Our shipment of “By Hound & Eye” arrived from the printer while I was teaching overseas (yes, it was raining there. It was England). So it was only today that I got my first look at “By Hound & Eye,” the new workbook from George Walker and Jim Tolpin.
This book started out as a hair-brained idea explained to me by George Walker over a lunch of fried chicken, fried hominy and a couple beers at The Eagle in Cincinnati. (This is the place where John and I come up with our craziest money-losing ideas. See “Book of Plates.”)
By the end of the lunch, I was sold on George and Jim’s idea. This workbook was going to be the missing link between thought and action. If George and Jim could just convince readers to pick up a pencil and do some simple exercises, readers would take the first steps into a larger world.
But how? Luckily George and Jim were just crazy enough to drag animator and artist Andrea Love into the picture. Andrea, George and Jim created “Journeyman” and his dog “Snidely” as the mechanism to explain incredibly complex geometrical ideas using simple, almost-childlike lessons that I found myself doing, even while editing their rough text.
At that point – when Snidely and Jouneyman were just stick figures – I knew this book was a piece of fried gold. And somehow between classes and crises, we got this book to the printer.
Believe it or not, this was the hardest part of the project. George and Jim wanted it to be an inexpensive, softcover workbook. We don’t do that here at Lost Art Press. We do hardcover. Nice paper. Sewn bindings. Blah, blah.
“By Hound & Eye” would be silly in a high-class presentation. But it had to be a quality workbook if it was going to have our name on it.
So what we made is, by publishing standards, a duck-billed platypus. It’s softcover and the text is printed on uncoated stock. But the softcover is printed with a supermatte coating (very expensive) and the binding is sewn so it’s as durable as our hardcover books. And the uncoated paper is the best stuff we could get (#60 basis weight).
So this tacky workbook ended up quite expensive to make and is nice in the hand. And we still brought it in at $20 retail (really, we should have made it $27….).
We hope that those of you who ordered the book are enjoying it. I think it’s a hoot. But most of all I hope you are giving the exercises a go. That is the key to everything.
— Christopher Schwarz