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Minds of the Press, Vol. 2

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

Marcelo Anciano of Areté Editions

Though Areté Editions is a relatively new fine press, the collective expertise that comprises this endeavor is staggering. It began in 2020 with an idea for a project that brought together veterans from every part of the industry and resulted in the first Areté Editions release, The Case of Death and Honey by Neil Gaiman. Not satisfied to let a wonderful collaboration go to waste, Marcelo will continue working with this group and already has a long list of projects in progress. We are elated to share some of the conversation we had with him and hear about what led to the development of Areté Editions, as well as what is in store for the future of the imprint.

Q: You started Areté Editions in 2020 after a conversation with Phil Abel (Hand & Eye Editions) and a desire to collaborate on a short story by Neil Gaiman. You had also been conversing with Gary Gianni about illustrating a book together and eventually pulled in Rich Tong (Ludlow Bookbinders) to put it all together. What drew you to each of these artists and how did you share the artistic vision between members of the team?

The Artist's Edition of The Case of Death and Honey

Areté started with The Case of Death and Honey, however, Death and Honey started a year before Areté. I had been making books for decades, many were with Gary illustrating. In fact, the first limited-edition book I made in 1998 was with Gary, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane (this was before the internet age took off and selling a book like that was a constant stream of fairs and conventions, and we sold many through comic shops because of the lavish illustrations throughout the book). Gary and I have made books together ever since. We had spent many years working with George RR Martin on his stories set in the Game of Thrones world, and an art book as well. We had also recently done a book of a richly illustrated version of Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu, two versions of that actually, (a sketchbook version before the completed one) which was finally published by Flesk. The book was the outcome of the concept to meld cinema and books together, something we had been constructing for decades.

During the start of the worldwide COVID lockdown, my project with HBO was stopped due to the loss of our executive producers to Amazon’s Lord of the Rings project (Rings of Power). Gary was working on designing some of Martin’s HBO House of Dragons environments and style, taking a break from illustrating books. Then he lost his beloved brother, Tom Gianni, who succumbed to cancer a few weeks into lockdown. We both knew it would happen but the loss to Gary was huge. He felt he needed to re-evaluate his work. He had lost the drive to do fantasy.

Early sketch for The Case of Death and Honey by Gary Gianni

I suggested that we do a book, not with any idea of publishing it, just a way to create something for us while lockdown closed the world. Creating a book is an organic thing. We start from doodles, find the vision of the story and then work on the reading experience, we’ll perhaps get more into that later, and then finish with the more constructed text and pictures, but we start with hundreds of Gary’s doodles. I suggested that he look at some of Neil’s short stories. The Call of Cthulhu was only about twenty pages long and we had made it into a ninety-page book, that had meant that we could really play with the reader’s cinematic experience. I thought we could do the same with another story. Gary remembered Neil Gaiman’s The Case of Death and Honey, a story that resonated even more for him after his brother’s passing. I actually said to him, “But what’s there to illustrate?” He replied, and I’m paraphrasing; “that the story enables me to find the moments of quietness and open up what is implied by the characters interactions. And it was Sherlock Holmes.” We started, and Gary found his creative mojo and we found a book, although a very sketched-out one, it had a voice. I then asked Neil if we could publish it and, when he saw what we had done, was very enthusiastic. It did help that I had known him for decades and he was a big fan of Gary’s work. We had planned to go to a mainstream publisher to print it, but I also wanted to make a high-end letterpress book too, originally, I had planned on making, oh, fifty books or so.

Then I struck lucky. I had no idea where to start looking, so I found the closest letterpress printer to me, in London’s east end, and called him up. It was Phil Abel, and it was the best thing that could have happened. When I showed Phil the book it turned out he was about to print Stardust for Lyra's and wanted to make more books, he suggested that we print the whole edition letterpress, including the illustrations.

Relief printing was something both Gary and I wanted to explore, this meant that the ink line images would become the print. Like a photographic wood block or lino, by that I mean, it would not be a facsimile reproduction that offset litho offers, but where the image becomes something again, as a print, after Gary had drawn it in ink. But it should have no greys, which for us was a challenge. Thank Christ for meeting Phil. Phil Abel, it turned out, was a decades-experienced master printer and it was luck or fate that we came together. His contributions were incredibly valuable as we made the book. We wanted it to be printed hot metal, and he was a master typesetter. We wanted it to be relief prints, he knew exactly what was needed. I felt that the book would be like the old artist books I had seen and admired when I was at art school, books with Picasso etchings bound in. Once the interiors were planned, the plates tested, with multiple examples of what would happen when Gary’s images were put to a letterpress plate, (Gary would then change the image to become more like a template for relief prints each time) and the type was at the foundry, Phil and I began to think about the bindings, which is where Rich Tong came in.

Phil had gone on holiday a few miles from Ludlow, and had just printed Stardust, so he dropped the machine proofs of the book to Rich and was shown around Ludlow Bookbinders. Again, as luck or fate would have it, if he hadn’t been on holiday near there, he would never have seen the bindery and met Paul Kidson and Rich and realised that this was exactly the sort of binders we had been looking for. I saw Rich’s design for Stardust. I remember the first meeting over zoom that we had, Phil had said to me that Ludlow’s were binders, not designers, but I knew Rich was much more than that, I could see it. I thought he could create something elaborate but not gimmicky, I said to Rich, “Don’t you want to work with an artist like Gary Gianni and be able to hold up the book and say; I made this.” That is how we all came together.

It was around this time that Phil suggested that we form a new publishing company together.

And then, after working together on Death and Honey, and around the time of Stardust, Rich asked me to work with him on his Lyra’s Books projects as well.

Q: It seems it was meant to be, a truly organic and collaborative effort. You are the conductor at the center of Areté, bringing expertise as a multi-disciplined artist with years of experience in film, publishing (Wandering Star) and writing. Do you feel that this endeavor is the culmination of what you have learned from different artistic disciplines or simply a new outlet for creativity? Why did you feel that this moment specifically was the time for Areté Editions to be born?

Good questions. I went to art school and did my M.A. at Chelsea School of Art (it was a time when punk and new romantics were blossoming), and I had decided that I needed to use a different language than sculpture, which is what I was practising, the awareness of space. I needed to learn how to make films. Michael Craig Martin, a fine artist, told me that I was a storyteller, not a sculptor, and in retrospect he was right. Long story short, I started to make music videos, because I used to hang out with the guys that became Spandau Ballet, when they signed their deal, they asked me to get involved with something called “music videos” (this was before MTV). For ten years I directed some of the most influential bands of the eighties and nineties. MTV became hugely popular and so did the music films I made, and I learned how to make films. When I began, there was only a handful of people making music videos and most of us knew each other and shared our tricks. Music videos pioneered something most people are not even aware of now, the fast edit. We consciously made films with fast cuts. I had a conversation with George Miller (Mad Max), where we were talking about fast edits in car crashes and chases, he said that he used 16 frame edits in action scenes, which is really short, there are 24 frames of film in a second, he said, “people see it!” People register that feeling subconsciously. I use the same knowledge with illustrated books.

I had a deal with Disney/Miramax to make a series of films of Modesty Blaise with Quentin Tarantino, (that’s a book in itself), but they gave us money to develop other properties. I decided that I wanted to make films of stories from my childhood, however, they were fading away from public awareness. Robert E. Howard was becoming a niche pulp author, whereas I thought he should be an American classic author, like Dashiell Hammett. I used the money from the development funds to make books of Howard’s neglected works, to raise the value and awareness of the film properties, although there were already cheap paperbacks available of his stories, they were selling a small amount each year. I decided to make lavishly illustrated limited-edition books of them. I figured that we could place Howard as a classic author by bringing scholars to contextualise Howard, the books would have so many pictures inside that the executives in studios could just flick through the book, and get what the properties were about. As I said earlier, this was a time when selling these kinds of books was very hard, unlike now. I sold the license to the books to Random House; they told me that they would sell 4,000 copies max and they also told me that illustrations would never sell a book. The first paperback they released sold over 100,000 in the first year! Because of the pictures. That was Wandering Star Books. Visuals are important, they tell a story to the reader almost instantly. To get back to the question. As I made the Wandering Star books, I learned what was important for an enhanced reading experience. It was the same as a film edit. Making books is like directing a film.

Illustration by Gary Gianni from The Case of Death and Honey

This is something I bring to bear in the design and creation of a book. I’m interested in the way a reader’s experience can be enhanced by, not only the illustrations and the images, but by every tactile experience of the object, the book itself. When we pick up a book, how is that going to set up the story contained? How is the box, slipcase, reveal of the cover and the materials that it is made from, the paper, the type, going to give you a sense of what is about to come?

In a book when you turn the page and there is an image, you subconsciously, subliminally, register the picture. That image will affect what you have just read, and then, almost instantly, you continue reading and it will affect how you feel about what you are reading going forward. What can that image be, to be the right one (and often, I feel, it is not the most obvious scene that needs to enhance the reading, but also something that will set the tone of what is on the page or show what is unwritten)? That image has not only affected what you read, it has implanted itself into your experience of the story, and when you come to the relevant point on the page that the image reflects, for a second that image becomes conscious. Like a 16 frame edit, that image tells you something intangible. Images set up or dramatically satisfy the page turn. I could go on about this for hours…

Areté, and Lyra's, allow me to use all my visual experience from art school to film, to script writing and direction, to my experience of visual responses to story, to cinematic storytelling; it is a culmination of my experience. And I’m still learning.

Q: That’s interesting, because it seems there are a lot of ways to view illustrations, possibly as adding to the experience through a secondary expression or some may even pejoratively say it forces a perspective unintended by the author. However, you view illustrations as an even deeper element that subconsciously informs and shapes the entire experience of the story. When you converse with artists about illustrations, what specifically are you hoping to convey in order to add that tone and feeling in your illustrated books?

I do see illustrations in a book as affecting the story, yes, ideally enhancing. Sometimes though, for me, with some books, if I don’t like the illustrations, it affects the way I feel about the story, it’s down to taste ultimately. They always have an effect. Well placed-images also mean a well-placed text flow. By that I mean, the typographer is as much a part of the illustration’s power as the actual image is. You are right, I think that images can subconsciously inform and shape the reading experience.

There is a painting by N.C. Wyeth that he did for Treasure Island, a wonderfully illustrated book, where he depicts Jim Hawkins, the young protagonist, leaving his mother. Stevenson says something like: ‘I said goodbye to mother and the cove’ … ’and (goodbye to) dear old…’ and so on and so on … it’s almost a throwaway in the text, but what N.C. painted is the image of Jim’s mother in tears, her head buried in a handkerchief, as he walks away, that added emotional resonance beyond what was written. The image had as much power as the text, it added. It is these kinds of examples I talk about with artists; each book has its own subtle themes and through lines that require finding the images that will add resonance to that story’s through line. Every book is different, but I always look for the added reader experience. Some images are actually there to stop the reader in their tracks! And then continue reading…

Gregory Manchess working on an oil painting for future project Frozen Hell

Importantly, when images start to come through from an artist, I like to see what emphasis they have found, or feel for, what voice they have, and enhance that vision rather than place my vision of the story on them, so each time a new project is started it is in flux, and it is my job to enhance, find and clarify, always being aware of what is going on as the book is being read.

Q: Let’s talk about the name of the imprint. The Greek word Areté comes from the idea of “excellence,” specifically that there is an emphasis on the quality of what an individual does and experiences. This can extend not only to moral action but artistic quality and creativity as well. How have you tried to live up to such a lofty goal and do you feel as if you’ve achieved what you set out to do with your first release?

Wow, ok. Phil came up with Areté, it is a good word. It is a word that reflects what we want to achieve. The books I want to create with Phil and Rich I want to be the best of what we can do in each of our respective fields of creation. Death and Honey was a good start. I’m not sure whether we’re aiming for anything “lofty”, we’re just trying to make good books, and enable an environment for creative people to do what they do best. I hope. And make the best book possible for that story.

Q: Well, you certainly hit the mark with your first release and it was executed flawlessly. Rich Tong said it was one of the hardest designs to execute that he has ever created and the complexity and beauty of the final product make that clear. How did the final product resonate with your earliest visions of the piece?

Thank you. When Gary and I were first working on the book, we originally thought we’d do it like a book from Conan Doyle’s era. It was only when Rich came on board, after Phil’s input as a printer and bookmaker, that it changed. Rich came up with a very modern idea for a visual theme of the whole object, the bees. I worked with him and Gary to create what his theme triggered, and it changed dramatically from what Gary and I first envisioned. It opened up, certainly, my mind, as to what is achievable. We always wanted to do an edition where the originals were embedded into each book, so each book would become a unique art object, which didn’t change, Rich worked on making it so. However, his ideas, when he was actually making the books, became a huge endeavour for him. It took him much longer to physically make the books than he had ever imagined. Both Rich and Phil are perfectionists in their fields, both couldn’t let their work go to the public without being the best they could do. This has set back all our books by several months. But it has also set out what Arete is about.

Artist's Edition of Death and Honey

Q: You have stated that you and Rich Tong (Lyra’s Books) will be collaborating a lot moving forward and that the lines between your two imprints are slightly blurred. In your mind, what would differentiate an Arete Editions release or one from Lyra’s Books, or do you see them both as collective extensions of your collaborative vision?

The books we decide to do is the difference. Rich chooses his books, Phil and myself choose Areté’s, otherwise we are the same now. Rich and I have long discussions about what books to do in the future and I have discussions with Phil about Areté’s selections. Otherwise, yes, creatively they blur, however, Rich likes Lyra to have a slightly more classic design, whereas with Areté I like to push Rich’s design to see what he can come up with in terms of sculpting the materials he uses. I don’t see it as extensions of my vision, but certainly directed collaborations of a shared one, with slightly different visual bookbinding. We are the same team, and each book has its own voice that we all try to make manifest. I think that, for the most part, the difference in the bookbinding between Death and Honey and Coraline shows the difference and the similarities. Essentially, Lyra's and Areté are the same creatively; myself, Rich and Phil. But the choices of books are, with collaboration, the responsibility of each press.

Q: How do you decide what the next Areté Editions project is going to be and what does the collaborative evolution of bringing it to life (overall aesthetic, binding material, colour, artist, typeface, etc.) look like? Also, what are the defining characteristics of an Areté Editions piece?

Deciding what will be our next project will be, is like asking, “how long is a piece of string?” We have a number of projects on the go, but some books like Frozen Hell will take longer to come to fruition than, say, Benjamin Button. So whatever is ready to go will become our next book. As I said before, each book grows organically from the story and from the artist, myself and Phil. Phil has opinions about typefaces (working with metal is a very analogue way of working), and it has no interface with InDesign whatsoever, so my designs are constantly adapting to the old ways. It is hard to make a metal monotype adhere to the expectations of a modern reader, widows and orphans and the like, that kind of thing. But I try and make a compromise between the process and the reader. The book then changes again when Rich becomes involved, sometimes quite early, like with Frozen Hell, and that will inform the interiors. I start with a sense of what I feel the book is about, we choose an artist that I hope can work with this kind of process. Some don’t, in which case the way I work changes. Rich’s role is very, very, time-consuming for him. Just making the edition, whether it be Lyra or Arete, takes him months, if not a year to actually make the books.

Numbered Edition of The Case of Death and Honey

His design participation is always tempered by his job of binding as well. He makes his book design by actually playing around with materials, different leathers, cloth, paper and colours, as much as with the art he has from the artists. He really is a fine artist in that respect. That means he can make dozens and dozens of mock-ups before he’s happy. That takes ages and ages and is never quantifiable in time.

As for what is the defining characteristic of Arete, honestly, I don’t know. It is made up of the tastes of Phil, myself and Rich and that changes from book to book. Perhaps in a few years, we’d be in a place where that can be defined. I love what people like Subterranean Press, Centipede, Suntup are doing with imaginative bindings, however, I’d like us to sit between them and presses like Arion and Thornwillow, which is more about the craft of the interiors (Thornwillow) and Fine Art (Arion). I’d like us to combine the artifice of Arion with the sort of stories that are more mainstream.

Q: I think the success of Lyra’s, Areté and the buzz around The Conversation Tree, prove there is certainly a demand for something in between. Speaking for the entire team working on The Case of Death and Honey, artist Gary Gianni said “We built it out of love for the art form. It has little to do with recognition or money. We just wanted to create a beautiful book…” Clearly, you have achieved your goal, and in doing so you have had to bring the project to market. What do you attribute the initial success to?

I think that Areté had the debut it had because Rich and Phil were well respected and known in their fields, and I have been making books for years and was also known, so all of us coming together had a certain recognition. Also, the book came out nice.

Q: It certainly did! Obviously, creating a work like this doesn’t just require artistic ability, but also a level of business savvy. Does the practical side of running a small press, including the logistics and expectations from fans, excite you or is it simply a necessary by product of creating art for anyone other than yourself?

I personally am always aware of the reader; you cannot create something that exists only for oneself. It has to be a readable object for readers. It is the act of creation that is personal for each artist/craftsperson and it has been very exciting to see collectors respond to our vision. The business is part of the process of bringing these books to market and enabling the artists as well as the marketing. Coming out of a very commercially driven audience-led art form I am acutely aware of the buyer base, the audience. And getting the books out there. But that is different from creation. The art is what drives the book. The internet is great for reaching out and over the next couple of years, I would like us to reach a broader base that may not care for social media.

When I was producing offset litho books, it was much, much, easier, businesswise. You can print these books within a week, not months or even years that our, and by that, I mean Lyra's and Areté, books can take. The very nature of these books mean that they are very expensive, about 85% of the cost of the books is production (and offset can be about 10% of the cost of letterpress). That affects cash flow, rights are negotiated years in advance and are very expensive, artists need to be paid for a year before publication, and very expensive paper has to be ordered many months before publication. These all are the business, however, the kind of books we are attempting to make don’t work by the timelines of an offset printing and mechanical binding, which allows one to schedule a business plan. But the rights, contracts and the business, the cash flow and the organisation, do not work by craft’s timelines. That is a constant stress. Phil is great, he’s done a few limited-edition books and continues his imprint, and he’s very good at keeping business organised.

As for expectations, all we can do is produce the books we like to see and hold, and hope others are also willing to pay for the experience, so we can continue to produce.

Q: Unlike most newer small presses you have decided not to offer rights attached to your releases. How does your specific catalogue differ from the traditional imprint and why has this led you to forgo creating a system of rights?

Rights are a contentious issue. With Areté, we’d like to have the flexibility to make books without the restrictions that rights put on you. Perhaps a book should be made with only 200 copies in the edition, not having lettered, numbered or trade versions. Perhaps we will want to make a book with an artist that commands thousands of pounds for each print bound into the volume, could we then turn around to a particular rights holder and say, sorry, this is going to cost you ten times more than the last Areté book? Rights though, do have the security of sales, but it also means that the same people are buying your books. I’d like to be in a place where collectors will buy the books they want, and different buyers mean that we can make different types of books.

The Fine Edition of The Case of Death and Honey

I’m not sure whether rights are a “traditional imprint”, rights are a new thing. Sure, they had clubs, like Limited Edition Club or subscriptions, like Thornwillow, but rights, as known today, is new. Also, clubs like LEC made 1,500 copies of a book to cater to their members. We couldn’t hope to make that many with the kind of books we make. But, in essence, they had 1,500 “rights” holders, not 26, or 200, and a waiting audience that can’t have a look in. Time will tell whether it was the right decision. If Areté makes a trilogy, then, obviously, rights will be part of that. And if people want a particular number we’ll endeavour to give them that number. Now, rights would have been a great thing to have with Wandering Star back in the day! I wish that kind of thing existed then. But “rights” are not right with our aspirations for Areté.

Q: You are probably better for it in the long run as it can become very contentious. Speaking of changing conventions in the small press world, how have you seen the limited press scene change over your time? If there was one piece of advice you could give to some of the younger press owners that are just publishing their first or second book, what would it be?

It has hugely changed. When I did the Wandering Star books, I think Subterranean Press was just starting and there was Donald Grant, but there wasn’t the proliferation of limited-edition mainstream books being made like now, at least that I knew of. There was no way of knowing what was out there of course, without word of mouth, there was no internet. Wandering Star was one of the first really, and as I said earlier, they were really hard sells. There were the old-style Fine Press publishers but they did pretty obscure titles, no one really was doing science fiction and fantasy books, or even classics. I mean, books like Moby Dick were being done, but no Brave New World. At that time, I had no knowledge of publishers like LEC (Limited Editions Club).

As for advice, hmmm, that’s pretty hard. Find your voice, find a vision that you want to do and it will always be different. If you just follow what everyone else does, it will be hard to stand out. Work with good designers, if you are not one yourself, try and not just get a few plates from an artist, tip them in and call it an “illustrated book”, well, I mean you can, and it is, but it will look like something that everyone else has done and the market is overwhelmed by those, I think. However, if you have the right title and author and make well-made books by master craftspeople, then you will find an audience regardless. I’m not sure that’s advice actually! Just common sense. If publishers are walking this limited-edition path, they generally know or want to make something unique. I have had conversations with other publishers and they all have a vision, James at St. James Park Press, Tony at Conversation Tree Press, they all have a sense of what they want to do with their imprint and certainly don’t need advice from me about their vision, perhaps the practical side of things, but not their voice.

Oil painting by Gregory Manchess for upcoming release Frozen Hell

Q: Well, they certainly have their own vision, but I’m sure they appreciate the sage wisdom you offer! Looking forward, new titles are always exciting and you have already discussed a few future projects in the works, but who are some dream authors and artists that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Bloody Nora! Where do I start?! There are a few stories I’d like to do and I know that Phil has a few too, however, I’d like to work with artists who ordinarily don’t do books. I think that could be thrilling. I’d like to see contemporary pop illustrators doing classics like, say, The Odyssey. When it comes down to it, it is about whether an artist likes collaboration. There are more books than we can ever hope to make.

Q: The Odyssey with a contemporary pop illustrator, that is something I would love to see, I hope you do it. Often times the approach to illustration is to look at the content and try to find an illustrator who can capture the time and place of the material, but what specifically excites you about bringing a different perspective?

I do like both. A book with illustrations that feel part of the story’s time and place is, and can be, great and perfect. But there is also a place for a different context for art and story. Imagine someone like J.A.W. Cooper, who is amazing, doing something like The Odyssey, or even Bruce Timm or Frank Miller?! And conversely, imagine an artist like Antony Gormley (he has done some astonishing etchings of people in the form of energy emanating from the figure) doing 2001?! They would bring a perspective that allows for a very different feeling as much as a traditional way of illustration. That can be thrilling. However, personally, I’d never veer away from the feeling of the story or what the author has written, the point is to always enhance the reading experience, not throw in a disconnect.

Prototype for Words of Fire by Neil Gaiman

Q: If there was one word or phrase that came to people’s minds when they think of Areté Editions, what would you hope that it would be?

"Oh wow. That’s interesting."

Q: What exciting projects are next for Areté Editions? You have announced that the next production will be a collection of poems by Neil Gaiman named Words of Fire followed by Frozen Hell and Brave New World, but is there anything further out on the horizon that you would like to share?

We’re doing The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald with Dave McKean, which is just around the corner, we’re going to do that on polymer plates, so will be much, much, faster than hot metal. We shall see what Dave brings to the table, we’ve talked about doing his images as relief prints, possibly with a couple of colours, which would be something not seen by Dave before and could be so cool! I really can’t wait to see what Rich and McKean will do too.

Yes, Frozen Hell is a bit late as Rich is caught up right now, but he’s done most of his experimenting with the ideas, working with Greg Manchess, and Greg has also finished the amazing paintings for the book. It is going to have a multitude of black and white chapter head prints. We are doing some stitch binding in that book, which if we pull off, and I’m confident Ludlow’s can, would be really amazing.

Illustration by Gregory Manchess from upcoming Frozen Hell

It will be ready in a couple more months. As soon as Rich is free and we have the interior book blocks done we can show you our editions which we are all very excited about, it’s going to be more complex than even The Case of Death and Honey was!

Brave New World is being soft-proofed for casting and we are working with the Pop artist Allen Jones. He was part of an art movement that included David Hockney, Warhol and James Rosenquist, and this will have his prints bound into the book. Very excited about that project, I’d like to show the prints and the book in museums and galleries if we can. Neil’s Words of Fire has a portfolio of broadsheets with each of Neil’s poems metal letterpress printed on single sheets of handmade paper and a Fine Art silk screen print in five colours by Bill Sienkiewicz printed by Jealous. Very chuffed about that, although the metal type was really, really, expensive to do!

Lud-in-the-Mist is on its way, the artist is Scott McKowen. Neil Gaiman recommended him and Neil has always been a great ambassador for the story, he absolutely loves it and we had several chats about who could be a great artist for a unique edition. Scott is doing over forty-five full-page images. We are nearly finished signing, so I guess it’s ok as we are quite far down the line with contracts, The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham and The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and I really, really, want to do Orlando by Virginia Woolf.

Upcoming Words of Fire by Neil Gaiman by Areté Editions

Words of Fire opens for preorder on Oct 1st at

If you want something extra special to watch then use this link to see an unboxing video of the Artist's Edition done by none other than Neil Gaiman himself!

This interview was done in a series of communications back and forth and we want to thank Marcelo for his time and encouragement. If you want to see more from Areté you can check them out at and sign up for their mailing list to get periodic updates. You can also follow Areté on Facebook and Twitter.

Interview by: Zach Harney a contributor to the Collectible Book Vault

*Since there are often different spellings in American English and British English of the same words, we have chosen to adhere to the spelling of the person who is speaking rather than conform to one convention for the whole interview.

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