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:

Receipt of standard edition copies
3 months ago – Thu, Dec 15, 2022 at 01:18:49 AM

By now, copies of the standard edition should have been delivered to all of you who backed at that level. (Except for people who are expecting to receive a standard copy along with a deluxe, since those will be mailed together with deluxes, as Gray completes the deluxes.) If you backed at the standard level and have not yet received your copy of the book, please reply to this update and I'll get in touch with you by email so we can pursue tracking, etc. Thanks.

3 months ago – Tue, Dec 13, 2022 at 01:43:29 PM

As I mentioned earlier, Gray completed the first batch of the deluxes. Sylvia and I drove over to Maine on Sunday to get them in person. A long haul (4-1/2 hours each way) but well worth it. I am now numbering, signing, packing, and mailing the first twenty-five copies. These were scheduled to go out in December, so I'm delighted to be adhering to that timeline.

Gray has decided to make the remaining copies all in one go, rather than splitting them into second (February) and third (April) batches. He's asked that he be able to deliver them at the beginning of March and I told him that would be fine. This means the second round of Series I books will be delivered a week or two later than originally planned, but then all the others will ship out ahead of schedule.

Gray and his wife Chris Covert (a painter) live in a house they designed and built in the rural outskirts of a small Maine town called Warren. His shop is capacious, well-appointed, and well-organized. We were very fortunate to have him do this edition: he had already decided that he no longer wanted to do multiple-copy editions of this kind, but when I approached him and he found out the subject was Dwiggins, he agreed to take it on. While we were there Gray showed us his amazing collection of reggae music (45s, LPs, cassettes, and reel-to-reel), another collection of science fiction and fantasy, and another of fine press publications. I love seeing his rare combination of unbridled passion and commitment to the highest standards of hand craftsmanship.

Gray in his shop, with deluxes all packed and ready to go out the door.

We were very pleased with the quality of the brass die that I ordered from Owosso out in Michigan for the stamping of the spine. Deeply cut, with near-vertical shoulders, a dream to work with.

Laser-cut brass die for central spine stamping. Owosso made this from my copy photo of Dwiggins’s original hand-lettering, which he drew for the front cover of the 1948 Püterschein-Hingham edition of “The War Against Waak.”
Here’s the die mounted in Gray’s arming press, ready to stamp the next goatskin spine.

Another wonderful aspect of the spine is that the top and bottom names were cast in WAD’s Metro type by Michael Babcock, on his Linotype machine in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. This means that everything on the spine is pure WAD: the central portion is all his hand-lettering, plus some of his Caravan ornaments above and below, and the top and bottom names were made in the exact process for which Metro was originally designed. (Okay, one small detail for the sake of transparency: I drew the slanted double hyphens in ATHA  -LIN-  THIA.)

Short-measure slugs of Metro cast by Michael Babcock on his Linotype machine. I asked him to make multiples of each name, so that Gray would always have sharp, fresh letter forms for stamping.

I am thrilled with the way the deluxes look, and hope all of you deluxe backers will feel the same. I’m taking my time and packing them carefully.

The first few copies went out in the mail yesterday.

One other image from Gray’s studio that caught my eye. I'd say there’s been a whole lotta pasting goin’ on . . .

Bruce, over and out.

Possible idea
3 months ago – Tue, Dec 06, 2022 at 03:50:33 PM

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

First deluxes are completed
4 months ago – Sat, Dec 03, 2022 at 08:48:29 PM

Hello Everyone,

Gray had finished the first batch of deluxes! Although it is a nine-hour round trip to drive over there, in keeping with my desire to maintain direct, physical contact with everyone on the team, I'm going over to Gray’s studio in Maine on the 11th to pick them up in person. My partner Sylvia has generously offered to keep me company and share driving. 

We’ll read aloud as we often do on long car trips. Our current book is the WAD-designed Knopf edition of Thomas Mann’s The Black Swan but we’re almost finished with that; I have to pick out a couple more titles from the WAD bookshelf for us to take along. Robert Nathan is one of our most favorite WAD/Knopf authors but by now we have gone through all of his books. Plenty more to choose from, though.

When I am back from Gray’s I’ll pack deluxes and posters into the Priority Mail medium boxes and get those out to you. (And in some cases will include standard copies as well.) Given that there are twenty-five of these to do, with my carefully wrapping each book and then packing it with appropriate padding into the box, this is not something I wish to do in a hurry, and therefore I am not likely to pull this off in one day, so they'll be going out in the mail around the 13th or 14th. For US recipients that should mean delivery toward the end of the week, or Saturday. For international, I have no way to predict delivery times . . .

I’ve had very nice feedback from some who have already received their standard copies via media mail, and more books are arriving every day. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome. I hope as you dive into the stories, you will find the same pleasure and positivity in them that I do. And as always, thank you, each one of you, for helping to bring this book into the world. WAD must be very happy about this.

Books on the way
4 months ago – Sat, Nov 19, 2022 at 03:12:00 PM

Greetings All,

Sylvia and I drove over to Maine so that we could spend the day yesterday helping to wrap and ship out standard copies of the book to all of you who backed at that level (plus books and posters to backers outside the US). I am very pleased with the appearance of the lithowrap binding and Superior did a great job lining everything up.

Penmor set up an area in the pressroom where we could work comfortably, just as they did in 2018 when I was there for several days to help with packing and shipment of “W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design.” I delight in being in that building and feeling around me the quiet, competent energy of this crew that cares so much about doing work carefully, thoughtfully, efficiently. Quality and pride a daily part of life, not just slogans on their promotional materials.

With me in this picture is Jeff Richardson, who is the inside person on every job I do with Penmor. He takes care of the tiniest details of production once a project has entered the system and has a job ticket. I've worked with him for decades and love that he combines an enthusiastic and fun demeanor with an absolute steel-trap mind.

Packages will go out Monday via Media Mail to US addresses. Everything outside the US will go via US post office shipment. I'm grateful to one of the Canadian backers for alerting me to the aggressive fees/charges made by UPS to recipients, for incoming shipments from the US — we were able to change over to USPS so with luck all those packages will get to Canada without any “surprises.” Thanks, Chester!

Gray Parrot is still expecting to have the first batch of deluxes ready in December, so I'll drive over to his place in Warren to fetch them and will mail them out once I am back in Vermont. (It's a 4-hour drive each way to go to Penmor or to Gray, but I really like the personal contact.)

I hope each of you will be pleased when your book arrives. Let me know immediately if you have any issues or disappointments. And thanks again for helping to make this happen!!

Packing books in the pressroom workstation. That’s Penmor’s Jeff Richardson on the right. And yes, I'm wearing one of the new Athalinthia T-shirts — how could I not?! :-)