In the Sounds and Seas and Chicago Zine Fest 2012

Posted on by Marnie Galloway

After four months of cramped fingers and extreme anti-social behavior, In the Sounds and Seas: Volume 2 is finished!

I picked up the books from Salsedo Press in my zipcar on Monday, March 5, after a night of extremely literal stress dreams in which I had forgotten to scan & submit a whole 5-page section of the book. The anxiety was for nothing: the books are lovely. As always, I can say nothing but complimentary things about the work done by the good folks at Salsedo. The books are printed crisply, bound with precision and the turn-around time is very fast. More than the high-quality production, it is a genuine pleasure to work with the people at Salsedo, who are helpful, interested and patient with a sometimes-nervous artist. If anyone in my little reading audience ever finds themselves in need of high-quality offset printing or bindery work at a reasonable price, I could not recommend Salsedo more heartily.

Once the books were in my hands, I could focus on preparing in earnest for Chicago Zine Fest, where I planned to debut the second book. Late last summer I started building a model of the Spray, a historic sloop that Joshua Slocum sailed solo around the world in the late 1890s, the first person to accomplish the feat. I built the model partly to have experience building a ship (which is an important part of the action in Volumes 2 & 3), partly to have a model to help with future illustrations, and partly to use as a sign at book events. At the beginning of the week, when my books were in my hands, I had a finished if undetailed body of a ship, a pile of fabric and some embroidery floss.

...and if anyone ever tells you that this can turn into a finished model in 3 days without losing sleep, they are dirty liars. I hand-embroidered the name of the book series on the main sail and finished the boat by Thursday night, giving me Friday to finish carving the blocks for an upcoming invitation project and assemble my wares for Chicago Zine Fest

Early on Saturday March 11, the morning of Zine Fest, I packed up my rolling cart full of books, cards, table cover and my ship and headed to the train.

First noteworthy lesson of the day: model ship sails catch the wind just as effectively as their full-sized counterparts. The main boom broke from the mast and swung about wildly in the morning wind which, while nerve-wracking, was an easily mendable problem. A few touches of super glue at the event and all was back to normal.

The spaces at Zine Fest were allotted by the half-table, so my 2' ship took up the lions share of the 3' table space. I displayed a copy of each volume on book stands, offered a trade on my Assassin's Elan for $3 or zines or food a good joke, and gave out business cards, candy and flyers for my upcoming linocut workshop at Evanston Print & Paper.

This was my view the whole day:

In contrast with the frantic build up to the event, I had a really relaxed and wonderful time. I couldn't have asked for better neighbors in the thoughtful, talented and gobsmackingly prolific Cristy C. Road and the hilarious crowd behind Macklin Brundage's punk zine distro, all of whom were generous and friendly and fun to spend the day with. I also made out like a bandit: through trades and a few purchases, I left the event with a dragon's horde of inspiring independently published books and comics.

See for instance, among all the talented folks, the lovely work of Sara Drake, Talya Modlin, Cathy G. Johnson, Kevin Budnik, Edie Fake, Rebecca Mir and friend & fellow Texan Marian Runk.

I met some intimidatingly talented people, learned from and taught folks about various production methods, heard some pretty great jokes and left the event energized and optimistic. After spending so many months in isolated production, getting out into the world with my book was a wonderful experience. If I could do an event like this every weekend, I would in a heartbeat.

Now that the book has Officially Debuted, it is available for sale on Etsy! You can buy it individually or as part of a full subscription. I have also offered a partial subscription for people who bought the first book but want to jump on the discount bandwagon. Full pictures of the book are listed under Books and Comics.

* * * As always, thanks are in order to my husband Tom, without whom I physically could not have met these deadlines. He cooked meals, stayed up with me on late nights, and cleaned up our little apartment enough that I didn't die in a hoarder's avalanche through these last few weeks of mad making. Thank you to my mom Lori for leading by example, showing me my whole life that the best way to do a thing or make a thing is to jump in head-first, to my dad Jerry for making drawing a shared game, to my siblings Katie and Will for their encouragement and support, and to all of my friends who have been patient with me through these months of absence and silence. My fingers might have drawn the book, but it was a community effort. Thank you all.