Slightly Behind and to the Left

My first big project of 2010 was to do fifty customized book jackets for my dear friend, writer extraordinare Claire Light. Her first collection of stories, "Slightly Behind and to the Left" has just been released by Aqueduct Press, a daring small press dedicated to publishing challenging, feminist science fiction. Although Claire was thrilled with the creation of the book, she wanted a little more autonomy and something "special" to celebrate the covers, and thus, came up with the idea of making limited edition book jackets to wrapped around the book.

The concept for the cover image was to depict a seventeen year old Japanese American farmer boy in the strawberry fields of his home, circa 1940. The trick was to evoke alien abduction, the title of the main story in the book.

Here is the initial sketches for the cover image:


Which then led to the inking stage:

Once Claire signed off on the finished drawing, I did a little bit of Photoshop cleaning using my new Wacom drawing tablet (digital! gasp!), laid out the cover design text, and had polymerplates made by my goodly friends at Logos Design. From there, I had to rely upon the gracious generosity of my friend Maia de Raat of DandyLion Press to utilize her Vandercook Press at the last minute, since the job didn't fit well onto my C&P pilot.

And then we were on! It took about five hours total to crank out the whole run. But I think they are great....printed on recycled brown paper bags for that extra tactile, vintage agrarian look.

Claire is celebrating with a gonzo birthday party/book release event:

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Location: Socha Cafe
Street: 3235 Mission Street

Our collaborative letterpress project was also recently featured on Logos' blog! Check it out right here.