Monday, 9 May 2011

Five Wounds

One of the strangest books I've come across recently is the peculiar and wonderful Five Wounds, by the writer Jonathan Walker and the artist Dan Hallett (and designed by Zoe Sadokierski). Any attempt to categorise it is doomed to failure, but as a starting point it can best be described as a an illustrated novel informed by the typographic structures of the King James Bible and inflected with various postmodern antics touches. And it has a talking dog. I've never read anything else quite like it.

Here's the cover, both a clean scan and lit up so that you can see the golden ink treatment. Click on all images for bigger versions.

It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin last year, but has now just been released in the UK and the US. You need to see this book. Here are some images of the interior, both photos of the physical book and scans of the artwork taken from Jonathan Walker's flickr account.

A note: each of the book's five main characters has their own heraldic shield, and each page of the book has its own unique shield, which shows the characters on that page and their interactions. There are also visual annotations to the text in the margins of the pages, as well as handwritten notes and corrections to the text. And there is an insert of plates in the centre of the book as well. The text and the artwork are symbiotically related.

It's a book well worth getting, and once you have it, return to its website, which includes intriguing bonus material, including another text, referred to and quoted from in Five Wounds, but not included (and not needed for its comprehension).


Jonathan Walker said...

The designer of Five Wounds (for the cover and interior page layouts) was Zoe Sadokierski.

MPK said...

My reaction on seeing all of this (I think it looks incredible, for the record): "HOLY SHIT."

Time to get a copy.

Canada said...

Eventually, this is an issue that I am overzealous about. I have looked for information of this topic for the last several hours. Your site is greatly valued

Philip said...

in this book is very interesting illustration
y Daniel Hallett has a blog
if you're interested

JRSM said...

Thanks, both, I will add that info to the post (and thanks, Jon, for the amazing book!)

Also, another comment was put here but eaten by Blogger's outage yesterday, so I'll include it here:

"MPK has left a new comment on your post "Five Wounds":

My reaction on seeing all of this (I think it looks incredible, for the record): "HOLY SHIT."

Time to get a copy. "

Indeed it is!