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Last month I took myself off to a Zine Fest in Osaka and learned a bit more about producing a zine. I don't mind making the content, or formatting  it for a zine, I really don't like printing it out. There are not a lot of options: Xerox, risograph, off-set printing, silkscreen, woodblock printing or doing everything by hand (esp. drawings).

ZineFest_1.jpegAt the zine fest I  learned most people either printed a few copies off their home printer or Xerox it at work or use risograph. Problem with risograph is the minimum is 200 copies which might cost anywhere from ¥25,000 ($250) to ¥40,000 ($400) depending on number of pages and colors.

Since the ZineFest was sponsored by a risograph printing company, I talked a bit with its representative / saleswoman / technician (small company). I thought the template for the printed matter could be used multiple times - nope. Surprisingly, the cost in Osaka is cheaper than the one here in town, a much cheaper city to rent space in. They both had a 200 copy minimum though. Can I sell 195 copies of anything I put together? Hmmm. Good question.

ZineFest_2.jpegThe festival was fun; lots of creators. Easy to see  in one day. Many creators speak more than one language. All were willing to explain their work, of course. Plus, it was exciting—invigorating—inspiring to be around people who do what I do; to learn from them; to see how they create or show their work.

Now I'm more likely to finish making ebooks and advertising my bunch of zines collectively title:

 The Diary of a Dead Cat Quarterly

(Too much curiosity for only nine lives.)

Maybe we'll see more of them here in the future?

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This morning I broke one eye frame off of my glasses so they’re perched nicely on my nose but I best not shake shake shake with the music or they’ll fly happily off into a hardwood floor.
I printed and sewed seven volumes of the nine volume Tristram Shandy. Yes, Shandy again. Next I have to case them in and One Set ---- One! ---- will be finished. Which I will give away as a present to someone who is interested in a) old books b) handmade stuff.

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In other news, I finished a very small, six-folio, 12-page, A-6 little book with pictures and a few words. For no reason, it is called Epic Steam. All four Beatles are present, but you’d never recognize them as I obliterated their famous faces with drawings, words, collages etc. But they show up in a picture of women who graduated from high school in 1930.

It occurred to me that if they graduated in 1930, 34 years before the Beatles became big, then they would probably be 52 or so when the Fab Four landed. Meaning, they were the generation that pooh-poohed the music. Or close to it. But they also were around when Lillian Gish was the Fab One. Who? Exactly. But looking at their smiling happy graduation photo made me wonder about the passage of time and changes in life. If any are alive, they’re 105 years old.



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Last week I went to the Tokyo Book Art Fair and met many people and saw many different kinds of books. I asked about printing. Most chose: risograph, letterpress, a home computer printer ala Epson, and hand lettering. One chose silkscreen for the few illustrations on her notebook.
The other thing I liked was the wide variety of books: recycled, art, zines, and ‘normal’ books by ‘normal’ publishers who all basically had the same style: perfect binding on letter press imprints.

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Plus, I scored a bunch of paper for very little cash. 
Also last week, I finished printing on my home Epson, seven of nine books of Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, something I’ve been working on for quite a while.

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A great experiment gone awry. Or not. How so? I used a roller instead of a brush for the first time on one of my books. This resulted in waaaay too much glue on too thin paper. I adjusted the amount of glue. Still too much. Perhaps the glue was too watery? Using the roller was much  quicker than a brush. I liked it. I need to get a bigger boat… for the glue so I can get just enough on the roller.


I learned getting too much glue on the roller is not a good idea; a roller is much quicker than a brush; glue that is too watery messes up the paper; the proper thickness of the paper is important; cover on the book board first. All valuable lessons, eh? 


The right tool for the right job. You’ve probably heard that before and it seems to apply. For more detailed gluing, a brush of the proper size is, naturally, superior to the roll. For gluing in endpapers, however, I think a roller might just be the right tool. I shall continue to experiment. Probably to infinity.


Click on This to vote on which of the covers you find most… forceful? commanding? Marketable. That’s the word, Marketable. Thanks.





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Here are two covers for the same novel and I hope you can help me choose which one - or neither - you like. 

The story is about a young woman with a past who falls in love with an much older man with a past. The man is a letterpress printer and artist. The woman is a bartender, wife, free-spirit who falls in with an Artist and his agent to learn about Bookbinding, Papermaking, Letterpress Printing. She must learn these things to be knowledgeable about the older man's books. It doesn't help that the young woman looks like the older man's long-dead daughter.
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The Diary of a Dead Cat Quarterly is sub-titled with Too Much Curiosity for Just Nine Lives so don't get too bothered about the dead cat reference. It is merely to show we should all have Curiosity in our lives. The purpose of the quarterly is to release our inner cat. In other words, be curious about the world like Curious George and explore, learn, wonder at the universe.

As such, each quarterly issue has lots of things connected to other things but with a major theme running through the whole thing. For Example! Take the first issue: Terra Non Est Centra Mundi (The earth is no the center of the universe) which is about heliocentrism vs geocentrism, time, calendars, and includes references to all the scientific greats such as Nicholas of Kura, Copernicus, Galileo and his daughter Virginia.

It also has a section on the Mary Celeste, the ship found mysteriously floundering about off the coast of Portugal back in 186o-something. And Julian Lennon, but that connection is obvious. (?)

It also includes a short story called Giapan. Which takes place in Spain during the Spanish Armada. What's the connection? I don't know but it’s fun to write.

Other issues in The Diary of a Dead Cat Quarterly include:

• Soup
• Sandwich
• Waltz
• Canals
• White Sticks & Blind Dogs










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I uploaded a new cover for an older but fun adventure sci-fi book called The Venetian Slime Woman about a human-like being that comes from slime found only in Venice; the island of Povelgia by name. 

The US government, of course, wants to find out how she evolved, how she never dies, and how she infects others with a hideous wasting disease. Naturally, an EPA water specialist falls in love with her and Adventure Ensues! 
You can find it at smashwords.com

Another book I uploaded, this time to iBooks, is Terra Non Est Centra Mundi (Latin for Earth is not the center of the universe). It’s a fun little frolic with digressions into Heliocentric, Geocentric theories and the Calendar. Plus! It has a short story called Giapan interspersed in the science-y stuff. 
Terra Non Est Centra Mundi is part of my Zine called The Diary of A Dead Cat Quarterly (Too Much Curiosity for Just Nine Lives). Small ebooks that cover a topic I’m interested in and the digressions, tangents, side roads, and connections it takes me on. Other topics (already written but not yet online) are Soup, Sandwiches, Waltz, White Sticks & Blind Dogs, The Art of Kanazawa, and Canals.

All are also available from me at tedorigawa.bookmakers@gmail.com as Real Books!TM Mostly using the Yotsume Toji style of bookbinding.

You can find it at iBooks or by searching for Terra non est centra mundi.


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The third book I put together and uploaded to our friends at iBooks was written over 250 years ago: yes, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne. Volume One is up and ready to be read. This will, I hope, be followed by Volumes Two through Nine in short order. I just need to make an epub or iBooks Author version of them. And edit for errors, of course.

Also available as a Real Book!(TM) from me as well.

You can find it at iBooks, too.

All of these are my efforts at learning more about ebooks, iBooks, online books, and creating neat stuff. Just for you to Enjoy! So please, enjoy.
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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne was first published in 1760 and the ninth and final volume was published a few months before Sterne’s death in 1767. This, you probably already knew.

For me, it is my attempt to put the novel out in both soft cover and online via iBooks, Smashwords, and maybe the Amazon thing. It is mostly my working through making a long document. And to have it for my novel: Tristram’s Printer — about a woman who falls in love with a printer and he falls in love with her however, is she his dead daughter reincarnated? 




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Tristram Shandy is most famous for:
  1. The black page
  2. Digressions galore. I mean Lots of tangents and ‘side notes’ which can last Chapter after Chapter.
  3. Typographical quirkiness. The black page, the noses, the squiggles, the marbled pages in the middle rather than as endpapers, the ten blank pages the printer refused to insert so the page numbers just jump ahead ten pages.
  4. Amazingly colorful characters - Toby, Trim, Yorick (of course)
And a long discussion about flies.
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I have been working relatively....Consistently. I have been working mostly — too much — on computer stuff including:
  • Putting Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne on computer, in InDesign & iBooks Author readying them (Nine Volumes) for release in iBooks and other epub related venues
  • Putting my Calvado Pentology on the same computer programs for the same venues
  • Putting Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman on the same for the same.

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This is a photoshopped version of Young Walt wearing a shirt with Old Walt on it.

At the Same Time, I made a workbench plus organized my studio for more efficient working time. Although today I did take a 20-minute nap after lunch. Like in Kindergarten. I mean, to refresh and gather my thoughts for the attack on the afternoon work. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

If you have the time and inclination, check out my FaceBook at Facebook.com/tedorigawa. Thanks much. See you soon.
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What I have been up to these last few months. First, I rented a space that I hope will encourage more production of books. I could call it a studio. And it has encourage more production of books, actually. I have limited time here (before and after other responsibilities) so rather than lounge around thinking, I do. Good fun.


Second, I thought about, designed, computerized, made, and showed a touristy book for tourists to places that might have some tourists. They didn’t think it was terrible and my pricing was spot on, according to them. This was good. 


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Third, I have been putting Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy on InDesign so I can print it out and make books. My original intent was to computerize it, make ebooks, sell them on Amazon and iBooks, & etc. And simultaneously make books, too. But then I realized that iBooks has some Very nice editions on sale. As does Amazon, of course. I might put my version up as well, to see if anything comes of all my work. If I do and if anyone purchases my version over, say, Penguin’s version, I’ll probably invest my income in Kiva.


Lastly, I started out to make a book about Canals. Like the ones that used to be on Mars according to Percival Lowell and Edgar Rice Burroughs. But I ended up writing and making a book (Yotsume toji binding, about B6 in size.) about… I’m not sure. Science. Time. The shift from Geocentric thought to Heliocentric thought. Peopled by Kepler, Brahe, Copernicus, Nicholas of Cusa (who?), and Virginia Galilei.

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