Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Feast of Laughter Vol. 4

Feast of Laughter is now a four course meal!

After organizing, editing, and negotiating for a year, the Ktistec Press have gone to publication with the fourth volume in the Feast of Laughter series.

When we completed Vol. 3 of FOL I was under the impression that the books that followed in the series would be smaller in page count as the breadth of older, pre-published material we pulled from (making up roughly half of the total content) had been thought mostly exhausted. But within the crust of a flat Earth internet exist deep dark crevasses and in a few of these lay notable pieces written about Lafferty. This and the ever sharpening skill of the Kistec Team in negotiating rights to content (there's an essay by Gene Wolfe in there for goodness sake) led to Vol. 4 being the bulkiest book of the series, thus far.

Also included is the first ever publication of the original Lafferty short story The Rod and the Ring. Lafferty was prolific and had an enormous number of works published and a modest pile of works that were, for one reason or another, not. For us, it was very exciting to find out, over a year ago, that we would be the first to share this story with the world. And that excitement sustained itself throughout production -A new Lafferty and our labors forever listed with the "First published in" attribution. Wonderful.

It's also the first volume to feature a cover by artist Ward Shipman, who created a piece just for this publication (featured on the back cover). Ward's covers were another secret that we celebrated and giggled over for, in his case, well over a year. Many of the compliments we get on the volume begin with a comment about his cover. For my contribution, I did the cover layout this time around and was far too proud of the idea of hiding the title behind the mountains in Jeff's illustration. I suppose I still am.

Inside volume four there are also nine or so of my illustrations based on Lafferty's stories. In most cases, these are a little bit better than the ones I'd cut my teeth with in the previous volume. I will be posting more in this blog about the individual illustrations in the coming months. I will confess that I was trying to find corners to cut with the art this time around -Trying to weigh out how much of the illustration I could draw out in hand and still have that clean vector graphics look.

Feast of Laughter 4 was also the first volume in the series to run into a publishing hiccup, as sales were abruptly halted only a few hours after becoming available. We don't know if it was a random check or, if not, what made Vol. 4 different than previous books. But all movement was stalled until we offered validation that we had the rights to all the works in the book. It was a jarring start for what we had hoped would be a swooping debut for The Rod and The Ring. But, in the end, only tripped us for a few weeks before production quickly resumed.

And now it's finally out there. The Rod and The Ring. Ward's haunting cover. A few illustrations by me. All our art, our thoughts, and our hard work. Available for purchase on Amazon but also free in a pdf format from the website.

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