Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,
and some few are to be chewed and digested.
Dirty Jeans & Mudslide Hymns,The Tiki Bar Is Open,
and Master Of Disaster by John Hiatt
The Sinking Of The Titanic by Gavin Bryars
Forfeit/Fortune and Reservoir Songs by Crooked Fingers
Combat Rock by The Clash
Rock Art & The X-Ray Style by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros
Industrial Desert by Demdike Stare
Grit by Martyn Bennett
The Dawn Of The Dickies by The Dickies
Ladies and Gentleman of the internet, I am proud to present my second asemic book; “Pabulum”
This second book continues with the asemic script established in ‘Four Fools,’ but also introduces several new writing systems – some with definite links to the original and others that provide counterpoints to the narrative possibilities in the first book.
Please let me know what you think…
My second asemic book is in the final stages of completion and will be ready very soon. I have been working on this periodically throughout the year and it has taken quite a few different turns along the way. I decided not to blog about this whilst it was in progress as it would have been very fragmented, and I wasn’t sure at times whether it would come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Well, it has, and I am now in the last throes of finalising the pagination and making a few last ‘tweaks’ to ensure the best visual impact. As a little teaser I can let you know that as well as my original asemic typeface, several new writing systems appear in this book, one of which can be seen in the test sampler below:
The first book ‘Four Fools’ went on sale almost a year ago, and has sold remarkably well considering the lack of any real marketing beyond this blog and a feature on The New Post-Literate, so I assume it’s largely from word of mouth. Thankyou to you all. The new book ‘Pabulum’ continues and develops the asemic theme, introducing the new elements throughout, sometimes in very subtle ways and abruptly in others.
Once again, the book will be published through the marvellous Blurb organisation and of course, will be priced to fit the most austere budget…
If you would like one, you’re going to have to make me smile! Drop me a comment (by clicking that little box next to the date under the title of this post) and tell me something amusing about yourself. In seven days I will choose my favourites and contact you directly for mailing details. Winners will be announced as an addition to this post and on Twitter! Spread the word…
Many thanks to all of you who commented here – it’s nice to know that I am not the only one with odd habits! As I said in the post, I only have two of these to give away and feel bad about disappointing people, so I will be sending something printy to everyone! Everyone has been emailed – just let me know when you get your pack!
Thankyou to everyone who joined in, especially Phoebe and Justin who will receive one of these prints (and a few other bits) in their mail soon!
My skull fixation has led me to some very interesting and often gruesome source material over the last few months, but I have recently come back around to the grandaddy of printed skeletons; The Dance of Death, a set of woodcut prints by Hans Holbein in the sixteenth century.
This set of forty one woodcut illustrations (more were added in later publication and are of doubtful origin) depict Death in a much more predatory guise than more modern characterisations. We often consider Death to be a patient scavenger, biding time and picking up the opportune mishap here and there. In Holbein’s time (1497-1543) Death is an active participant in everyone’s lives, and the series portrays Death (as a skeleton) almost as a drunken uncle at a wedding, leering over the shoulder of all who pose for a picture.
The first print shows the familiar medieval interpretation of the creation, and appropriately lacks any signs of impending mortality:
Ok, enough of the potted history – there are some excellent resources on the interweb and I have included some links at the end of this post – I am fascinated by these images not only for the skulls, but also for the craftsmanship. I have scanned these and enlarged them deliberately to allow for detailed viewing, but these woodblocks were delicately crafted at just over two and a half inches, that’s a tiny 65mm!
You can see the full set of images and get more factual information on a variety of websites, including
Black Mill Tapes Volumes 3
by Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services
Elegy for Beach Friday by Bee Mask
Elemental by Demdike Stare
And The Opera Circuit by Micah P.Hinson
Death Waltzes and Other Imaginational Funerary Rites
by Eric Wallack
The Lumineers by The Lumineers
Signs and Signifiers by J.D. McPherson
On the Endless Golden Skyway by The North Sea
Venice Shoreline Chris by Chris Murray
Poetry of the Deed by Frank Turner
F**k All The Perfect People by Chip Taylor & The New Ukranians
Apologies, I Have None by London