JAB24 Fall 2008


The cover of JAB24 was designed by Tate Shaw and Chris Burnett with some additions by Brad Freeman. The issue was designed by Ken Gerleve with Elisabeth Long providing layout for the "Poet as Maker" article.

Colophon Info

JAB24 uses Scala and ScalaSans as its primary fonts. Several of the pages at the front and back have been printed using blue/black duotones.



Order your copy of JAB24 by contacting jabandbrad@gmail.com.

JAB24 was edited by Craig Dworkin & Kyle Schlesinger and features articles by scholars and artists who have been working in areas where writing and art often combine into new forms of the book. These new manifestations of the traditional book often appear strange and unfamiliar initially and having knowledgeable guides to lead us through them, pointing out the motivations and progenitors of these works, benefits the field of artists' books.

Susan Vanderborg's essay explores in detail the complex visual novel Vas written by Steve Tomasula and designed by Stephen Farrell. She focuses on the novel's idea that humans, always in the process of redefining their nature, often start from flawed assumptions inherited from earlier generations.

Chris Burnett and Tate Shaw's article, based on far-ranging conversations they had while driving on Route 24 from Toledo to Kansas City, digresses wonderfully and features an extensive bibliography of the books from which many of their ideas and subjects come from. Topics covered by Burnett and Shaw include the influence of "the road" on artists and writers, generative literature, the nightmare of simulated, sealed environments such as Las Vegas.

Alastair Johnston, an influential member of the Bay Area experimental fine press & poetry movement from the early 1970s to now, has written a history of writers, publishers, and artists, some largely ignored, consciously working with typography and images within the book form. His examples range from the ancient Egyptians' use of papyrus scrolls to Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Melville, Oliver Byrne's First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, Gelett Burgess, Kamenskii and Kruchenykh, up to Frances Butler and much more.

David Pavelich wrote a review of Seattle's Atticus/Finch, a press that issues limited edition poetry chapbooks in the traditions of Walter Hamady's Perishable Press and Charles Alexander's Chax Press. Pavelich writes, "For Atticus/Finch the "future of poetry" is one of urgently needed innovation, traditional notions of experimentalism be damned."

Elisabeth Long's essay about David Pavelich's Answer Tag Home Press examines its mission to publish inexpensive yet finely made poetry chapbooks and broadsides. This leads Long to ask questions about the publishing model for many artists' books which tend to be concerned with high production standards that become expensive and largely inaccessible editions. In order not to leave the content of Answer Tag books left unexamined, Long has designed her page spread with three poems and the complete list of the books and broadsides.

Each copy of JAB24 comes with Daniel Mellis's HANDMADE-O-METER along with his essay on its purpose, instructions for use, and a comparative example using the Kelmscott Chaucer and Ed Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations. "I have developed a scale that measures the 'handmadeness' of a book in order to assist the book arts community in discussing this important issue precisely and rigorously." -Dan Mellis

"This special issue of the Journal of Artists' Books focuses on a series of fundamental relationships-form and content; structure and material; art and literature; the visual and the verbal; seeing and reading-and the astonishing occasions when those relationships intersect, blur, reverse, cancel, or come under erasure to generate a third element. One name for that dialectical third element has been the "artist's book." At other times, particularly in the 1960s and 70s, "experimental literature" has been pressed into service to do similar duty (one might also think of other more local terms, including the ungainly compounds "intermedia," "metatextual," and "self-reflexive"). As the rhetorical histories of the labels "artist's book" and "experimental literature" have developed and defined-evolving into genres of their own along different branches with shared ancestors-they seem now to have separated to the point where one can think of them as distinct categories, with all the potential for interaction and competition, including healthy sibling rivalries and patterns of productive interference." - From the introduction by Craig Dworkin and Kyle Schlesinger

JAB24 Table of Contents

  • Editor's Statement
    ­ Brad Freeman
  • JAB24 p12-13
    Sample page spread
    Special Issue on the Intersections of Experimental Literature and Artists Books
    ­ Craig Dworkin & Kyle Schlesinger
  • Of "Men and Mutations" the Art of Reproduction in Flatland
    ­Susan Vanderborg
  • Highway 24 Unvisited: Reeling Between The Road and Artists' Books From Toledo to Kansas City
    ­Chris Burnett & Tate Shaw
  • Off the Road
    ­Alastair Johnston
  • Chapbook Presses
    ­ A Note On Atticus/Finch David Pavelich
    Poet as Maker Elisabeth Long
  • JAB Insert: Handmade-o-meter
    ­Daniel Mellis