Fake Book Project: ‘Chet Pardo in The Ice Caves of Saturn’

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Clicking on the image opens a PDF.

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The original page from Tom Swift
and The Asteroid Pirates, 1963.

More of what undoubtedly looks like silliness but is really just me figuring out some design issues for future projects. And, yeah, no one who looks at the fake page too closely would mistake it for a real page printed in 1963. For one thing, I couldn’t exactly match the original typeface and had to go with a post-1980 font that seemed at least sort of from the same neighborhood (if a few blocks away). Plus I couldn’t quite nail the leading or the tracking and so my page isn’t the same “color” as the old one. The original is more open, so that more light gets in. But that’s also due to the font being different. Anyway, much more to learn, as ever.

Also, you know, page design isn’t really done like this, taking pages in isolation. It’s done considering what’s on the facing page, so that both are designed at the same time. But right now I’m working on fragments, like they’re pages that have fallen out of a book. Mostly because that’s the extent of how much imaginary text I can write on the fly, because it turns out writing is a ton of hard work. Even if it’s supposed to all be utter nonsense. Might be a good time, in fact, to go back to drawing for a while.

The main writing thing I want to work on after doing some new drawings is to practice my imitation Tom Swifties.

My favorite sentence in the original: “Famished, the two inventors ate a midafternoon snack of ham-and-cheese sandwiches.” Which I know might not be totally compelling literature to everyone. I think in fact you maybe just had to hang out a lot at a suburban used bookstore in a strip mall near the Interstate in a year I don’t want to mention, to get a hint of the ineffable power of low art. And, of course, you had to be twelve.

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