The Arte Mephitic
The Arte Mephitic, a dark and lyrical cautionary tale told over 52 rhyming quatrains of iambic pentameter, provides a grim, vivid, magickal account of a man's search for life eternal, and the depths to which he would plumb to attain it.
(Edit: All backers will have their name included on our roll of honours, printed in the both the PDF and hardback copy of the book.)
'A viscous Faustian nectar'
'Rapier wordcraft...linguistic calligraphy of existential dread'
'...a desiccated bouquet of fetid ferocity'
- Julie Rauer, Author of "Bezoar Thirst", and Co-Founder of Art Science Complex
The Art of The Arte Mephitic
The accompanying illustrations have been designed to mimic the crude woodcuts that often illuminated the popular chapbooks of the 17th and 18th centuries. The dark concepts of the story are given more space to glower and menace by hiding behind the less-sophisticated visual vocabulary of the penny press. Initially, each image will be cut in lino and printed by hand in an attempt at authenticity.
The Book Physical
The book itself will be a hardback, cloth bound book, slim at 120mm x 180mm with 50 pages and a gilt title with sigil. At the higher levels, a lino-block book plate will be included. Even higher, and we'll include some mock-ephemera (newspaper article, photographs, notes, scraps...), detailing the history of the chapbook, where it was found, who reprinted it, and the effects it had on those who sought it. We want to make something beautiful for you.
As well as drawing inspiration from the works of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, we’ve been using the 1882 publication Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century by John Ashton as an expert guide to crafting an authentic mock chap-book. The book is a Victorian’s look on the penny-press of yesteryear, as well as a meaty reprinting of over 100 chapbooks. We were particularly taken with the look and feel of The History of Dr. John Faustus, God’s Judgement on Blasphemers and The Witch of the Woodlands. Russell has also used the book as a style-bible, meticulously designing every aspect of the illustrations to keep within referenceable precedents.
£2,700 - Bookmark - STRETCHED
All backers receiving a physical book will also receive a leather bookmark featuring The Gilded Boar logo:
£3,500 - Digital Mini Comic "The Blue Pearl"
Wow! You caught us on the back foot...but in a great way. Thank you! For the next stretch goal, we've got a digital mini comic (coming packaged with The Arte Mephitic PDF all backers will receive) planned featuring a Mephitic tale which runs tangentially to The Arte Mephitic. It's called "The Blue Pearl" and we've just whipped up a teaser cover:
And here are a few samples of Russell's webcomic Gateway City a taster of what's in store! Check back soon for updates!
£4,000 - Physical Mini Comic "The Blue Pearl"
If we reach 4k, we'll include a physical version of the mini comic with every hardback pledge. Let's do it!
£4,300 - Digital Annotated Making of The Arte Mephitic
If we reach 4.3k, we'll produce a PDF "making of" document, with early drafts of the poem, sketches, and annotations explaining the process of the project, the inspiration behind our choices and a look behind the scenes.
£5,250 - Bookmark Upgrade
This weekend, we discovered an amazing company situated just across the way in Sussex called Lionheart Pewter Replicas. They create the most amazing, beguiling, beautiful, quality works and we would love to commission from them leather bookmarks affixed with a small, pewter Gilded Boar logo (yes, we know pewter isn't gold...but we'd need to stretch quite a bit further for that!). We really want to share their craftsmanship with you but will need to stretch a bit further to make it happen. We think these little, works of art will really complement The Arte Mephitic. If we can reach our goal, all physical copy backers will receive one of these beauties along with your book.
Risks and challenges
Although our project is not without some risks or challenges, overall they are relatively miniscule. The poem itself is complete as are the designs for the illustrations. The only work remaining is to transfer the designs to lino block, cut and print them and then compile the page layouts for press. The only foreseeable risks are time, but we feel we have given ourselves ample time to complete all of the remaining tasks and hope to be finished well before May. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)