand" annual collaborative project. Ten percent of each sale will be donated to Bat Conservation International. Size: 8 x 8 inches. PRI/090117. Fine.
Towson, MD: Susannah Horrom, 2014. Paperback. Limited to 25 copies. Initialed and numbered by the artist. First trade edition. A detailed drawing of a creature that is filled with "lost things" such as keys, phones, pets, money, flashlights, time, weight, and even Atlantis. This drawing was created as part of a collaborative project sponsored by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers. The first printing of this map was issued exclusively for other participants in the Atlas Project 2014 in an edition of 40. From the artist's statement: "I lose things all the time. I put down a pen, sewing needle, phone, etc. - turn my head for a second - and BAM - gone. Sometimes these mysterious disappearances are due to my clepto cats, but are largely inexplicable. What is taking my eyeglasses, spare change, flashlights, postage stamps, and half of my socks? My husband? Aliens? or more likely - a giant worm-dragon-monster that lives underground and sends up tentacles to steal my stuff..." This trade edition is inkjet printed on archival paper from the original pen and ink drawing. Includes card with artist's statement and brief biography. 8.5 inches x 21 inches. PRI/123114. Fine.
Seattle: Marquand Editions, 2013. One of 20 copies plus 5 artists proofs. This complicated and fascinating artist's book was described and exclaimed over by a number of reviewers and critics at its publication. Most simply, it is a magician's case of graphic story books, but in reality it is much more than that. Chris Byrne's obsessional graphic novel took a decade to realize and another two years to produce. He and designer Scott Newton worked with Paper Hammer Studios in Seattle to construct an audaciously ambitious bit of publishing magic. The Magician is an epic graphic novel, a bookmaking tour de force, a mesmerizing art object, and the completion of over a decade-long obsession of author Chris Byrne. This enigmatic box of wonders houses a dozen separate publications, printed and hand bound using a variety of techniques. Although individual works, they are considered parts of the whole. The twelve books include Theogony, Handmade, Down the Head, Mountain Man/She-Wolf, Letterpress Flipbook, 4-Ply Toilet Paper, Moleskine, The Magician Manual, M'Phase, Unfinished Versions, Colophon, and Curtains [From Marquand Editions website]. The magician's large case measuring a foot long and foot wide is custom-built with plywood and metal and sits atop casters. It is painted black and decorated by a white rope pattern that crisscrosses its width. Wrote art curator and critic Dan Nadel in 2013 about this production: "There is no single apt reference point for Chris Byrne's ingenious The Magician. It is a wunderkammer, a Cornell-ian box, a visual novel, a conjurer's tool kit. Above all it's a moving, multi-faceted graphic narrative. There's never been anything quite like it." From writer and editor Christina Geyer's review in FDLuxe in 2014: " [Chris Byrne] is indeed the author. In this case, though, author is a loaded word - and means much more than one who writes a story. For The Magician, which Byrne began working on as an undergrad student in 1987, it refers to conceptualizing, illustrating, designing and storytelling. The novel - actually 12 stylistically different books in one box - sprang from Byrne's longtime fascination with semiotics and the language of signs. Thus began the idea of creating an alternative comic strip of sorts. It is, in short, a story about a hermaphroditic magician who was conceived in a public bathroom and who eventually creates the universe. 'It's an exploration of the realms of the unreal,; Byrne says. 'It may even be a goof on the creation myth.' The books and their many visuals, illustration and symbols are meant to be read. interacted with and interpreted deeply by the reader....The result is a high-design book and a collectible art object." In fine condition. Extra shipping costs will apply. ARTB/120821. Fine.
Luminice Press, 2019-2020. One of 10 copies. This fascinating and intricate work by highly regarded book artist Williams is about two forms of transformation: alchemy, a physical process, and written scripture, a codification of religious beliefs. Alchemists believed that a method could be found to transmute base metals into gold. After centuries of trying, they never discovered such a method. The beliefs of some early societies were transformed from pantheistic to a concept of a single god figure, whose stories were collected in written form and used to codify new faiths. This book looks at the failure of alchemy and also how early faiths were corrupted and then used by dominant groups to subjugate and harm those who differed. The front cover is a pentagram with five triangles. The pentagram symbolized both good and evil and had many interpretations. For example, the single point up indicated the five wounds of Christ; both points up had an occult meaning. The triangles represent the base metals of alchemy. From top left in a clockwise rotation they are: silver, lead, tin, iron and copper with the sixth metal, mercury, represented by the silver dust surrounding the pentagram. Gold, the primary objective of alchemy, is at the center. The rear cover represents the four elements identified in antiquity: air, fire, earth and water. Each base metal has been associated with a planet in our solar system. Lead with Saturn, tin with Jupiter, iron with Mars, copper with Venus, silver with the moon, and mercury with its namesake planet. As the book progresses, each etching is aligned with one of the metals. The symbol for each metal, or planet associated with it, is found on the text page. Wit 11 original etchings from zinc plates on Twinrocker hand-made paper, 12 letterpress printed pages from polymer plates with alcohol based stains on Mohawk text weight paper, marbled endpapers. Covers are bound with paper over binders board. Front cover has onlays of thin steel and copper with metal pigment coatings and patina as well as silver leaf and gold leaf. Rear cover has an onlay of embossed aluminium foil from an engraved polycarbonate plate. closed, with three flaps and magnet closure bound with book cloth over binders board with Tyvek hinges. ad, tin, iron and copper with the sixth metal, mercury, represented by the silver dust surrounding the pentagram. Gold, the primary objective of alchemy, is at the center. The rear cover represents the four elements identified in antiquity: air, fire, earth and water. Each base metal has been associated with a planet in our solar system. Lead with Saturn, tin with Jupiter, iron with Mars, copper with Venus, silver with the moon, and mercury with its namesake planet. Custom case measures 9.5 x 8.75 x 1.5 inches. In fine condition. ARTISTSB/052720.