A new project aiming to combine the visuals and merchandising of rock music with the literary classics of the past.
Dead or Read’s Sam Taylor asks an interesting question in the Kickstarter for his new project: why don’t books have the merchandise that bands do? Where are the posters? Where are the t-shirts? Where are the collectables for the fans? Well, we might say that some books do have all those things – just look at how the assorted modern children’s franchises that became beloved by adults have spawned all sorts of merch even before they became bloated and vacuous film series. And how many literary characters like Dracula have had a multi-merchandised life over the decades that exists outside their cinematic tie-ins – admittedly the result of public domain status allowing all manner of exploitation of the properties? Still, he has a point.
The whole basis of Dead and Read is to treat books as though they were rock bands, with the sort of merchandise that bands specialise in – T-shirts and posters, but not yet sew-on patches, scarves and badges – with exclusive new art that is designed to have a metal vibe, created by Dan Mumford who has worked for the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica amongst others. How successfully the artwork for the novels actually feels ‘heavy metal’ will be a matter of opinion – looking at the covers for Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw and In a Glass Darkly (Le Fanu’s classic collection of stories that includes vampire classic Carmilla), you might see classic examples of modern horror illustration rather than metal album covers. But perhaps the levels of separation are not huge.
Anyway, the hardbound editions of these public domain classics are being produced in limited editions of 666 (of course) and everything is being created in or around Bristol for those of you interested in localised production. It all looks quite impressive and it would be a shame if the project didn’t reach the £15000 goal in needs (having published books myself, I can attest that this is not an excessive amount to ask for three books, posters and T-shirts). You can find out more at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deadandread/three-horror-classics-with-a-heavy-metal-twist
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