Monday, January 18, 2016

year of the monkey
New Year's Eve Fireworks
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Archive

2016 : The Year of the Monkey
And postal deliveries were a bit funky
Empty envelopes in mailboxes across this fair land
Missing holiday flipbooks (made by hand)
If yours didn’t arrive, do write me a note
A replacement will be sent, be you near or remote.

Friday, January 1, 2016

the somersault holiday edition

It has been an autumn of palm trees, oceans, and museums. Thankfully, the museums have palm trees, so there hasn't been much of a need to choose between these focal points.

Then the holiday season arrived, and, with it, lights on palm trees. I was deeply amused.

The discovery of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Archives led to the parallel discovery that lights-on-palm-trees goes back at least to the thirties:

As do any number of other jolly holiday traditions:

Meanwhile, I also discovered the French National Library Archives, except, being French, they call it Bibliothèque nationale de France, and all of the databases are listed and indexed in French. I neither speak nor read French. However, there were illustrated comic books! With build-it-yourself-flip-books! My ignorance of French was not about to stand in my way of antique flip-books.

So, combining an Ansel Adams Christmas Show ("Santa's Circus") from Los Angeles, with a somersaulting top-hatted acrobat from France, the holiday edition 2015-2016 came to be.

The pages were reformatted, cleaned, and laid out in Photoshop and InDesign, and printed commercially. This was a larger edition than in years past, encompassing recipients from both sides of the Atlantic and stretching across to the Pacific, so I used more industrial equipment, as well. It was a good excuse to learn how to use a Challenge paper cutter (without losing a finger) and a drill press (likewise).

Each page was cut down to strips, then each strip separated into frames.

Booklets were then collated, and sewing holes drilled.

It became apparent that a blank spine was simply a spine waiting for its next shining opportunity:

The booklets were sewn into their folded wrappers:

And somersaulted into the world, carried by USPS circus stamps. Happy new year!