Longest single-volume book in the world goes on sale – and is impossible to read

From The Guardian:

A limited edition single volume of the long-running manga One Piece is being billed as the longest book in existence.

At 21,450 pages, it is physically impossible to read, making it less of a book and more of a sculpture.

Priced at €1,900 (£1,640), the book isn’t credited to Eiichiro Oda, the writer and artist behind One Piece, which has been serialised in Japanese magazine Shōnen Jump every week since 1997. It is being sold instead as the work of Ilan Manouach, the multidisciplinary artist who has designed the limited edition volume, which is titled ONEPIECE.

Manouach printed out the Japanese digital edition of One Piece and bound it together, treating the comic not as a book but as “sculptural material”, according to the book/ artwork’s French publisher JBE.

A spokesperson for JBE told the Guardian that ONEPIECE is an “unreadable sculpture that takes the shape of a book – the largest one to date in page numbers and spine width – that materialises the ecosystem of online dissemination of comics.” Whatever it is classed as, there certainly seems to be a market for ONEPIECE – the limited edition run of 50 copies sold out within days of its release on 7 September.

Manouach’s piece came about because of the “profusion of available online content and the rampant digitisation of the comics industry” which “challenges the state-of-the-art of comics craftsmanship”, according to his publisher. “Ilan Manouach’s ONEPIECE proposes to shift the understanding of digital comics from a qualitative examination of the formal possibilities of digital comics to a quantitative reappraisal of ‘comics as Big Data’.”

Link to the rest at The Guardian

There are photos of the book at the link.

Less Credit, Longer Hours: Illustrators’ Roles in Graphic Novels

From Book Riot:

While there are many brilliant single-creator comics and graphic novels in the world — think Neill Cameron’s Mega Robo Bros, ND Stevenson’s Nimona, and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, among others — many graphic novels, both traditionally published and indie, have separate writers and illustrators. Sometimes, the writer and artist work as a long-collaborating team, like René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, the duo behind the Asterix comics. Some artists are approached directly by authors as the best fit for a planned work, as happened with The Adventure Zone comics, where illustrator Carey Pietch drew fanart of the series long before the McElroys began converting their popular podcast into graphic novels. In other cases, writers and artists are paired up by publishers for a specific project, something frequently seen in Marvel and DC comics, or sometimes in comics produced outside of the “Big Two’s” sphere, such as Frizzy, a new graphic novel written by middle grade author Claribel A. Ortega and illustrated by Rose Bousamra.

My own work in comics has followed the Goscinny-Uderzo model (although focused around metafictional faeries and anti-fascist magical girls instead of indomitable Gauls). I have three webcomics with my best friend and co-creator Emily Brady — I’m the writer, she’s the artist. We’ve been working on these comics since 2004, and one thing has been very clear to me since the beginning is that for all my procrastination, faffing around, and grappling with writer’s block, the writing side of comics takes no time at all compared to the huge number of hours required to produce the art. We have seven substantially-sized print volumes to show for our 18 years working on these comics, a very respectable number — but to people outside the visual medium of comics, used to working in the written-word-only side of publishing, seven books in nearly two decades looks like a small amount.

The number of hours it takes to produce a 200-page graphic novel is a point repeated by many comics illustrators who have spoken out about the unreasonable time expectations that artists often face when working for publishers, particularly those publishers who are primarily used to working on novels. In her article “Graphic Novel Production Schedules Are Too Short — and the Publishing Industry Should Care About It“, Nilah Magruder notes that “the average graphic novel is 200 pages, but it’s common for publishers to offer a year, sometimes even less’ — a huge ask which puts the illustrator in a perpetual state of crunch.

Magruder explains, “When I entered the children’s book industry, six months was the average timeline for illustrating a 32 page picture book. Let’s say I were to expand that 32 pages to 200 pages. The schedule to produce that gigantic book would be a little over three years,” which is a stark difference from the short timeline that so many publishers require.

Magruder’s article breaks down the amount of time and effort that it takes to produce a comic, something that many people without direct experience of working in this medium rarely consider. One comics professional I spoke to noted that “much like people who grimace when receiving a jumper Granny knitted for them for their birthday, [readers and publishers] never realise how much time and care has taken into making something.”

Rachael Smith (Wired Up WrongQuarantine Comix) said, “I think the time it takes to draw a page is often underestimated because of the relatively short time it takes to read one.”

“It’s hard to get rid of the idea that writing is skilled, ruminative hard work, but drawing is easy, messing about making pretty pictures, and therefore doesn’t need to be rewarded with any serious remuneration because you’re having fun all day.”

Link to the rest at Book Riot

The Banning of Persepolis Has Inspired Its Own Graphic Nonfiction Book

From Book Riot:

While book banning and censorship attempts in the U.S. have been at an unprecedented high in the last two years, they’re also not new. In 2013, library science graduate student Jarrett Dapier filed a Freedom of Information Act request that made public the Chicago Public School district’s attempt to quietly remove Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi from school libraries and classrooms.

Persepolis is a highly acclaimed graphic memoir of the author’s life growing up in Iran, and the emails showed that the title had been removed from schools without following the formal process for challenging a book.

News of the banning caused a public outcry, especially after Dapier brought his finding to the news and the ALA. The ALA later awarded Dapier the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for “defending the principles of intellectual freedom.”

Now, Dapier is turning this story into its own graphic nonfiction work called Wake Now In The Fire. It’s illustrated by AJ Dungo and follows a group of Chicago high school students who fight back against the attempts at censorship in their own school. It will be published in Fall 2023 by Chronicle Books.

Link to the rest at Book Riot