Bundle up for Christmas!

The UPPERCASE Book Bundle is a great Christmas gift!

Receive four beautiful and unique books over the course of the next few months.

The bundle begins right away with recently published The Elegant Cockroach, a beautifully illustrated tale of a stylish creature living in the big city. For booklovers (and lovers) it is a romantic story of love, longing and six legs. The book is hardcover with black cloth and copper foil title with a full colour jacket and black endpapers. Here's a look at a sample image from inside the book. (See a short book trailer film here.)

The Elegant Cockroach is followed by Work/Life 2: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration (international edition) to be published in February. Nearly 100 illustrators from around the globe are profiled, with peeks into their studios, sketchbooks and personal lives. You can take a look at the first edition of Work/Life to get a sense of the content and design of the next edition. (Limited numbers of the first edition are still available.)

Cover illustration by Alyssa Nassner

image by Andrea D'Aquinoimage by Juliana Salcedoimage by Blanca Gómez

Then in March, we send you A Collection a Day by Lisa Congdon. I am REALLY excited about this one. Throughout 2010, Lisa has been posting an image of one of her collections every day. It is an amazing project full of incredible objects and visual inspirations. It has existed as a blog for the year, but we are turning the project into something you can hold in your hands: a small but hefty 6.5" x 4.5" tome with over 400 pages at about 1.25" thick. The book itself will be packaged inside a collectible tin, in which you can store your small collections and precious treasures. The tin design is in progress and I'll be sharing it with you soon. When purchased as part of the Book Bundle or preorders, the special tin is included at no extra charge.

In June, we send you the icing on top of the cake: The Suitcase Series Volume 2: Dottie Angel. Tif Fussell is a prolific crafter and blogger. I've prepared a short film to introduce you to Tif and her alter ego Dottie Angel, but we will have to wait a few more weeks before it makes a very special premiere. The book will be around 192 pages full of Dottie wisdom, craft how-tos, anecdotes and ramblings, pretty pictures and ponderings... The design details are still in progress, but the book will include some very special touches such as actual sewing on the cover and the inclusion of vintage fabric swatches! When purchased as part of the Book Bundle or preorders, you will receive some special extra goodies with the book. (The first book in the series was about Camilla Engman; take a look here.)

All of these amazing books will be sent to you or your recipient as they are published—The Elegant Cockroach will be sent out now so there will be something to unwrap under the tree. We can also email a Christmas e-card to your recipient to let them know what they'll be receiving in the coming months.

The bundle is just $100 and you will save off the total cover prices plus get the special extras. You also save on shipping costs by purchasing the bundle rather than each book individually. To order the bundle, please click right here.

Do you want the UPPERCASE Book Bundle for Christmas? Let your Santa know by sending him this link: http://tinyurl.com/2vsr7nd

Ex Libris

From Cori Kindred's flickr. Some sweet downloadable bookplates from illustrator Helen Dardik available here.



There's a flickr pool for old bookmarks. And an online exhibition of bookmarks here.

Card Catalogs

Grace of Poetic Home wrote and photographed an excellent article on vintage library catalogs in our current issue.

Book Trailers

Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall inspired George Wu's dark and dreamy short film. I wonder if we will see more 'book trailers' like this one in the future?

Fairytales on Film

Finding Neverland (2004), a biopic about the family that inspired children's author J.M. Barrie (played by the dashing and ubiquitous Johnny Depp) to write Peter Pan, is another gem in the also-for-adults fairytale genre.

Another Alice

The British painter and illustrator Peter Blake's book, Alice Through the Looking-glass: And What Alice Found There offers another stylish, modern interpretation of Carroll's classic tale of a young girl's strange journey of imagination.

'Alice' in waiting

It's old news by now but I thought it would be remiss not to give a special mention to the much anticipated big screen adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by the master of quirky movie macabre, Tim Burton.

For a photo essay on the making of the movie, its stars (including Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter) and unique look, see this link to the Guardian.

To watch the film's official trailer, click here. With the release date set to March 5, 2010, there is a while to wait on this film. Plenty of time to re-read the book, originally published in 1865.

Exquisite end papers

The Persephone Classics series boasts some very colorful book cover art such as the one above for Winifred Watson's Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (originally published in 1938). As well, all of their books feature exquisitely patterned end papers created by notable textile designers from the period.

Persephone Books

Located on the charming Lamb's Conduit Street, Persephone Books is another great shopping destination for Londoners. Click here to find out more about the history of this small press with the clever mandate to reprint neglected classics written by 20th Century women writers.

Summer Fiction

Fine summer fiction in pretty packages.

See the New Yorker  above ("Future Generations
by Dan Clowes)
and the Walrus below (cover by Joost Swarte).

Dylan's latest

Beautiful Bob continues to inspire with his indefatigable musical genius. I am keen to pick up his latest album, Together Through Life, which boasts a vintage style, love-in-the-backseat cover. To listen to sample tracks from this album, visit Bob's site.

If you are a Dylan fan and haven't read Chronicles: Volume 1 yet, I highly recommend it. An intimate, funny, poetic glimpse into the genesis of a true artist, this first installment of what is promised to be a 3-part autobiography, is a little slice of heaven.

And then there's his excellent, Theme Time Radio program.

No wonder I heart Bob - he just keeps on pouring out the good stuff.

Glacial Erratics

Glacial Erratics is the occasional paper blog (affectionately called as a "plog"©) written by my husband Glen Dresser. I designed the first edition which was published last May and it features Lisa Brawn's woodcuts and folds out to reveal a poster of Queen Elizabeth. In addition to excerpts from Glen's second novel, Glacial Erratics includes an interview with our friend Correy Baldwin, poet and publisher, as well as musings on the creative writing process.


A great bookstore in Stockholm for books on art, architecture and design.

The books I brought home...

I know three of the books are Japanese (Stockholm Apartments and Stockholm Ateliers, plus a monograph on Yurio Seki), but you just can't get these Jeu de Paumes or Pie books in Calgary... unless I started carrying them in UPPERCASE? hmmm... Should I stock Jeu de Paumes books? Let me know in the comments!

McSweeney's fables

Dave Eggers and his McSweeney's publishing empire are a constant source of creative inspiration and community outreach. Their latest crop of books is as easy on the eyes as ever, and to my surprise, available in all its illustrative cover glory at the University of Calgary bookstore! 

The image below is the cover of McSweeney's Issue 28 exploring the state of the fable.

Visit the website to discover what these folks are up to, and their shop to see more stunning cover art and a full range of titles.These books are real beauties.

UPPERCASE magazine is very proud to share a printer with such fine company.


Penguins cross the pond


I was browsing through a local Chapters bookshop yesterday and came across a selection of Penguin classics  with patterned hardcovers so handsome, I was inspired to put Dostoyovesky's Crime and Punishment on my spring reading list.

The series was released in 2008 but exclusively available at Waterstones in the UK. Lucky for us Canucks, these penguins have finally made it across the pond.

Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith in collaboration with a team of literary theorists, the covers elegantly represent key elements of the books' enduring themes and historical contexts. Candelabras, sheeves of wheat, wandering swans, creeping ivy -- the design icons and motifs convey hints about the stories and their unique settings. The intense geometric pattern on the Dostoyevsky cover matches the narrative's notorious psychological and moral complexity.


To read more of Bickford-Smith's insights on book cover design, visit the The Penguin Blog. For a full list of titles in this series and to find a location near you that carries them, visit Penguin.


Hers & His

This Sunday's nytimes featured an article championing the American Short Story and some of its great writers. The famous, and well used, typewriters above are master machines belonging to Flannery O'Connor and Donald Barthelme. Click here to read the full article.

If you are an O'Connor fan like me you will be keen to get your hands on a copy of Brad Gooch's new biography, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, exploring the unsung chapters and quiet complexities of this Southern spitfire's creative and personal life. I had no idea she only lived to the age of 38.

Joyce Carol Oates wrote a whipsmart review of Gooch's book in the wider context of O'Connor's literary legacy in the New York Review of Books. O'Connor's lifelong passion for peacocks (as celebrated on the book covers above) is measured alongside her unsentimental prose and biting wit: "She would of been a good woman -- if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." (From the title story in A Good Man Is Hard To Find, 1955.) To read an extended excerpt from this story, click here.

Announcing the Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman

The Suitcase Series Volume 1:
Camilla Engman

Artist Camilla Engman may live in Gothenburg, Sweden, but her appeal is international. A professional illustrator and exhibiting artist, her images are whimsical, poignant, humourous and insightful. With her keen eye for finding the extraordinary in the everyday, Camilla documents her inspirations and artwork on her popular blog. Nearly 2000 fans visit her site on a daily basis (with three quarters being from North America) to get a glimpse into Camilla’s creative life.

UPPERCASE is proud to have been the first gallery outside of Sweden to feature her work, in our 2005 exhibition “Best in Show”. We are excited to be collaborating on a book of Camilla’s art and life, the first volume in our “Suitcase Series”, to be released in the fall of 2009. I am looking forward to travelling to Sweden next month and meeting Camilla (and her cute dog, Morran) at long last.

The Suitcase Series presents in glorious detail the lives of select artists and designers. The books are image-based, full of artwork, sketchbook pages, beautiful photographs and artifacts from where the artists live and work. Interviews with the artist are included in both their native language and English. The books’ size will be small and intimate, like a diary/sketchbook and each book in the series would have a special treasure added: perhaps a small limited-edition art print, a vellum envelope filled with foreign paper scraps for collage, fabric swatches, etc. The book becomes a precious souvenir of a creative journey shared between the reader and the artist.

For our book and magazine subscribers, you will be receiving the Jen11 and Camilla books as part of your subscription. If you'd like to preorder Camilla's book by itself, click here. All pre-orders will include a unique keepsake of the project.

{ PHOTO: Elisabeth Dunker }

Jazz in print

If you are looking for an inspired read on the topic of jazz, try Geoff Dyer's But Beautiful. Styled in the improvisational and expressionistic idioms of the music, Dyer's book is a sparkling and sensuous work of imaginative criticism. See the following link to City of Sound for a review with excerpts.