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.

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

  1. Is it considered unreadable because the book is impossible to open correctly to view all the pages? Then they’re just not thinking outside the box – rip off each page as you read to reveal the next. (just snark, I don’t expect someone to destroy the piece in reality)
    Personally, I’d be a bit miffed if someone used my IP to make money by calling it a sculpture without my blessing or offering a cut of the pie. The artist could have created some faux comic to make the same statement.

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  2. Yeah, I was wondering about the IP theft, too. Sounds like the author/artist has enough funds to go after this guy if he wants, and I hope he does.

    One Piece is still being written- it’s good, too, the author hasn’t lost control of the story, which is amazing given how long he’s been telling it – the ‘sculptor’ has no leg to stand on about the stealing the IP.

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