(We’re calling these posts where we try to surprise and delight each other with a book Book Wows! Please let us know about amazing books we should look at together.)
Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff by Dave Strider. Designed with help from KC Green (gunshowcomic.com), John Keogh (lucid-tv.com), David Malki ! (wondermark.com) and Andrew Hussie (mspaintadventures.com). Topatoco, 2013. 184 pages. 9781936561032
You can still read the comics in this book online at http://www.mspaintadventures.com/sweetbroandhellajeff/
From Topatoco’s press release:
“Since the days of Gutenberg, publishers have tried to marry form with content in pleasing and impressive ways. And while there have been fancy books, and there have been bad books, never before in the history of the codex have the two been mismatched in so dramatic and pointless a fashion. Like a wrench torquing a bolt too hard and shearing off its head, so too does Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff completely and irrevocably break the notion of the printed book.”
G: There’s a fake coffee stain that’s part of the cover’s gloss laminate.
S: And it says “woopps.” And there’s more on the back cover. A skate sticker. A piece of cheese with misplaced laminate. And there’s a raised area.
G: How long is this bookmark thing?
S: Pull it out. I had to wrap it up.
G: It’s like 3 feet long.
S: And this is a commemorative coin.
G: On the inside front cover? Is it stuck there?
S: Yeah. I haven’t tried to take it off. I think it’s glued down. It says “Scotch tape zone.”
G: Oh my god. Ha! Why are there pictures of Owen Wilson in this book? And what’s his name — is that Ben Stiller with a fake beard? Oh my god. (snorting)
S: The reason I had to purchase this is KC Green, one the people who helped with design of the book. The printers sent him page after page after page of “mistakes” telling him about problems with it. And he was like, no, that’s supposed to be like that. It’s full of these crazy meta book issues that upset the people who printed it. It reminds me of the first book of Barry Yourgrau’s NASTYbook series which was bound upside down on purpose, so you looked like an idiot while you were reading it (because the cover was upside down). The library rebound a couple of copies so it was right side up. They didn’t realize that it was a prank.
G: I can imagine. This is the craziest book with some of the weirdest layouts and the shittiest computer-aided drawing I’ve ever seen (though clearly it was done with purpose).
S: Bad drawing, bad reproduction.
G: Is this a coupon?
S: A fake Subway coupon.
G: For a sandwich that’s the size of bigfoot’s penis. (laughing) I don’t understand this book at all. WTF is this?
S: An animated bookmark of him falling down the stairs. There are two or three bookmarks in the book. And there’s a job application for Subway. A notes page. A picture of Jared. Page after page of nonsensical author notes.
G: What is this?
S: A fold-out page that says centaur fold. It’s a picture of a centaur.
G: (more snorting) Here’s a voucher for an overnight stay in a Subway restaurant. And there’s a pocket in the back cover.
S: Yes, with a bookmark.
G: Is this a giant paperclip?
S: No. What does it say?
S: And there’s a map, sort of. It’s the entire book.
G: $40 huh?
S: Totally worth it. This book is insane. It upsets people.