Gabby Cooksey is at it again. Between producing extraordinary bindings and exhibition work, she has managed to (largely) write, print, and ‘illustrate’ a wonderful new book. At once dark and full of bright colors, it is a pleasure
According to the artist, this mouthful of a title is meant to be just that… A Coleopterist is, of course, one who studies beetles and a swarm is a gathering of beetles. Gabby has “always been interested in these insects so researching them was a joy. The stories I made up are meant to feel true, and you question if you’ve heard of them before or not. This book is meant to feel precious but also rugged; I chose all the materials to withstand a beating like a field guide…”. And yet, her exquisite sense of design and subtle and sophisticated craftsmanship is reflected throughout.
The book includes seven stories by Gabby and the rest by Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Darwin, Hans Christian Anderson, and Aesop’s Fables. “These tales were told to me through whispered words from around the world and researched extensively through old tomes. I write to you now, my fellow believer in myths and legends, trying to provide the truest rendition of theses stories into your hands. May you find a beetle of your own, and one day, tell me its fanciful story.” [from the author’s preface notes]/
There is a wonderful weight to the book and each leaf is lovely and heavy in hand…the book simply has great ‘feel’. “The beetles are crafted out of embossing paper templates and photopolymer plates, stylized with a ball point pen and painted with alcohol ink on aluminum. The pages are Suede-tex paper painted with acrylic and methyl cellulose; the cover is cave paper. Mrs. Eave’s text printed on photopolymer plates. I wrote 7 out of the 12 stories. Letterpress printed at Springtide Press with Jessica Spring in Tacoma, WA. Dedicated to Eli for our childhood of bugs and stories.” [colophon]
Gabby has released this as an edition of 26 copies and we look forward to debuting it at the Boston ABAA book fair in a couple months. The only thing we might look forward to more is to sell out the edition before then… Enjoy the images below and shout if you would like one shipped to you.