I know childbirth's not exactly a rare biological phenomenon, so I'll try not to prattle on; suffice it to say we had a boy. All humility aside, at 9lb 13oz (4440g) I deserve a giant medal. The nurse for the 3-month scan wrote the gender on a scrap of paper and stapled it shut. The urge to look was strong for the first few days but soon wore off. Her '98% certain' proved 100% correct. Now, to discover his name.
Out of the studio this week is an 30x40cm print version of the Splashing Whale (one of our earliest surviving card designs) and a monotone version of a house print. We've done limited runs of a house print in the past but mixing three tones of ink with any true precision is tough, the middle shade is never exactly betwixt light and dark, and what works in the pot may not work on paper. Here the tones rely fully on pattern and texture. Signing 100 prints apiece makes my faltering fingers feel funny.
Donna Summer (1948-2012) featured on a handful of popular culture's finest moments, for sure, but that AIDS-as-punishment-from-God controversy was a real stinker and no mistake. Here's the only link I can find to 1979's Our Love, a track not really cited in today's obituaries though I love the Acid touches at the end/drum pattern on the chorus... and so did New Order! The images are Gran Fury's late 80s agitprop for ACT UP, to whom she later apologised.
I know this sight's almost obscene, but I'm 38 weeks pregnant and Edward's wardrobe is really coming into its own; care worn t-shirts for sleeping and oversized shirts in the day. Luckily I've avoided those pleated cap-sleeved jersey numbers (with the curious floaty empire-line) and stuck to sack-like dresses like a penance. The Earth rumbles and cups of liquid ripple when I approach, I'm pretty sure I'll not be sneaking up on anyone anytime soon.
Saddened by the deaths this week of Adam "MCA" Yauch and the outspoken Maurice Sendack. Sendack's work had seen such a resurgence of interest in these past few years, been made so ubiquitous, that I was temporarily blind to it. An interview with Tom McCarthy highlighted structural similarities with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (c. 1899), recast Max as Kurtz, and made me revisit Where the Wild Things Are (1963); noticing—for the first time—that smart formal game whereby the bordered illustrations progress to fill the page, form wordless double spreads at the carnivalesque climax and fall away once more at the tail end. Proper genius.
• The In Sound from Way Out! Gershon Kingly & Jean Jaques Perrey's 1966 thrift-classic which forms the nominal inspiration for both The Beastie Boys' 1996 LP and Stereolab.
So pleased to receive a copy of One Timid Babbler from Silver Jungle's Joanna Skipwith this week. The same little format as our collaborations, One Timid Babbler features Hannah Turner's fantastic illustrations of equally fantastically named birds: Lemon Poplets; Sugar Marshlings; Chesnut Ruffles; Banded Frowls or Fiery Smidgeons. A simple counting game is introduced with each bird, building to more complex additions, with colour and pattern also combining to a cacophonous chorus! The dawn fade on the cover is paired with a dusk fade on the closing pages and all are wonderfully offset with a smashing Modern/Didone typeface. See more at Silver Jungle... and maybe check-out our books while you're there. Tee-hee!