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Blog Entry
A Broadside for Mardi Gras
Bruce Rutledge
February 12, 2013

Seven years ago, we published a little book called Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? The success of that book (it's in its third printing) changed the course of our press and happily connected us to New Orleans in ways we never thought possible. Like Lafcadio Hearn in reverse, we went from a press solely focused on Japan to one that pulled its stories from both Japan and New Orleans.

To commemorate that book and to celebrate Mardi Gras 2013 in style, we've created a limited edition broadside version of the title page. I say "we," but the artist behind this project is Carla Girard of Mercuria Press, a very talented letterpress artist from Portland, OR.

Mercuria and Chin Music are teaming up to launch a series of broadsides, book art objets and chapbooks that celebrate the printed word. Carla's work is inspiring. As Chin Music launches more books in both print and digital form, working with the letterpress tethers us to the past in a way that seems natural and good. This is the piece we've been missing.

Mercuria has created 100 two-color 7.5x15-inch broadsides to kick-start our venture into the ink-stained world of book art. Each broadside is numbered. They are available on their own or framed in our store. And if you buy one during Lent, we'll include a free copy of the paperback version of the book.

For those of you who don't have your copy handy, here's what the title page, which was based on a 19th century circus poster, says:

"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? A collection of stories & essays set in the Big Easy. An arousing assortment of tales filled to the brim with blood and spit. Follow our heroes and heroines as they escape from a sinking city. Featuring: A woman on a flying trapeze, a down and out jazz pianist, a teenage float grunt, acclaimed writers, drunken professors & radical southern intellectuals. Containing an illustrated map of the highest artistic standards, mouthwatering recipes & old engravings of the crescent city that were discovered in the depths of a library in the Orient. Do you know what it means? Mourn the city's loss, fight for its survival and celebrate its legacy. Then join us, the celebrated and only world-renowned Chin Music Press, in the streets for Mardi Gras."

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

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