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!