I know there are many readers of this blog who are also passionate McSweeney's readers and have followed the fortunes and content of the publication over a little more than a decade. Now, according to a post on MagCulture, the collected illustrated history of the venture has been published called Art of McSweeney's.
This collection does a great job of showing off the work, running through the issues chronologically and sharing printed items that inspired the look and feel of each issue (the team have clearly maintained a deep archive). The introduction makes clear the teams’ desire to celebrate the physical nature of books, and describes the team as lacking formal design or production training. That might explain my slight anxiety about some of their design but not the exuberance of the production, as anyone who’s seen a copy can testify.
McSweeney's began in San Francisco in 1998 as a literary journal and has appeared in varying forms and formats: a hardback book, a printed newspaper, even a collection of junk mail. Founder Dave Eggers with his every breath seems to celebrate not only the art of the book (broadly interpreted) but also the readers he attracts with his eclectic approach.The collected work is no different, with everything from napkin stetches to the final objects. Contributors include Michael Chabon, Rick Moody, Jonathan Lethem, Charles Burns, Dave Eggers, David Byrne, Nick Hornby, Joyce Carol Oates, Jordan Crane, William T. Vollmann, Lawrence Weschler, Sean Wilsey, Marcel Dzama and many more.The 264-page book is published by Tate (yes, they of the Tate Modern Gallery and so on) and is £25.00 so, to have it delivered to your Canadian door, standard postage, will cost roughly C$63.)