“Skull-A-Day” began as a blog in 2007, when artist Noah Scalin started posting images of skulls he created, then invited others to share their variations on the theme. A book with 150 images, Skulls, was released by Lark Books in 2008. It’s now out of print, but when people continued to ask for it, Chop Suey Books owner Ward Tefft saw an opportunity.
“It was nice to be able to hand-sell that to people," Tefft says. "In the time we had it when it was in print, it was our best seller — then the publisher decided not to renew it.”
A year ago, he and Scalin decided to collaborate on a book — Chop Suey’s first foray into publishing — to show the complete scope of Scalin’s project. It’s 260 pages, the first skull to the last, in full color and between hard covers.
“This was unlike other blog books, an amazing art piece of its own,” Tefft says. "I wanted to do Skulls because I believe in it and there are people who want to experience it in this format."
This is Scalin’s fifth book. Rather than make a Skulls II, the idea of collaborating with Tefft to present the entire project appealed to him. Scalin explains, “So he offered to do all the work a publisher would do without the pain of working with a publisher.” Tefft used a broker out of New York City and had a first edition of 3,000 copies printed in China.
The two will engage in some touring to promote the book, Scalin says. “Most publishing houses have cut way back on touring, but, Ward’s like, ‘Let’s go to the West Coast, let’s go to New York!’ We want to make some money on it, but, no reason not to have fun with it.”
An official release is set for Oct. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Carytown store. 422-8066 or chopsueybooks.com.