Jennifer Wen Ma is making a monograph covering her first decade of work. What kind of stuff can readers expect to find inside? Art, installation, fashion design, drawings, performance, and meditations on experimental video, culled from years of international exhibitions and, most recently, her work as a member of the core creative team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics (!!). The finished book will be a work of art in its own right, featuring nearly 200 pages of full-color imagery, and published in both Chinese and English. We’re thrilled to have her bringing that full-color to our Project of the Day.
Sweets & Bitters Quarterly is a seasonal mini-cookbook. Each issue features a collection of easy-to-follow recipes, accompanied by photo essays and some pretty stellar design. I guess you could say: “It looks good enough to eat”? Because it’s definitely looking good as our Project of the Day.
Pages from My Memory Map, an illustration book by Alice Chiang.
Many of you know the story by now. A team of eight writers and journalists, after being unexpectedly laid off, rally together to create a one-shot magazine about creative destruction. They are calling it Tomorrow, and it will be complicated, sexy, and weird — filled to the brim with the “kinds of things that might just get you fired.” Sounds fresh! Sounds like our Project of the Day.
"Hello, I’m Kevin Kelly and this project is a bit odd," begins the project description for The Silver Cord, a techno-epic graphic novel. Inspired by some out of body experiences that Kevin had as a kid, the story explores an afterlife filled with intangible beings in a fantasy angelic realm. The first half of the story is completed (and available for free!) but to find out what happens in the end, backers must pledge toward the completion of the second, concluding book. We’re casting our vote in its favor by making it our Project of the Day.
All Together Now is a book collecting narratives, interviews, and photographs of some of the most notable women making music today. Compiled over two years on the road by Audra Marie Dewitt, it features names you might recognize like Corin Tucker, Exene Cervenka, Amanda Palmer, and Peaches, as well as some unsung heroes like Jean Knight and Pamela Z. But we’re singing it loud and clear as our Project of the Day.
John O’Marra, creator of the kid’s book Chocolate Chips & Rocket Ships, has been soliciting artists to illustrate his poems, then posting the results to his project blog. We’re sort of partial to this one, by Kai Carpenter, for the poem Melee:
There’s Robots in the castle,Adorable. Check out the rest at his project page.
They must have swam the moat.
How’d they get past the pirates,
On their U.S. Navy boat?
Vikings ride lobsters,
Romans fight mobsters,
And King Tut parachutes.
Historical accuracy at playtime?
Not my strongest suit.
Howler is a new magazine about soccer. It will be big, glossy, and packed with original writing and “the most striking art and design you’ll find in any publication being made today.” (That’s what they said, but we believe them.) Editors Mark Kirby and George Quraishi boast a wealth of reputable experience between them having logged time at GQ, Condé Nast Portfolio, National Geographic Adventure, and HaperCollins (phew!), so we feel pretty safe in saying this is going to be great. And with talented contributors like Jonathan Wilson and Aleksander Hermon already on board… well, we just had to Project of the Day them.
"I am the master of bacon." Digestate, the food-and-eating themed comic anthology. Yes, please!
The Chicago IRL #4 telethon has begun! Phone lines are open. Operators are standing by! Also, submission deadlines for the fourth issue have been extended to Friday, June 15th. Please, help us make this the best issue yet. We hope to make this a super awesome double issue featuring more work than ever before.
Now’s your chance to get stickers, artist postcards, artist prints, lace jockstraps, TOTE BAGS!, and more to be announced in the next 30 days. Oh, and pre-order the next issue of course. There are also packages to get back issues, dinner dates, and ads!
Did somebody say “dinner dates”?
"Long time no speak. First, the good news: the book is finished."
That’s right — it’s official! Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design is finished, back from the printers, and ready to start shipping to backers. Are you as excited as we are? Or this dog is? We thought you might be. Read all about it in his most recent project update.
Once upon a time, a woman named Bethany Heck launched a Kickstarter to create an old-school style baseball scorebook. “The book is designed for beginners,” she wrote. “With lots of spaces to take notes on what you ate, who sang the national anthem, where you sat and what the weather was like…The goal is to make scorekeeping fun again.” Her project was a success, and quickly became an all-time staff favorite — we still remember fondly the day our books arrived. We spent all afternoon passing them around the office, crowing over the thoughtful details, the lovely design, and fantasizing about all the hot days (and hot dogs) ahead of us at the ball park. But Bethany wasn’t finished! Since then, she’s wowed us with The Eephus League of Baseball Minutiae, a site for fans to share everything from player nicknames to baseball cards and photographs, and now, the debut of The Eephus League Magazine:
Through this publication I hope to delve deeper into the nooks and crannies of our game, and preserve these small pieces of triviality lovingly and permanently. It is as much a tribute to the game itself as to its enormous and diverse group of fans. Much of the content inside was generated by passionate and talented fans, expressing their love of the game in infinitely unique and personal ways. Baseball touches each of us in different ways, and in turn the manners in which we express our connection are incomparable.With its impeccable design and spirited content, we predict many a future baseball fan to come. Be sure to check it out!
Writing is a solitary pursuit. Writers spend an indecent amount of time on their own, agonizing over the perfect word to turn a story while memoirists wrestle with not only words but the twists of memory; the good, the bad, and the lonely. I say this to tell you that you’ve not only given me money, you’ve given me company. You’ve elected me to be your personal storyteller of a time you are all intrigued by, a time you may very well have participated in. So you can bet I’m imagining you all here with me while I take this journey back to honor the place, and the time, in all it’s raging glory.
Solitude is overrated. Thank you. I’m honored.
—Adele Bertei is making us misty-eyed this morning in the first project update for her memoir, No New York: Adventures in the Town of Empty.
Poetry In Motion
Poems on the big screen? Motionpoems. — by Motionpoems
Angella Kassube and Jeff Saunders are a pair of poetry lovers who share a passion for animation. Their collaborative project, Motionpoems, marries the two by transforming the work of poets into interpretative, highly creative animated shorts. Their work has catapulted them into text books and film festivals worldwide, and this year they’ve been invited to create 15 animations to accompany the annual Best American Poetry anthology.
As the scope of traditional publishing is transformed by the unique challenges and opportunities presented by digital media, Motionpoems seek to straddle the divide, creating a place where audiences can experience both the classical feeling (poetry) and the distinctly modern (experimental animation). It’s a project with a simple, albeit ambitious, mission: to broaden the audience for poetry by expanding it’s appeal to our (eek) admittedly attention-deficit contemporary culture. Judging by the amount of time I’ve spent on their Vimeo channel over the last few weeks, I would consider them a success.
You can peruse a selection of my favorites below (don’t miss “RENDER RENDER”), and support the project here.
Life Before Kickstarter? 100% Funkless.
For his Kickstarter project The Funklet Jack Stratton dissected the stone-cold rhythms of percussion heros Bernarnd Lee Purdie, Zigaboo, Clyde Stubblefield, and more, translating their funk drumming into superfly visual graphs that depict how these beat masters crafted their grooves. As Jack says, “Drummers can dig the accurate transcriptions. Cats who don’t read standard notation can gain a better understanding of the classics. Beat-makers can program with these nuggets. Design cats’ll dig it.” Jack just posted the above nugget as his first Project Update, a “video from the vault” of Jack trying to raise funds in a pre-Kickstarter world. Seems like a pretty rough break.
You can grab a copy of Jack’s booklet, aka The Funklet, for 20 bones. And you can watch Jack dance, aka funk the funk out, for free. (Spoiler alert: 2:30-2:53 is The Jump Off.)