Neil Gaiman - A Case of Death and Honey signed numbered Arete edn
The Case of Death and Honey by Neil Gaiman.
A strange tale of loss, magic and Sherlock Holmes illustrated with forty pen and ink drawings by Gary Gianni
Letterpress printed by Hand & Eye Editions and bound by Richard Tong at Ludlow Bookbinders.
This beautiful elegiac tale of Life and Death has an aged Sherlock Holmes crossing a continent to search for extraordinary bees that may hold the key to life itself.
A story of magical realism by one of the world’s premier fantasy storytellers.
Artist's statement: Gary Gianni : Upon reading Death and Honey for the first time, I remember being exhilarated by the scope and vitality of the short story. This was years ago, well before I ever thought about creating dozens of pictures for Neil Gaiman’s Sherlock Homes adventure. The initial enjoyment of the reading experience raises a question I wrestle with from time to time. Why illustrate good literature? Shouldn’t the communion between the author and the reader be a sacred experience? When is it okay for a third party, namely some illustrator like me, to trespass on that sacred ground and weave pictures into the mix? Who can give you reasons? Who can tell you why? Fools will give you reasons, wisemen never try.
Perhaps the monumental production of this one-of-a-kind letterpress book is a fool’s folly; sort of like Fitzcarraldo hauling his 300-ton steamship over a mountain top. It’s this sort of romantic comparison that appeals to artists in general. Thinking about Death and Honey from this perspective gives me some clarity. Maybe there is an answer to the question posed earlier, why illustrate good literature? Aside from the wonderful story, the book itself can be a work of art. I’ll speak on behalf of the team of skilled craftsman involved in producing this fine object.
“We built it out of love for the art form. It has little to do with recognition or money. We just wanted to create a beautiful book…”
About the printer - Phil Abel is well known in the world of letterpress printing. He bought his first press in the mid-1970s and started his press, Hand & Eye Editions, in 1985. Since then, he has printed thousands of jobs for clients large and small, including the Royal Household, the Post Office and the Folio Society. For the last ten years he has printed record sleeves, labels and booklets for the acclaimed series of releases from The Electric Recording Company. He continues to work to commission and to print and publish illustrated books.
His lifelong interest in letters and writing and many years of work and study have developed his eye as a typographer. He tries, whatever he's working on, always to print to the very best of his ability.
About the Binder - Richard Tong at Ludlow Bookbinders: ‘We produce luxury, handmade books using traditional skills that have been passed down through many generations of binders.'
In early 2018, Richard was presented the prestigious Elizabeth Soutar award for his binding of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Of the two bindings he made, one is in the National Library of Scotland and the other belongs to the author. He and Ludlow Bookbinders have their own imprint, Lyra’s Books. Their first publication was a spectacular edition of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.