I revised the book again this weekend. I think this might be close. I started by collecting all sorts of transformational language: snippets from skin care ads, weight loss products, avant-garde manifestos, the Landmark Forum, Alcoholics Anonymous literature, Dale Carnegie, etc. I was looking for language that promises everything, but doesn’t actually say anything specific.
It’s got three voices right now; one in need of advice, one offering a variety of empty slogans, and one offering nonsensical advice, kind of like a half-cracked fortune teller. The sloganeering will be done in hand-drawn and carved type-
The advice seekers go with a series of portraits.
The fortune teller gets the most lines.
I hope to have all the blocks carved by the end of the summer. That might be crazy of me, though. I’m working on some posters with the blocks I’ve finished so I can work out colors, typefaces, etc. Also, since it’s somewhat of a half-baked self-help book, and I like to bite off more than I can chew, there’s going to be a Bonus Educational DVD in the back of the book, which will have a lovely stop-motion animation of slogans in black and white hand drawn type, which was going quite well until the Great Data Loss of 2009.
In the meantime, I’ve almost finished working on this:
Which was intended as a way to both calm my shaky nerves by manipulating type in a new and exciting way, and a way to hone my non-existent animating skills. It’s the proofs from a print that had a nice bit of writing on it and not much else going for it, cut up into tiny little bits. It’s a little rough, but charming. I think it’ll be ready to post next week.
Also this weekend, I bought this:
Doesn’t she look ready to strangle the wolf with her bare hands? MFK Fisher’s smokin’ hot. I’m excited by the chapter titles, which include:
-How to Be Sage Without Hemlock
-How to Distribute your Virtue
-How to Rise Up Like New Bread
-How to Make A Pigeon Cry
-How to Make a Great Show
-How to Have a Sleek Pelt
among many others. I can’t wait.