BLACK JACK

The Black Jack Competition is now here!

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More Vinyl Approvéd



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Financial Times of London

A nice piece in The Financial Times on the jacket for Laurie Sheck's A Monster's Notes

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Well, the response to the Black Jack contest (see below) has been overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact that I have launched a mini-blog (Ben Pieratt deserves all the credit for the name)

BLACK JACKET MECHANICAL


All updates to the contest will hereby be posted on this companion blog- so check it for updates.

Two important facts:

1. The contest will close Monday the 7th of September.

2, And....the IMMENSELY TALENTED Barbara DeWilde and Helen Yentus have agreed to be judges (as well as Ioannis Mentzas, the Editor-in-chief of Vertical Press).

So check the above link for further news...


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Want BLACK JACK? The full set? For free?



Ok people- here's the deal: There are a lot of Black Jacks. A whole lot. Many, many volumes. Which is good- because Tezuka's Black Jack constitutes the greatest achievement in manga ever committed to paper. Seriously.

Choosing the colors for these many volumes has been a little spot of pure joy in the life of an otherwise beleaguered designer. I am a simple man (I know) and choosing the colors for this design (of which I am proud) brings me great satisfaction every time. But... I thought it might be fun to open up this process to the readership in order to see if any of you have any radical ideas vis a vis color: what colors look good together, what colors pop, what colors ring your own peculiar bell etc. So dust off your color theory books or just fly by the seats of your collective pants. Anyone, as they say, can be a winner.

Send me your ideas, and if I like your palette, and Vertical likes your palette, we will use it on a forthcoming volume of the Black Jack series and...(wait for it)...I will send you every single copy in the complete set. Yes, all the Black Jacks can be yours! (and maybe I can persuade the incredible folks at Vertical Books to throw in the three Dororos I designed as well? YES). Provisos below.

Here is the basic template. There are 5 colors to be decided upon- the four rectangles as well as the triangular flaps. The top rectangle, and center diamond are for art (to be determined later).


I am reserving the fluorescents for later use, so: nice try.

Can FEWER than five colors be used? Convince me.

Consider that, at most, these are printed 5c. Process color is preferred, but not mandatory.

The winner will get the first eight volumes up front, from me directly, and the remaining volumes when we are done printing them.

Yes, your co-design credit will go on that particular volume.

Send them to me at pmendelsund@randomhouse.com as jpgs.


I will post the best of the lot after I've received a sufficient number from you all.

Sound like fun? It does to me. Now go to it.

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(Update) Oh, they are starting to come in now...I've gotten several. Keep them coming! Here's a nice one inspired by a reader's morning coffee (I'm not going to post them all until, as I said, a sufficient number come in. This is just an amuse bouche):


Finally- some have asked about supplying PMS colors, and others have worried about cross-platform color-shift, to which I say: "worry not the details!" You can sketch these comps with a magic marker if you so like; you can send a patchwork quilt; you can use Illustrator, Quark, Etch-a-sketch, Lego, Lite-brite or fingerpaint. I asked for jpgs, but you can send a pdf, a tiff, or anything else if you prefer. Printing details can always be worked out later.

PPS. As an editor once said to me: "Always exceed your mandate." Here is an example sent in recently: Flaps are different colors, boxes similar colors. Break. My. Rules. Keep em coming!!!!




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Laurie Sheck Apologizes for Mai Lai


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Does everyone know about this site but me?

A journey round my skull. Not mine, but
this guy's.




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another LP approved...



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New Vinyl



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Chermayeff



A book, found in the gorgeous Cape Cod home of the Chermayeff family. I'm not sure the book's provenance, though it looks to be a catalog of designs for the Ballet Russe. A nice detail is the Chermayeff bookplate: "Address found in London telephone book." Thanks to the Konopasek-Shykind family for letting me browse.




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Emerson



"There are days which occur in this climate ... wherein the world reaches its perfection, when the air, the heavenly bodies, and the earth make a harmony, as if Nature would indulge her offspring ... and everything that has life gives signs of satisfaction ... To have lived through all its sunny hours seems longevity enough ... At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom falls off his back with the first step he makes into these precincts. Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredit our heroes. Here we find Nature to be the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance, and judges like a god all men that come to her."

Wi-fi makes the "Knapsack of custom" a bit harder to shrug off, but still ...

(I discovered a beautiful little edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays here in the house. It dates from the 1880's.)



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Books found in the vacation house


Classic
George Salter design.


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Some


This little book is a lovely Calvino-esque meditation on death. Each of the forty chapters posits an alternate afterlife; each post-life illuminates and underscores a different facet of our existence here on earth. The writing is whimsical and profound in equal measure. Pantheon decided to reissue it in hardcover. Here is the jacket I made on an extremely (four hours or so) short schedule. Go buy it- it's a wonderful read.



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