A KNAVISH LAD A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM GRAPHIC NOVEL.
Edinburgh: Joanna K. Robson, 2017.
An Amazingly Intricate, Elaborate, & Lovely 16th/21st Century Leporello —
A Midsummer Night's Dream Graphic-Novel
Oblong 24mo (16.3 x 13.7 x 5cm (approx. 6.5 x 5.5 x 2”) [unopened] approx. 240 x 16.3 x 13.7 (94.5 x 6.5 x 5.5”) [fully opened].  ff; color illus.; plus a volume of 12 unnumbered pages. As new at issue, as described above; volume with paper obi strip (i.e., "belly band") stamped in black and housed in blue cloth box, stamped in silver. Book and certificate of authenticity signed and dated by the artist. WorldCat finds three copies in the US: University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the Folger Library, and the University of Chicago Library; one copy in the National Library of Scotland.
Created in an edition of only seven copies to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, A KNAVISH LAD is "[a] wordless visual retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream using a combination of old and new technologies: intaglio printmaking and laser cutting. The result is a panoramic piece of book art that visually narrates the story and draws inspiration from the imagery of the text" (all quotations, and a few of the illustrations, are from the artist's website).
The presentation, which extends to nearly eight feet (240 cm) when fully opened, is bound between padded, dark brown cloth–covered boards with endpapers of embossed Fabriano Rosapina Avorio paper (285gsm). Included are the author's booklet recounting the work's origin and creation, along with a certificate of authenticity (this is copy #5 of the seven).
Two intersecting accordion-folded sheets form sixteen vignettes of scenes from the play," one set of panels being of black laser cut plike paper (330gsm) and the other on Hahnemuhle paper (300gsm), carrying aquatinted etchings, with laser cut-outs. The interplay of the two elements lends both actual depth and a sense of mystery discovered, to the scenes. The refinement of the etching's drawing, and of the cutting, are extraordinary, and the colors are deep and rich, especially in the green, blue, and brown ranges.
Robson writes of herself, "I am a freelance illustrator and artist, with a special interest in artists’ books." She "studied Modern History at the University of St Andrews before going on to complete a MA in Authorial Illustration at University College Falmouth," where she began making book art. "Since graduating I have continued to create artists’ books, as I find them one of the most versatile mediums in which to tell stories." A KNAVISH LAD was completed with the aid of a grant by the Hope Scott Trust.
For further information on this edition, the artist, and additional photos please visit: