Here are some concept sketches I made of the new Mono No Aware book. Trying to give the story a fitting book form was quite challenging. I wanted to be able to look at more than one page at the same time, even looking at a whole chapter in one go. I wanted not to be limited by the backwards-or-forwards flow of a bound book.
When I showed my concept to the printer, he said it was quite doable and added (of course) that he'd love to make this book. And based on his experience, he also offered me many great suggestions to make it even better... little genius things that I would've never even considered. So, as we speak, he's making a physical dummy using the actual paper and cover cardboard we're going to be printing on.
Holding a physical dummy feels like the best way to judge if a book will "work" as an object: to see it before you, feel it, pick it up, open it, leaf through it... in a way, you immediately feel if everything fits. I always end up making last minute changes when I have a model in my hands, and they've always been for the better.... I've learned never to rely solely on a sketch or a digital design. I've done it for YAKUZA, and now again for Mono No Aware.
But right now I only have these sketches. So I'm still a liiiiiittle tiny bit nervous until the dummy actually arrives and I can hold it :)
As you can see in the pictures, the inside of the book will consist of four chapters, each printed on a single long sheet of paper and folded like a harmonica. Each folded chapter will then be put inside its own "sleeve", not unlike an old LP record (remember those?). Around all that will be a folding page with the introduction text, keeping the book all together so the chapters can't fall out. In theory, it all sounds peachy pie, doesn't it?
And now it just dawned on me: if everything goes well, we'll be at the presses in as little as two weeks. On my birthday, no less...
I guess I should start promoting the book soon :)
In the meantime, have a great weekend,