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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Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2003. Hardcover. Number 225 of 250 numbered copies, signed by the author, writer of the foreword, and designer and illustrator. It is a humorous and rather irreverent retelling by Jack Ketchum of "an ancient, yet always timely tale." The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose. The surviving work is dated to about 200 BC, but the fables are likely much more ancient [Wikipedia]. In this tale, a little mouse unexpectedly falls into the hands of a magician, who transforms the mouse into a young girl who becomes a daughter to him and his wife. It recounts their attempts to find a suitable god for her to marry before they realize that she should be transformed back into a mouse and marry the King of the Mice. With original wood engravings by George Walker that were impressed directly onto handmade Japanese gampi paper from the original wood blocks. The text is printed with Linotype Granjon type on Zephyr Laid paper. Bound in a gray cloth portfolio with a brown leather tie that evokes a mouse's tail. Housed in a gray cloth clamshell box with light blue edges. A charming book in fine condition. Measures 6.25 x 9 inches. Unpaginated [about 18 pages plus illustrations]. PRI/050922. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2014. This is a welcome reissue of one of Pat Sweet's most inventive miniature works. "Welcome to Hell" comprises twelve pieces of Hellish ephemera that play with some of the images and ideas of the infernal regions from popular culture. The result is a surprisingly humorous and engaging production. Pat described it as one of her most fun projects ever. She writes: "Most religions have discarded the idea of a retributive afterlife, but the idea remains in the popular consciousness as folk belief. Images of old-time Hell are much more common than those of Heaven: Dante invented a whole complex gradation of torments for an exactly sorted list of sins. But grinning devils with pitchforks continue to poke burning sinners, and Satan continues to offer shady your-soul-for-your heart's desire deals in folk tales and legends." The items are stored inside a shopping bag labeled "Welcome to Hell." Your goody bag from Hell includes: Welcome To Hell! (with FAQs! - for example, "Am I really here for all of eternity?" "Yes") A Gallery of Hell (Hell in famous paintings) Visitor's Book (Yes, some people get to leave) Hellhounds of the Underworld (Hell has a surprising number of dogs) Go To Hell (a board game for sinners of all ages) Devil Cards (collect 'em all!) Seven Deadly Sins Post Cards ( by Bruegel) Hotel Grand Pandemonium dinner menu (Annual Famous Last Meals Banquet),an extra gameboard, Hellmouth Pop-up Cards (three thrilling maws) Maps of Hell (maps of Dante's Hell). Also included is a complimentary fan - Hot Enough For Ya? - with picture of devil's head - not that it would do much good. The bag is 3 x 2 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches. The items in the bag vary in size but are all miniature. In fine condition. PRI/060121. Fine.
New York: Béatrice Coron, 2022. One of 99 copies. An inventive set of cyber related tarot cards from artist Coron and writer Stern. There are 22 cards plus a card with the user manual that describes how the set can be used. The instructions state: "For MEDITATION, you can study the vanities and follies of humans nature. Please see the 1440 AD OS. For DIVINATION, you must be certified to read the hidden meanings of fate. Please contact a magus, shaman or warlock for instruction and apprenticeship. For all other purposes, such as paradigm shifting, game changing, inventing the future, and causing disruptions of all kinds, we make no guarantees. You AGREE not to hold this tarot deck liable for any surprises." The cards are boldly printed in black, orange, and yellow. Each card has a black skeletal figure that illustrates the term on that card, e.g., online wanderer, hacker, influencer, gamer joystick, cyber security, troll. Each card is 3.3 x 2.16 inches. The deck is housed in a white box that is signed and numbered by Coron. Drawn in Illustrator and printed by Moo. In fine condition. PRI/051622. Fine.
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.
Sutton Mandeville, England: Perdix Press, 1978. Softcover. One of 100 copies printed. Seventy were for the fourth exchange of the Society of Private Printers and thirty for private circulation. A charming small collection of 16 verses that were taken from the Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book of 1955, compiled by the nursery rhyme scholars Iona and Peter Opie. The pages are sewn into light cream wrappers with the title and decoration in blue on front cover. Hand set in 10 point Bembo and printed on a Columbian press by Walter Pattridge. In fine condition. 2.5 x 4.5 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/112717. Fine.