Thursday, July 13, 2017

Birthday Books: 5 by Nick Bantock

“Our house was a temple to The Book. We owned thousands, nay millions of books. They lined the walls, filled the cupboards, and turned the floor into a maze far more complex than Hampton Court’s. Books ruled out lives. They were our demi-gods.”

British-born artist and book designer Nick Bantock, who turns 68 on July 14, is one of the most celebrated and imaginative writer/designers of the intercentury era.

After graduating art school, Bantock became a successful freelance designer, turning out some 300 book covers in sixteen years. He moved to British Columbia, Canada, to an island near Vancouver, in 1988.

There he conceived of a series of books that were more than just a story. Lavishly illustrated tales of enigmatic encounters, they included all sorts of “tipped in” ephemera, as the book trade calls it: faux postage stamps, handwritten letters, documents, passports, postcards, and popups.

His Griffin and Sabine trilogies were a 1990s sensation around the world. With nearly thirty books to his credit, Bantock has also adapted the Griffin and Sabine legend for the stage, become a painter and gallerist, and spent three years on a Canadian government commission reviewing and approving postage stamp designs.

In honor of his birthday, Henry Bemis Books is pleased to offer five of Bantock’s best:

Bantock, Nick, The Venetian’s Wife (Chronicle Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, 1996). ISBN 0-8118-1140-9. A mysterious art connoisseur, communicating only by email, hires a museum curator for an equally mysterious task. Hardcover, dust jacket, very good condition. HBB price: $29.95 obo.

Bantock, Nick, The Forgetting Room (Byzantium Books/HarperCollins, 1st ed., 1st printing, 1997). ISBN 0-00-225176-0. Another of Bantock’s mysterious tales interweaving text and illustration, this one involving a man who inherits a house in Spain from his grandfather. Hardcover, dust jacket, very good condition. HBB price: $49.95 obo.


Bantock, Nick, The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy (Chronicle Books,
Vol. 1, Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, (1991, 1st ed., 6th printing); Vol. 2, Sabine’s Notebook, (1992, 1st ed., 2nd printing); Vol. 3, The Golden Mean (1993, 1st ed., 1st printing). The first set of Bantock’s two Griffin & Sabine trilogies, in which- he says-  he presents “a new genre in publishing, a marriage of word and image embedded within a mysterious alchemical love story of postcards and letters.” Lavishly illustrated, these books were a publishing sensation. Hardcover dust jacket, very good condition. HBB price: $60 the set, obo.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

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We regret that until California Assembly Bill 1570 (2016) is struck down by court order or amended to relieve out of state booksellers from its recordkeeping and liability burdens, we are unable to do business with California residents.

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