Designs by Jacob van Loon
Ben van Loon, Managing Editor at Anobium Literary, shares the story of his Publication company, which is currently planning it’s fourth release. Anobium saw a strong first year, and recently launched it’s online section, already boasting some great interviews and commentary. I often design for the publication, and we have decided to list a special offer for those interested in reading more. See the end of the post.
“In January of 2011, I started my own publishing business — Anobium Books. I was fed up with the morass of so-called literary journals staffed by editors and writers who have somehow made a business of catering to mediocrity. The books and journals produced by some of the more notable American independent publishers are often crammed with self-aggrandizing prose, irrelevant poetics, and plagued by cheap, over-the-counter looks. I believe books should be judged by their covers, and if the title is written in Papyrus, it’s not going to be a book worth reading. Who wants to read poems about crab apples, anyway?
I had $100 to start my business, so I bought a domain name, posted an ad on Craigslist, and started assembling a team of like-minded people. I wanted to publish books with unique, experimental content and compulsively intelligent design. I wanted to publish books that I myself would want to buy. Finding good writing is a unique challenge, but once you get the writing, the real challenge is finding a way to arrange the whole piece into a cohesive, aesthetically-conscious whole.
I’ve always been the writer and my brother has always been the artist. We’ve always shared similar sensibilities when it came to music, art, and film, so I decided to ask my brother to work with me on the design for Anobium, as well. I knew he would ‘get it’ without much need for conferencing or convincing. Immediately, he started getting to work and now, over a year later, Anobium is humming to a rhythm all its own. It has a distinct character, attitude, and appeal, and much of this would not be possible without Jacob’s artistic influence. He has designed the covers for all three releases thus far and he is obsessively scrutinous with maintaining our continued aesthetic standards. I’m doing everything I can to facilitate the publication of Good Books, and he’s doing everything he can to make sure the books look good. It’s a strong system.
Printing books in a digital age is a strange pursuit. We are currently working on creating digital counterparts to our physical releases, though ultimately, we believe in the artifactual importance of printed literature. This is why we so strongly emphasize the aesthetic importance of our books. We treat our books as more than just words on a page. We treat them like handheld works of art.”
We have provided exclusive discount purchase links below. Normal price for Anobium releases are $12 ($10 + $2 for shipping). If you purchase through this post, you can buy the releases for $10 flat. Shipping is on us. All money goes to support future Anobium projects.
Anobium: Volume 1 (5”x7”, 84pp., perfect bound, laminated matte cover, 55lb. b&w stock.)This was our first real publishing project, and it came together surprisingly well. It’s 84 pages, features 19 writers, and includes an interview and never-before-published short story by Chicago great, Joe Meno (author of Hairstyles of the Damned, Demons in the Spring, Boy Detective Fails, and more). There is a definite dark mood in Volume 1, but on the other hand, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. NewPages.com said of it: “Anobium embraces and celebrates the strange and surreal. […] [And] should satisfy those readers that enjoy plumbing the outer limits of literature.”
Anobium: Volume 2 (5″x7″, 104pp., perfect bound, laminated gloss cover, 60lb. b&w stock.)This is our third and most-recent release. Volume 2 features an essay by a newly-licensed mortician, a primer and two selections from outsider-artist Blaster “Al” Ackerman, and stories and interviews with Chicago-based novelists Patrick Somerville (author of The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, and more) and Jesse Ball (author of The Way Through Doors, and more). Two writers from V1, Jonathan Greenhause and Grahman Tugwell, also make appearances here. This piece also features nine, full-page b&w paintings by Parisian artist Ivan de Monbrison.
Sebastian’s Relativity by Jonathan Greenhause (8”x8”, 42pp.)This was our second release and first single-author release. Greenhause is a New Jersey-based writer who creates strange, surreal, and often-comical prose-poems. Plastic dogs, Siamese-twin sisters, and philosophizing burritos make frequent appearances. Only 100 of these books were printed, and we have less than 10 left. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. And they’ll definitely be missed.