LONGBOX: Edition #36 (2013)
Longbox was a radical rethink of what ‘anthology’ or ‘magazine’ could mean. It housed six extended works by eleven writers, all accompanied by visual art, arranged as five separate books in an impeccably designed box set:
Thirteen Story Horse
When Bridget Lutherborrow sent us two stories set in a dream-like suburban apartment block, we wrote back and asked for more. Now the stories form a full collection, with painter Harley Manifold bringing his matching knack for finding beauty in the plainest urban environments.
Looking a Little Drawn
It’s intriguing when a person noted for particular skills tries something altogether different. Some attempts end better than others. Andrew Denton was the first to claim he couldn’t draw, but for a love of cartoons he was willing to chance vulnerability in the attempt. He even invited guest illustrators for contrast. Wit is a virus that survives many forms of transmission, and Andrew’s efforts compare favourably to Russell Crowe’s discography.
In a few dozen pages, Luke Johnson demolishes the romantic Australian idea of the shearing shed. A former shearer, Luke describes a bleak, harsh world with glorious poetic certainty. Caroline Hunter’s cover is fitting complement.
Protein / News From a Radiant Future
A genre mash of lit fiction and sci-fi schlock with a dark comic twist, these twin novellas bookend the apocalypse: Libbie Chellew marks its mundane beginnings while Katherine Kruimink documents its aftermath. Technical illustrator Anthony Calvert plots the point in these worlds where language gives way to simpler forms of signalling.
In rich colour on thick cream paper, with a new layout and an all-new poster format, Pat Grant’s graphic novella starts in the depths of a 1990s video shop in a small coastal town, surrounded by stories in plastic boxes. A new eleven-part essay series newly illuminates each page of a story that has heart-punched thousands of readers.
Longbox by design
The task of creating Longbox was thrown to young designer Dylan McDonough. We wanted an object as considered as its contents, making design and production a central element. Dylan’s work showed an attitude – an element of risk –fitting for GDS.
The foiled hard-case box held an inner jacket of brightly contrasting tones, which could be drawn out and opened to reveal five components: three books with varied covers and rich internal presentation, a poster book built from larger folded sheets of rich Mohawk cream stock, and collected individual cartoons on heavy card smashed with black. Covers and cases from BJ Ball’s Colorplan and printed in careful collaboration with Docklands Press.