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.