WIP Lovecraft's Journal. Telegram for you, sir.

Lovecraft’s Journal is coming along nicely! Slow, but continued progress is being made. I should be able to show images soon of the first prototype for an artifact that is discovered in the story. This is by far the hardest book I’ve worked on, partially because it’s huge and has dozens of different pieces, but also because it’s much more than a book. The way I envision this project once it’s finished is more of an experiential discovery than just a read. What does that mean, exactly?

Imagine, if you will, receiving a package with a somewhat archaic sounding letter from a very old friend. You remember them being of less than sound mind and that they passed, unremarkably, many years ago. You open up this dusty and ancient looking box, careful not to damage it and discover a plethora of stained old pages within. There are letters from professors at prestigious universities and telegrams from an expedition you’d never even heard about. Carefully handling the crinkly old pieces of paper, you begin to read…

You look up at the clock in surprise as it strikes midnight and suddenly the shadows in the room seem much larger and malevolent than before. You’ve been reading for hours and didn’t even hear your better half when they said goodnight. Oh dear!

But you can’t stop. You can’t put it down. For there’s a journal from that long ago expedition and you’ve been flipping through the pages, reading the scrawls from Miskatonic University’s Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Tyler Freeborn. What was it that he discovered? Was he slowly going mad?

You mark your page and reach deeper into the box. Below the journal are a pile of sketches and maps and newspaper clippings, all stained from age and scribbled profusely with arcane notes. In an envelope are dozens of small pieces of some letters or notes of some kind…all torn and burned at the edges. What the hell are these?

Beneath this, you feel something lumpy wrapped loosely in a dank old piece of burlap and tied with twine. Hanging from the twine is a tag with something you can barely read….warning.

This is what I mean by experiential. You’re part of the story, you need to piece it together and try to figure out what all these things mean. Are they connected somehow or really just the ravings of a lunatic?

A telegram from the book, printed for Art Attack 2018.

A telegram from the book, printed for Art Attack 2018.

Posted on January 6, 2019 and filed under Books.

Lovecraft's Journal, my most ambitious book project yet!

Several years ago, I started making books with the help of a Jerome Book Arts Grant and the MN Center for Book Arts. The Airship, a digitally enhanced letterpress graphic novel, was my first endeavor and has been collected by numerous university libraries and museums all over the country.

Since then, I’ve created two more books. My second, American Manifesto, was made with help from a MN State Arts Board Grant and received a design award from the AIGA. It’s a book that tips its hat to printers and activists of the past by calling US citizens to action on our country’s concerns. My third and most recent book, Mister F, is a mini-book created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and is designed to vend from a customized vintage cigarette machine.

I’ve wanted to make books since I was a kid, and have had a fantastic idea percolating for a long time. Earlier this year finally began to set the wheels in motion and start making this dream a reality.

I grew up reading H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe; loving the gothic settings, creepy forests and unnamed horrors hiding in the shadows. Lovecraft’s weird fiction and otherworldly monsters stimulated my creativity so much that I felt I owed it to myself to pay homage to the author whose stories that brought me so much joy as a youth.

Last February, I rented a cabin in Wisconsin for a week so I could work without distraction to plan the timeline, plot out the details and start my writing process. The more people I talked to about my idea and upon hearing their positive feedback and encouragement, the more it cemented my desire to see this come to fruition. Plus, it made me feel accountable to everyone I told. So now, I’m letting you in on the secret, too.

Lovecraft’s Journal is the working title of this piece and is anticipated to be larger and much more complex than all three of my existing books combined. It will be an journal written by Lovecraft himself about an expedition of the staff at Miskatonic University to the Siberian steppe in search of a rumored ancient cult. The expedition finds something and after that, well, without giving anything away, all hell breaks loose. The journal will include all sorts of found objects; aged newspaper clippings, telegrams, letters, and notes that Lovecraft assembled into his journal to prove to you this horror is real.

There are so many printed pieces to this project that, to be honest, it is a little overwhelming, but I’m ecstatic about my progress. I’ve even created a language, nicknamed Cthulic after Lovecraft’s quintessential monster which is a translation from English, to Russian, to Glagolitic (the oldest known Slavic alphabet) which I’ve then tweaked to be of the same visual style as what’s found in Siberia. It’s all very mysterious, I know, but I don’t want to give too much away.

My goal is to Kickstart this project in the new year, so stay tuned, as I’d love to have your support! I intend to create the aged letterpress version as well as an inexpensive trade edition where all the art has been scanned and full-color printed. There should be something for everyone’s price point including coasters, stickers, all the way up to limited numbered and possibly leather bound editions. I also intend to resin cast portions of a relic that the expedition finds and this will be aged to look and feel like it’s hundreds of years old.

I welcome you to join me on this journey! You can follow Angel Bomb on Instagram at @angelbomb to get updates or just follow the hashtag on Instagram #lovecraftsjournal.

Just a little sample of what’s to come!

Just a little sample of what’s to come!

Posted on September 21, 2018 .

Angel Bomb is Looking Good

Recently Evereve, a brand of stylish women's clothing asked to do a photo shoot at Angel Bomb so they could create a special Valentine's Day video. This is what they came up with and boy, did it turn out great! Becka and her son took to the studio like they belonged here and they made it look like printing a run of cards on Kaiser, our Heidelberg Windmill, is both fun and easy. The studio never looks this good, but part of that is because I'm generally not clean shaven and since I work with ink on greasy old machinery, I rarely wear such finery. And I don't sit on the floor because I know how dirty it is. But it's fun to see what good photographers and videographers can do to make the studio look so awesome! 

Yeah, that floor is kinda dirty.

Yeah, that floor is kinda dirty.

 

 

Posted on April 1, 2016 .

The Future As It Happened

Recently we were contacted by Wired U.K. to develop some icons for a special section they were running that featured thoughts and letters from the future. Featuring writers like Cory Doctorow, Margaret Atwood, and Marcus du Sautoy, a professor of mathematics at The University of Oxford, how could we say no? Wired contacted Angel Bomb after seeing our new logo on a design blog and wanted icons in the same vein; minimalist, futuristic and cool. Seeing them in the magazine as well as animated in their award winning app is quite an honor. We'd love to do more illustrations for pubs. C'mon, bring it!

Posted on June 26, 2014 .

Design In 7 Video

toddthyberg.jpg

Recently, Todd was asked to give a seven minute talk by the University of Minnesota's College of Design where he studied to become a graphic designer. He spoke along with six other design professionals about how they got to where they are and shared stories from their careers. Todd's career path has been an unusual and very non-linear one and said, "I think it's helped me to grow not only as a designer, but as a person. I chose to speak about this, to inspire students to try new things and experience different viewpoints. One of the coolest things was that I received an illustration of myself created for the event by the talented Max Lindorfer." Check out the video here, it's only 7 minutes.

Posted on June 3, 2014 .