Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Illos: Stand on Zanzibar (2009)

I'm currently working with Centipede Press on their reissue of Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, which has been a big project, but very fulfilling. I have a bit of work to go, but I wanted to share some of the comp "illustrations" that I've been doing for the project. They probably will be modified slightly here and there, but overall I'm feeling pretty good about them.

Written in the late 1960s, SoZ is rife with themes of overpopulation, hypercapitalism, eugenics, and information overload - all stuff that is quite relevant today. The book was a groundbreaking work of science fiction when it was released, but visually I wanted to create a decidedly non-sf (or at least a non-traditional sf) look for the pieces, using a lot of photomontage and collage techniques, keeping in mind a mid-century feel. I found that a lot of the images were feeling quite techno-religious (is it just me?), which I think fits quite well.

A lot of the textures were from scanned sections of b/w photography that had been printed in photography annuals. Because of the printing process, there's lots of nice, juicy halftone gradients to work with. Makes everything feel a bit gritty and moody, I think.

Anyway, I'll post further designs and the final book when it is released.