Interrupted Flight (2003)

Interrupted Flight was made (and if you’ve read what I wrote about Member Show I think you’ll find this funny) in reaction to a theme. The Guild of Book Workers was having an exhibit called In Flight. I didn’t really have anything in mind. Nor did I have any ideas. Then I thought of Darren Breen. He paints angels and we’ve always wanted to collaborate on something. So I approached him with the idea. I would bind the book and write the text. He would paint the images. He liked the idea and the project began.

I prepared the boards and took them to Darren. I didn’t hear from him, I didn’t hear from him, and I didn’t hear from him some more. Just when I had decided we wouldn’t be entering this exhibit he called and said, “I have the paintings done. Is it too late?” The books were due 2 days later. “No,” I said, thus committing to write the text and bind the book that night so I could overnight mail them the next day.

I went to pick up the boards with the paintings and, upon seeing them, loved them. But they weren’t angels! Here was I, with a text in my head about angels and people and flying but they weren’t angel paintings. They were hands. Darren explained that he had contracted a serious case of “painter’s block” and just couldn’t paint the angels.

I frantically began coming up with new ideas. I finally came up with one I thought might be OK. I ran it by Michael-Ann and she didn’t like it. I used it anyway and finished binding the book. The next day, before mailing it, I showed it to several people. All of them burst in to laughter on reading the last page.

And it is kind of funny. At least I hope you’ll think so. But there’s also a deeper, more serious meaning behind it. Rather than tell you what it is, I’ll let you think about it. If you really want to know how I meant it, please click “Comments?” below to e-mail me.

The book didn’t make it into In Flight and, at the time, I thought that was justified. I just didn’t think it was that good. However, I think the jurors rejected the book for the wrong reasons. Anyway, when I got it out to look at it the other day, I decided I really like the book, after all!