Just after I returned from my Christmas vacation, I received an unexpected package. Upon opening it, it was a trove from Never Press.
Never Press is an independent publishing house that is based in Pasadena, California. They boast art books that feed the curiosity of the artists involved with the projects. From the works I saw, that is most definitely the case.
While the titles and styles of the individual books in Never Press vary, their stories weave around an abstracted reality. Tangibly, there is an impeccable craftsmanship of their books.
Never Press has rethought the idea of a book with some special touches. Fold-out covers, DVD accompaniments, and the format of a story is challenged and produced.
I really enjoyed the illustrations and animations with Saejean Oh and Anna Topuriya. Gingerly drawn, Life Tips From a Man Who is Very Afraid of Life tells a story of fears and situations that can debilitate someone’s existence. From this book, the man who is very afraid of life is scared of many things, smiling crowds included.
It’s a nice contrast… the idea of being afraid paired with these beautiful and rather unassuming drawings.
Core Samples by Nick Arciaga is a really nice book to look at. The pages are lush, full of color and texture with a handpulled silkscreen cover. As a viewer, you experience the adventurers’ view of space, operations, and tools of the trade. It is a lot of fun.
I thought Home by James Chong was a unique way to experience a story and also lent itself to experiencing it over and over again. The 12 pages are not bound, but prints! You can leaf through or hang them on your wall. If you choose the latter option, you could reread and re-experience every time you pass by.
A Singer Songwriter by Gabe Gonzales contains a myriad of portraits with a silver holographic-esque cover that folds out!
Post Compost, with contributions from artists James Chong, Nick Arciaga, Gabe Gonzales, Mark Ingram, and Jesse Fillingham plays on the idea of the title. Despite different visual languages, overall the book speaks to a future world and how it has shifted and deals with things left behind. Some of it is pretty grotesque, in which I would not expect anything less.
Thanks to Never Press for sending me so much great stuff to look and read!