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New W. A. Dwiggins book! Athalinthia stories and pictures

Created by Bruce Kennett

The personal side of Dwiggins. Cool stories, published together for the first time. Tons of never-before-seen art, much in color.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Bindery
2 days ago – Tue, Sep 27, 2022 at 06:45:25 PM

Hello Everyone,

Given all that has happened with the pandemic over the past three years, I guess it was unrealistic for me to think that our Athalinthia project would not be affected in several ways. First it was a change in paper brand for the standard edition (although no change in quality) . . . and now this . . .

When the schedule was made this summer, we planned to print the book at the end of September, then F&Gs (folded and gathered signatures) would go the bindery for sewing and casing in, and bound books back to Penmor for mailing out at the end of October. However . . . I have just learned that the bindery has been ravaged by Covid and continues to be:

“Over a dozen key staff out every day with no sign that this is over — 2 weeks so far, with new cases every day, despite best practices for Covid control. And this during our peak season.”

As a result they have fallen behind in their production. There is no way to predict now when the standard books will be ready to mail out, but our best guess is late November at the earliest, or more realistically, December.

This does not affect the posters — which do not need to pass through the bindery to reach GO. As many of you will remember, posters do not qualify for media mail, so they could not ship with the books; instead they will go under separate cover, rolled in a tube and sent via first class mail within the US. Therefore the mailing of posters to US addresses will precede the mailing of standard books, and should happen as planned by the end of October. The people who ordered a deluxe, and those who live in Canada or other international locations, will not be a part of this initial poster mailing: they will have a poster included in the box that contains their book(s).

Nor does it affect the deluxes. The deluxe interiors, endpapers, and decorated cover papers will go directly from Penmor to Gray once the signatures have been folded and gathered.

I’m disappointed that we are seeing this delay, but doing everything I can to keep things moving forward as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Bruce

Afterword complete, spine revisions
16 days ago – Tue, Sep 13, 2022 at 10:44:25 AM

Greetings Everyone,

The afterword is all written, tons of pictures added, and the entire book has been proofread a second time by the ace copy editor and proofreader Doris Troy. We hope to print later in the month.

Meanwhile, Gray has ordered the goatskin from England and is looking forward to diving into making the first batch of deluxes once we are off press. We'll have one batch of 25 to send out in December, another in February, and a third in April.

Back in the fall of 2021, when I was laying out the book in pages, and choosing illustrations and deciding where to put them, I knew exactly how the front and back covers were going to look, but I struggled with the treatment of the book’s title on the spines. WAD always liked to have the spine type read horizontally, so that a reader never had to do a head-tilt to read the title. This practice of his resulted in lots of hyphenations, such as the narrow spine label for a 1917 book which ended up on nine lines as SON-  NETS   AND  OTH-   ER   LYR-   ICS    HILL-   YER, with all but one word hyphenated!

I tried all manner of combinations to see what I could do with ATHALINTHIA. 

My various attempts to hyphenate the main title.

But everything looked too busy and noisy to me. Nothing felt right. In the end, I decided to keep the spirit of horizontality with the title set in nice, visible Caledonia, set one letter per line, which would create a simple design with NO hyphens.

However, when I had my dummies all built and nested them among other WAD books . . . 

My original dummies shelved among a collection of WAD spines.

 they felt too “other” in appearance. I decided to re-visit the spine design, and to feature instead his hand-lettered artwork from the cover of the 1948 edition of The War Against Waak

(left) WAD’s handlettered artwork (center) New title design (right) deluxe spine

This new design uses two hyphens, on either side of LIN, and everything seems in good equilibrium. WAD’s lettering is flanked above and below by rows of his Caravan Decorative Units. This now provides a central piece of art that fills the width of the spine, just as WAD was fond of doing with so many of his own spine designs.

The author names at top and bottom are still in Metro, as before. (For the deluxe, I am having Michael Babcock set the names on his Linotype machine, so that Gray can hot-stamp those directly from Lino slugs onto the goatskin spines.)

For the standard edition, the previous design had a lavender background and green type, using colors that I eyedroppered from WAD’s gouache artwork for the scene shown on the front and back covers. This lavender-green combo worked fine with the large individual Caledonia capital letters, but lacked contrast when I brought in the new spine artwork. I next tried varying combinations of colors for background and type, but many did not have sufficient contrast for easy readability, or they lacked energy. The most successful of all these color schemes has the green for spine background, and black type, to give lively color and proper contrast, so that’s what we’ll use (with the colorful battle scene on front and back, as before).

These new spines feel much more akin to those surrounding them

I am very pleased with these changes and hope you are, too. Now, nested among the other WAD spines, the two books feel much Dwiggier!

Last call . . .
30 days ago – Wed, Aug 31, 2022 at 06:42:14 AM

Hello Everyone,

First of all, many thanks for completing your surveys. It helps get the information exactly right for shipment.

Second, orders are about to be closed. If you had meant to order a T-shirt or another copy of the book, today is the day to do it. After today, T-shirts and Series II deluxe books can no longer be ordered. A few standard books will be available for purchase later on, but at a higher price.

Thanks again for your help in getting this project off the ground!

Bruce

Backers list to be printed in book — Please read this note!
about 1 month ago – Sat, Aug 20, 2022 at 03:55:03 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Image proofs • Surveys
about 2 months ago – Thu, Aug 11, 2022 at 07:06:45 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm very pleased to have proofs back from Penmor for all the illustrations in the front 220 pages of the book. Everything looks great. Still working on the afterword.

Important: BackerKit tells me that 88% of you have completed surveys. For the remaining 12% of you . . . please do complete your survey so we can tidy up that housekeeping stuff. If you cannot *find* your survey, or never got one, please send me a message and I'll have one sent to you.

In case you want to mention it to friends, standard Athalinthia books, deluxe (series II) books, and t-shirts are still available for the general public to order. They can just go to the Kickstarter campaign page and click the link there.

Thanks,

Bruce

A small sampling of the color and b&w proofs for all illustrations in the seven Athalinthia stories. Just in from Penmor’s prepress department.