Monday, February 4, 2008


On Saturday we had the good fortune to trip over the Linden Postcard Show in St Kilda. This is an exhibition of over 2,000 smallish-size artworks which cover every room of Linden Gallery from floor to ceiling once a year. Anyone can enter (for a small fee) and the result is a truly eye-popping variety of work. Prizes are awarded, and I was delighted to find that my mega-talented friend and fellow comic art grrl Jo (Josephine) Waite (no website, but her work is on Facebook) had won a prize for the second year in a row for one of her beautiful insect girl watercolours. Jo's painting will appear on one of Linden's postcards. Congratulations Madame Jo!

The works are all for sale, mostly at very accessible prices. I was inclined to buy something, but was too overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of pictures, and the gallery closed for the evening before I could make up my mind. Many of my favourites (including Jo's winning entry) had already been snapped up, too, within just a few hours of the show opening.

On the variety theme (sort of), last week I received copies of the Canadian edition of Gatsby! The book is published over there by Penguin Canada, and they have produced it in paperback rather than hardback. And it looks fabulous! They've used a slick, slightly glossy paper for the pages (Allen & Unwin produced the book with a lovely creamy matte paper). I had no say in Penguin's design choices, as I have not dealt with them directly, so this was a surprise for me - and as it turns out, a very pleasant one.

Glossy paper is not something that I would have thought to choose - I would have imagined it would be all wrong for the vintage photo album feel. But in paperback format it actually works really well - perhaps because it makes the pictures look so crisp and solid, and makes the pages feel very substantial. When you open the book, the extreme blackness of the black and the vividness of the sepia (colour is more vivid and bright on the glossy paper) really jump out at you. They've also given it a matte cover, which I like very much.

So I am very happy with it - though there is one little aspect that could perhaps have been done better. Some elements of the design on the back cover have been jostled around to fit the marginally smaller cover size, and this looks like it was done in a bit of a rush. Zoe Sadokierski, the superb designer who did the original cover, took the most wonderful care over every aspect of the design, but some of her beautiful work has been treated a bit carelessly by whoever did the rejigging - there are chunky drop-shadows, a "ghost" shadow that has appeared on top of an image, and some odd resizing. I suspect that noone will actually notice these things (especially if they haven't seen the original Australian edition), but it does alert me to the need to keep an eye on such changes! Call me picky, but I think it's important to treat design with care.

Spot the difference:

Finally, before I get back to work on the Hamlet backgrounds, an event coming up this week:

This Thursday 7 February the Belgrave Library is launching their new graphic novel collection, with hundreds of just-purchased volumes available for borrowing. I have been asked to come and launch the collection, and to give a talk about Gatsby and the process of making a graphic novel. Slow Glass Books will also be there selling various comic delights. Belgrave is a fair hike from the city, but for those who fancy a trip, the details are:

Thursday 7 February, 7pm
Belgrave Library
Reynolds Lane, Belgrave, 3160.
Melways Ref: 75 F10 (map here)

Right, now back to work!


Anthony Woodward said...

Congrats! I'll have to keep an eye out for one ;)

Nicki Greenberg said...

Thanks Anthony! Hope Canada is treating you well. xN

fabulous heretic said...

It's great to see you published in Canada. I wish I could make the library talk. And I wish my local library had a decent collection of graphic novels.

scootergrrl said...

Congrats!! *singing Blame Canada... Blame Canada...*

I recently spotted Gatsby in Page One (major bookstore in Hong Kong)! *happiness*

Picked it up for a mate in Shanghai 8)

Nicki Greenberg said...

Scoots!! You've breached the Great Firewall! Great to see you back online.

...and it's in HK?? Wow...


Anthony Woodward said...

Spotted it in a large bookstore here when I was looking around the GN section, it was even on a display table of featured books! Will have to take a photo for you.
I looked at the back cover and I don't think it looks bad in anyway that would discourage purchase, and that little ghost mark looks intentional like a ripped stamp or something.

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