Book Arts Improv Book #2: Superhero Handbook

This was a tough week! I came up with a theme mid-week, but had a difficult time figuring out how all of the pieces would fit together. I put feelers out on my Facebook page and got some awesome help. Finally, it all gelled this morning after a conversation with my hubby. Phew!

Here are the themes I was working with this week:

  • The best breakfast cereal that doesn’t exist: Amazeballs
  • The worst movie you ever watched: Epic Movie
  • The 8th deadly sin: Gerrymandering

Here’s the finished product – a book entitled Superhero Handbook:

Handmade flag book by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs - "Superhero Handbook"

The covers were covered with a beautiful silver paper that was handmade by Richard Langdell. The inset image was created using a linoleum cutter and Speedball Speedy-Carve. I hand-stamped the image using a pigment-based ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I then colored in the image using permanent markers – I wanted the colors to pop.

Hand-carved rubber stamp

The basic structure is a flag book – the spine is made of card stock folded like a paper fan and rows of flags are attached to opposing sides of the folds. I’ve used this structure before for other Improv books – you can count on it like a comfy pair of jeans.

Handmade flag book by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs - "Superhero Handbook"

Handmade flag book by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs - "Superhero Handbook"

The flags were cut from Canson Mi-Teintes paper in the shape of clouds – I wanted the inside of the book to look like a cloudy sky. Off the back of the book is a hand-sewn cape made of red satin. When I decided to make a cape, I didn’t take into account that the edges of the satin would be super frayish. Argh.

Sewn red satin cape

Yep, sewn by hand.

Here’s the complete text of the book (from left to right, top to bottom):

A cape is optional. If you do wear one, be aware of the fashion statement you are making.

You need to have amazeballs to keep going after the bad guys.

Get a day job.

The Justice League doesn’t gerrymander.

What’s your Kryptonite? Stay away from it.

If someone knows the location of your command center, you’re likely to get solicitors.

Have a sympathetic back story. It attracts the babes.

Have an archenemy? Fight him.

Get a sidekick and delegate.

Fly in the left lane only when passing.

You have to be in at least one epic movie before anyone will take you seriously.

What part of secret identity don’t you understand?

The insides of the covers were lined with Canson Mi-Teintes. Just like my last book Improv book, Ode-ors of a Ginkgo, I incorporated a pocket in the back of the book to hold the colophon. I haven’t yet printed the colophon because I’m not exactly sure how many I’ll be making – it will be either 4 or 6 copies.

I’ll be posting the new Improv themes tomorrow, so be sure to come back if you’d like to enter the weekly drawing.

I’m looking forward to week three!

2 Responses to “Book Arts Improv Book #2: Superhero Handbook

By Kath - 19 January 2014 Reply

fraying material – suggest to use Fraycheck on the inside bottom edge (or maybe a thin line of PVA) and retrim before applying, or turn in and press and hem from the outside

By Elissa - 19 January 2014 Reply

Kath –

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to look into the Fraycheck.


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