On August 17th, two weeks from today, author John Reed's book Tales of Woe will be hitting stores with two of my illustrations in it. Put out by MTV Press, the book will be available online (Amazon) and at major retailers like Barnes & Nobles and (I'm told) Urban Outfitters. This is my first major print gig, so it's something to be excited about.
Woe is a thoroughly depressing book of true stories about terrible things happening to ordinary people. Here's the blurb:
"True stories of totally undeserved suffering. Spectacularly depressing. Nobody gets their just deserts. Crushing defeats. No happy endings. Abject misery. Pointless, endless grief.
No lessons of temperance or moderation. No saving grace. No divine intervention. No salvation.
Sin, suffering, redemption. Thats the movie, thats the front page news, thats the story of popular cultureof American culture. A ray of hope. A comeuppance. An all-for-the-best. Makes it easier to deal with the worlds miseryto know that theres a reason behind it, that itll always work out in the end, that people get what they deserve. The fact: sometimes people suffer for no reason. No sin, no redemptionjust suffering, suffering, suffering. Tales of Woe compiles todays most awful narratives of human wretchedness. This is not Hollywood catharsis (someone overcomes something and the viewer is uplifted), this is the katharsis of Ancient Greece: you watch people suffer horribly, and then feel better about your own life. Tales of Woe tells stories of murder, accident, depravity, cruelty, and senseless unhappiness: and all true.
The Tales: strange, unexpected, morbidly enticing. Told straightwith elegance, restraint, and simplicity. The design: a one-of-kind white text on black paper, fluidly readable, and coupled with fifty pages of full-color art."
I did illustrations for the stories "Pop Gun" and "Crime Scene Centerfold." The story for "Crime Scene Centerfold" was particularly disturbing (you'll have to read it to see what I mean). But John was a great author to work with; reasonable, patient, and, even when the book got delayed over a year, he put the artists first and paid us all on time. Which is incredibly decent in the current economy, where freelancers are getting stiffed left and right. So John, your book may be about terrible things, but you yourself are actually a pretty great guy. Thanks.
Most of the illustrations are available online here, mine are the first two (my name is on 'em). Apparently I was shipped an advance copy of the book but they sent it to Connecticut (since, at the time I worked on them, three years ago, I was living there) so I still haven't seen it in person yet. Hopefully it looks good. When the 17th rolls around, check it out at Barnes & Noble, ask your local bookstore to carry it, and if you're interested in pre-ordering, B&N currently has it at the discounted price of $13.50 (down from $20) currently. BALLIN'.
And, just a reminder -- I will be at PHILADELPHIA ALTERNATIVE COMIC CON this Sunday, August 8th from 12 - 6 PM. It is being held at The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. in Philly, and I will be sharing a table with my beau Robin Enrico and the magical Catherine Peach. If you are in the Philly area, please drop by! <3
I'm still pretty jazzed about the new works-in-progress Twelfthgecko Press Blog: