Listening to Peter Evans Quintet’s “…One to Ninety-Two” (a sprightly reinvention of Mel Tormé’s “Christmas Song“), a suspicion besets the mind that Peter Evans is not exactly the trumpeter he professes to be. From the sound of a few tracks on Ghosts (2011), he could be Richard D. James and/or Tom Jenkinson taking a crack at free jazz. But weeks of intensive exposure to Ghosts will lead to the likeliest conclusion that beyond a trumpeter, Evans is a renegade computer scientist. I’ve formulated the conspiracy: the Quintet he fronts comprises four androids of Evans’ engineering (pseudonyms: Carlos Homs, Tom Blancarte, Jim Black, and Sam Pluta), endowed with the most advanced musical AI to date. Ghosts is thus a landmark and hopefully watershed album, the first of a genre I’ve dubbed “proto-SingularityJazz.” (Note: Not entirely certain that Ray Bradbury or William Gibson haven’t already coined the term.)
To take that fossilized pop structure and recast it in a disaffected temper could easily be an exercise in lofty, unprovocative irony. Fortunately, Year of the Dragonfly has little interest in a deliberately blasé performance. Instead, the newly-minted Denver duo works castoff pop scraps into lush hypnagogic progressions throughout the length of their debut LP. By blasting apart the bones of familiar forms with an uneasy vapor, Pupil (Tinyamp, 2012) shakes pop loose from its sequined exoskeleton and, at its zenith, splits itself open to birth fresh methods of songcraft.
As a single person, I hope that my feelings and thoughts alone maintain some sort of consistency. But I feel the film comes first. Unless I’m being commissioned to create a piece, I just don’t think I should be designing a poster for a film unless I truly love it. And so far, that’s always been the case. Every poster I design truly is a love letter to the film itself, inspired by the feelings, shapes, and colors that I took away from at least some part of the film that really stuck with me. I usually try to tap into the parts of the film that only a true fan would really appreciate. Those parts are usually the parts that really stick with me. The pieces below the obvious outer layer. It’s fun to incorporate those elements and see people get excited about spotting it.
- Artist Adam Rabalais on film, art, and inspiration.
Designs by Jacob van Loon
Ben van Loon, Managing Editor at Anobium Literary, shares the story of his Publication company, which is currently planning it’s fourth release. Anobium saw a strong first year, and recently launched it’s online section, already boasting some great interviews and commentary. I often design for the publication, and we have decided to list a special offer for those interested in reading more. See the end of the post.
“In January of 2011, I started my own publishing business — Anobium Books. I was fed up with the morass of so-called literary journals staffed by editors and writers who have somehow made a business of catering to mediocrity. The books and journals produced by some of the more notable American independent publishers are often crammed with self-aggrandizing prose, irrelevant poetics, and plagued by cheap, over-the-counter looks. I believe books should be judged by their covers, and if the title is written in Papyrus, it’s not going to be a book worth reading. Who wants to read poems about crab apples, anyway?
I had $100 to start my business, so I bought a domain name, posted an ad on Craigslist, and started assembling a team of like-minded people. I wanted to publish books with unique, experimental content and compulsively intelligent design. I wanted to publish books that I myself would want to buy. Finding good writing is a unique challenge, but once you get the writing, the real challenge is finding a way to arrange the whole piece into a cohesive, aesthetically-conscious whole.
I’ve always been the writer and my brother has always been the artist. We’ve always shared similar sensibilities when it came to music, art, and film, so I decided to ask my brother to work with me on the design for Anobium, as well. I knew he would ‘get it’ without much need for conferencing or convincing. Immediately, he started getting to work and now, over a year later, Anobium is humming to a rhythm all its own. It has a distinct character, attitude, and appeal, and much of this would not be possible without Jacob’s artistic influence. He has designed the covers for all three releases thus far and he is obsessively scrutinous with maintaining our continued aesthetic standards. I’m doing everything I can to facilitate the publication of Good Books, and he’s doing everything he can to make sure the books look good. It’s a strong system.
Printing books in a digital age is a strange pursuit. We are currently working on creating digital counterparts to our physical releases, though ultimately, we believe in the artifactual importance of printed literature. This is why we so strongly emphasize the aesthetic importance of our books. We treat our books as more than just words on a page. We treat them like handheld works of art.”
We have provided exclusive discount purchase links below. Normal price for Anobium releases are $12 ($10 + $2 for shipping). If you purchase through this post, you can buy the releases for $10 flat. Shipping is on us. All money goes to support future Anobium projects.
Anobium: Volume 1 (5”x7”, 84pp., perfect bound, laminated matte cover, 55lb. b&w stock.)This was our first real publishing project, and it came together surprisingly well. It’s 84 pages, features 19 writers, and includes an interview and never-before-published short story by Chicago great, Joe Meno (author of Hairstyles of the Damned, Demons in the Spring, Boy Detective Fails, and more). There is a definite dark mood in Volume 1, but on the other hand, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. NewPages.com said of it: “Anobium embraces and celebrates the strange and surreal. […] [And] should satisfy those readers that enjoy plumbing the outer limits of literature.”
Anobium: Volume 2 (5″x7″, 104pp., perfect bound, laminated gloss cover, 60lb. b&w stock.)This is our third and most-recent release. Volume 2 features an essay by a newly-licensed mortician, a primer and two selections from outsider-artist Blaster “Al” Ackerman, and stories and interviews with Chicago-based novelists Patrick Somerville (author of The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, and more) and Jesse Ball (author of The Way Through Doors, and more). Two writers from V1, Jonathan Greenhause and Grahman Tugwell, also make appearances here. This piece also features nine, full-page b&w paintings by Parisian artist Ivan de Monbrison.
Sebastian’s Relativity by Jonathan Greenhause (8”x8”, 42pp.)This was our second release and first single-author release. Greenhause is a New Jersey-based writer who creates strange, surreal, and often-comical prose-poems. Plastic dogs, Siamese-twin sisters, and philosophizing burritos make frequent appearances. Only 100 of these books were printed, and we have less than 10 left. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. And they’ll definitely be missed.
This is us in our own little corner of the Chicago Publisher’s Gallery.
Tonight, our Managing Editor, Benjamin van Loon (who had an interview with the Publisher’s Gallery in July), went to a meeting of the Chicago Literary Alliance. It’s a great group of people from a variety of Chicago-based publishing, writing, literacy and humanities programs, and will hopefully lead to some great connections and projects for Anobium.
Lots of HUGE news coming this weekend. Stay tuned.
Slow news day at Anobium.
- We are still receiving submissions for Volume 2! The window is wide open.
- Even though summer has come to a close, we still want to hand-deliver your copy of Volume 1. If you live on the north side of Chicago, check out our doorstep delivery program.
- …and with summer coming to a close, a lot of people are back in school. If you are enrolled in a Chicago metropolitan area school, you may qualify for a 20% discount!
- Anobium is going to be attending an upcoming meeting of the Chicago Literary Alliance! This portends great happenings for the future of Anobium.
- We’re getting closer to the release of Sebastian’s Relativity by Jonathan Greenhause. Stay tuned for updates and pre-order news.
Have a great week. Write on!