Sunday, February 1, 2015

Charles Burns: Echo Echo, Deluxe Edition with original pencil sketch (Pigeon Press, 2012)

This is a rare Charles Burns book called Echo Echo that came out a few years ago under Alvin Buenaventura's Pigeon Press imprint. It was looking for a time like Pigeon Press would be the long-overdue follow-up to the sorely missed Buenaventura Press. Buenaventura Press used to put out some of the coolest small-print-run books and prints by the best names in comics, as well as the highly revered first seven issues of Kramer's Ergot. Buenaventura Press folded years ago (2010) but re-appeared, newly christened, with Echo Echo to launch their new book line. But, that was it. Echo Echo was snatched up by a lot of collectors, and nothing's been published since as far as I'm aware. Further, the Pigeon Press site has these books marked "currently unavailable", which suggests to me that they're not sold out, but simply not being sold anymore for some reason. There is a Pigeon Press Gallery, but that's hardly been updated much at all.

The book is a triumph. Beautifully reproducing Charles Burns's Black Hole sketches on transparent paper in an array of layered images, Echo Echo shows a side of Burns's artistry that is often overlooked due to the solid, black imagery that prevails in his finished product. He's an accomplished sketcher, and the book showcases how much manual work went into Black Hole, which in its completed form can look at times almost too perfect.

Echo Echo was offered in two versions, a regular edition of 400 copies and a deluxe edition of 100 copies, each with an original sketch taped inside the back cover. This is copy 61 of 100.

My drawing, framed, is below.

(Alvin Buenaventura: if you find this, please come back to publishing! Your vision has yet to be matched since you closed up shop.)

Currently reading:
Brian Boyd, Nabokov's "Pale Fire"

Currently listening to:
"Centralia" by Mountains 

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