Oakland, CA: The Prototype Press, 2015. Hardcover. Number 23 of 75 copies signed by the author and artist. Kirk Lombard is self-described as a small fish enthusiast, writer, tour guide, teacher, musician, actor, inveterate blogger, raconteur, commercial fisherman, puppet master, tenor, baseball historian, and…champion eel fisherman. He is the author of The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast. His blog was called The Monkeyface News. From the press website: "From the dank holes and fetid shores of Kirk Lombard's mind comes a deeply strange book, part memoir, part how-to, and part poetry, all teaching of his dealings with learning how to catch -- and use to its full potential -- the storied Monkeyface Eel from in and around the shores of the San Francisco Bay." This was the first publication issued by The Prototype Press. The author describes how to fish for the monkeyface eel, how to tan an eel skin, and offers recipes for cooking eel. The book is printed in three colors on Somerset Book Paper from Monotype Hess Old Style and hand-set Libra types. The title page and Parts I & II are foil-stamped; the illustrations are printed relief from linoleum carvings done by Leighton Kelly. The cover is orange cow leather and green handmade paper from Twinrocker. Title in gilt to spine. The paper bears the watermark of Shotwell, as well a fishing hook, added specially for the project.There is a separate booklet of appendices of poems by Lombard. It was printed on paper handmade by the publishers with the help of Shotwell Paper Mill in San Francisco. The book and appendices booklet are in a red sleeve printed in black with "The First Edition of Notorious Eelman Kirk Lombard's Me, Myself, and the Monkeyface Eel." In fine condition. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. 52 pages in length including text, foreword, introduction, and afterword. Fine.
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"Tranquility" Southern MD: Prototype Press, 2021. Hardcover. Number 13 of 50 copies. A finely printed edition of M.F.K. Fisher's culinary classic about oysters, originally printed in 1941. Head of the Prototype Press, Mark Sarigianis, first encountered Fisher's book at the Mills College Library in CA and was entranced. He says: "Even though it was written in 1941, I was immediately struck by the passionate 'foodie' sensibilities with which she waxed poetic about oysters. In fact, she made any modern writer of the subject seem incredibly boring. A serendipitous connection led me to be able to ask M.F.K. Fisher's daughter, Kennedy Golden, directly for her permission to print the work." Sarigianis hired Martin Mazorra, a Brooklyn based artist with work in collections around the U.S., to create engaging anthropomorphic linocuts to illustrate the text. His playful illustrations pair nicely with Fisher's often humorous observations, such as this one: "An oyster will taste like what the taster expects, which of course depends on the taster. Myself, since I was seventeen I have expected all oysters to be delicious, and with very few exceptions they have been. In the same way, some people wait, if they manage to swallow these shellfish at all, to gag more or less violently. And they gag" (page 28). In addition to recipes accompanied by witty observations and commentary, Fisher includes chapters on the life of an oyster, people who have died from eating them, flavors of oysters depending on region, the making of pearls, personal oyster anecdotes, possible aphrodisiac qualities of an oyster, appropriate drinks to accompany a meal of oysters, and more. Bound by the press in quarter white goatskin with handmade gray paper covered boards and silver title to spine. Clean and bright. Printed in Monotype Goudy Light with Windsor Elongated typeface for the blue headlines on custom paper from the Saint-Armand paper mill. The paper used for the binding and box were also produced by the Saint-Armand paper mill. Housed in a box covered in handmade white paper with a detachable magnetic lid. Issued with a custom oyster shucking knife, stamped with the title of the book and author, which can be used to assist with opening the lid of the box housing the book. 76 pages. PRI/031423. Fine.