The Weird Accordion to Al Book Preview: Check Out These Gorgeous Allustrations!
As an author, I have always taken a keen interest in the visual aspects of my books. I hope that if people are dazzled enough by the packaging, they will ignore or overlook the shittiness of the contents.
Something like a decade ago I was sent the proposed cover for my 2009 memoir, The Big Rewind by my editor. It was striking and minimalist, just vividly rendered television color bars. It was cool but it did not say anything about my book. Thematically and tonally it was just plain wrong but I was a first time author lucky enough to be published by a respected giant like Scribner so I felt more than a little sheepish objecting. I didn’t know if I had the leverage or standing to request changes from people who are very good at their jobs, but I also didn’t want my debut to have a cover that I was unhappy with.
So I asked for a different cover and was blown away by what the designer came up with, of a sad young man with a television for a head. It was fucking weird, and looked cool and fit the tone and content of The Big Rewind way better than the original cover.
Since then I have been very hands-on with the art for my books. I paid illustrator Danny Hellman out of pocket for the My Year of Flops book, even though The Onion made most of the money from that particular collection. I similarly paid Daniel so much for the cover of 7 Days in Ohio that I barely broke even on the endeavor, despite the book-type thingy doing very well, relatively speaking, for a self-published e-book of its size.
My sister-in-law Romy Maloon did an amazing, cover for Kanye & Trump.
And, of course I chose all of the images for Weird Al: The Book. That was a hell of an interesting challenge. Yes, I’ve always been very visually oriented when it comes to publishing books.
So when I was conceptualizing The Weird Accordion to Al book illustrations were always a huge part of the package. The column suffered from not having a coherent or consistent visual aesthetic. I was grabbing random images off Google as I went so while the column was hopefully a whole lot of fun to read, and fun to listen to, since I included music videos in every entry, it was not much to look at.
The same cannot be said of the Weird Accordion to Al book. The book will be way, way, way, way better than the column in no small part because veteran illustrator, colorist and all-around art guy Felipe Sobreiro will be doing extensive illustrations covering every stage of Al’s career. We’re looking to have about fifty or so illustrations that will go a long way towards separating the column from the book.
So I wanted to share with you some of the illustrations Felipe has sent me so far.
I have taken to calling them Allustrations, because I can, and oh, but they are a thing of beauty. Here is a sample of the wonders to come:
I love everything about these images. I love the humor. I love the specificity. I love the attention to detail. I’m not just excited about publishing these in a book in a couple of months; I want to get them all tattooed on my body, not unlike the subject of the song “Another Tattoo.”
Yes, the Weird Accordion to Al book is coming along swimmingly, so please do consider checking out its nifty campaign and get access to exclusive rewards over at https://make-the-weird-accordion-to-al-book-a-ridiculous-r.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders