A Couple from Peter Koch, Printers: I’ll Die Tomorrow, by Mickey Spillane; and Paris, by Christopher Carroll

Being lucky to own a couple excellent works from Peter Koch, and ever thankful for Mr. Koch spending an afternoon with me at his studio a couple years back showing me most of his large portfolio of works (see here, here and here), I am always thrilled when I run into some of his work. Late last fall, at a book show by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers at Arizona State University, I spotted two works from Mr. Koch; a 2009 edition of I’ll Die Tomorrow, by Mickey Spillane, and Paris, by Christopher Carroll. As all fine press lovers should have interest in two such nice books, out came the iPhone and pictures were taken. A side note — the pictures below are not up to normal Books and Vines quality, because they are from an iPhone (not the normal Canon) and pictures were taken ‘in the field’. None-the-less, I think they still portray quite well the quality and spirit of these works.

I’ll Die Tomorrow, by Mickey Spillane

Mickey Spillane (1918-2006; real name Frank Morrison Spillane), an American writer of crime novels, most famously those with lead character detective Mike Hammer, has sold books counted in the hundreds of millions. Most literary critics, snobbily or not, do not rate his work very well, usually because of the level of sex and violence (though it is often tame by today’s standards). His prose is direct, sometimes not great, and often overboard. Critics opinions matter not to his millions of fans, nor did it to Spillane himself who felt that the public can decide for itself what is good or not. Spillane was unapologetic about not caring about critical acceptance, famously making comments such as “I don’t give a hoot about reading reviews. What I want to read is the royalty checks.

This edition from Peter Koch seems quite apropos in design. Attractively loud, energetic, passionate; unabashedly in your face with the ‘babes’ that frequent Spillane’s novels. The photographic reproduction is really amazing; I wish I had my better camera with me so you would get a better feel from the pictures below. The Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper is excellent, and the type, Bookman Old Style, is straightforward, almost blunt, just as Spillane’s writing.

About the Edition

  • Designed, printed, and bound by Peter Rutledge Koch with the assistance of Jonathan Gerken at Peter Koch Printers for del Milion Editions
  • The text, set in Bookman Old Style, is printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Photo Rag and the cover is printed on Crane’s Cover
  • The original photographs are printed with a unique color technique created by Karen Filter and based on Carbro prints from the 1930s & 40s and Technicolor from the 1950s; They were selected from her “B-Movie Series” and “Detective Series” shot in the 1980s
  • The photographs were then scanned and corrected under the direction of the artist and reproduced as digital pigment prints at Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California
  • 48 pp.    6.5 x 8 inches
  • Limited to 45 copies

Pictures of the Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Cover
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Cover
I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Frontispiece and Title Page
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Frontispiece and Title Page
I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Sample Text
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Text
I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Sample Illustration #3 with Text
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
I'll Die Tomorrow, Peter Kock Printers, Colophon
I’ll Die Tomorrow, Peter Koch Printers, Colophon

Paris, by Christopher Carroll

Paris is the latest release from Peter Koch. As stated on the Peter Koch web site:

‘Paris’ is a delightful alphabet book written and illustrated by fashion designer Christopher Carroll, illustrating his fifty-year love affair with the city of Paris. Carroll has set a sharp eye and wicked sense of humor to work on some of his favorite iconic locations and the charismatic characters that inhabited them. You will encounter Ho Chi Minh in the kitchen of Auguste Escoffier; Oscar Wilde in battle with the wallpaper at the Hotel D’Alsace; and the Surrealist photographer Dora Mar playing a bloody game of “truth or dare” with a kitchen knife.

I found the book wonderfully whimsical, with a fantastic set of topics to represent the letters of the alphabet. As with all Peter Koch productions, the quality of the edition is outstanding. The text and images have a great bite; a nice look and feel which do not come through well in my sub-standard pictures below. The typefaces, Nicholas Cochin for the text and Fournier Ornate for display, are unique, elegant and a nice match for the spirit of this work. The chartreuse silk-over-flexible-board binding is, well, cool! If you love Paris, fine press books, or alphabet books, this one has your name written all over it.

About the Edition

  • Designed by Peter Rutledge Koch in collaboration with Christopher Carroll and Susan Filter
  • Text and images were printed letterpress at Peter Koch Printers for del Milion editions
  • The typefaces are Nicholas Cochin for the text and Fournier Ornate for display
  • The original drawings in cut-paper and ink, were scanned at 42 Line and digitally re-configured under the direction of the printer
  • The text and images were printed on Hahnemühle Biblio, presswork from photopolymer-plates by Max Koch
  • The elegant chartreuse silk-over-flexible-board binding was executed by John DeMerritt Bookbinders
  • 56 pp.    7 x 12.5 inches
  • Limited to 80 copies.

Pictures of the Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Spine and Cover
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Spine and Cover
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Cover
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Cover
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, End papers
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, End papers
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Title Page
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Title Page
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #1 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #1 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #3 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #2 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #6 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Sample Illustration #3 with text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Macro of Text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Macro of Text
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Colophon
Paris, Peter Koch Printers, Colophon

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