Chronicle Blogging

Rooty Toot Toot
Development piece by John Hubley from UPA’s Rooty Toot (1952).
From the collection of Mike Glad.

The folks at Chronicle Books, publisher of the finest pop culture and design books, including books by both Brewmasters as well as all of the “art of” Pixar books, have launched a new blog. All the book editors are participating and they’re already posting some meaty entries. Alan Rapp, who edits art, photography and design books, and is the person who should be thanked for making Cartoon Modern a reality, has just posted his first entry. He’s chosen to write about one of my favorite topics: me. Ok, ok, actually the topic of the post is mostly about you: readers of Cartoon Brew and Cartoon Modern. Remember in December 2005 when we asked for your suggestions on the cover design of Cartoon Modern. Alan remembers that. He writes about the lingering lessons of that democratic experiment in book publishing:

The online buzz around the making of [Cartoon Modern] was unique in my experience, and attested to the convergence of the fusty old industry that is illustrated book publishing (read: slow) and the hypercatchy medium of blogs (fast). When Amid conducted an inclusive, non-binding poll of his readers to vote on the various jacket designs that had been proffered so far, the results were eye-opening.

What we had pragmatically hoped for—clear consensus—was not achieved. Instead, the big ideas behind the internet came to life: divergent, informed, impassioned opinions that represented the wide spectrum of the audience for this book. No cover direction was clearly favored, but the community around the book was invested in the process, pointing to potential new models of how we announce and make books.

So congratulations to Amid and the readers of Cartoon Modern and cartoonbrew. You all helped make this book a success and taught a small but significant to an “old media� company and editor.

Read his full post on the Chronicle blog.

A couple other quick notes about Chronicle which may be of interest:

* To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Chronicle will be giving one reader 40 free books every month this year. Enter the contest on this page.

* Hot news: Chronicle is turning one of my favorite blogs into a book. Get ready for Geoff Manaugh’s The BldgBlog Book. If you’re a fan of architecture, urban planning and futuristic landscapes, this promises to be an amazing book. The only downside: it won’t be out until 2009.