The Every: A Conversation with Author and Artist, Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers has done it again with his follow up to The Circle. His new cautionary tale, The Every, imagines a world where social media and e-commerce fully converge into the algorithmic overlord of our nightmares—essentially, a reflection of the now. And it is only available at indie bookstores. Damn right.
As a lifelong fan of the art, wisdom, comics, universal magic, activism, films and writing of Dave Eggers, it was a dream to be selected as one of many artists fronting his new book. As if it could get better than a new Eggers tale, he's broken new ground again by releasing over 50 hard cover editions of The Every, with paintings as cover art.
Kristin Farr: How did the idea to work with many different artists for alternate covers come about?
Dave Eggers: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. For any given book jacket, there are usually a handful of equally good covers, and you have to choose just one. But why? There’s no overwhelming reason for a book to have just one cover. It actually doesn’t cost any more to have multiple jackets, so we decided to do it.
That's surprising. How were the artists selected? Describe a few of the artists' covers, and tell us why it felt like a good fit.
I started with Chris Johanson and Clare Rojas, whose work I’ve loved forever. I looked through about 100 images for each of them, and chose a handful that seemed to have some thematic overlap, and Chris and Clare were very cool about letting me use them. Then I asked Ivan Brunetti, Tucker Nichols and Jon Adams to do some new work, and they did phenomenal and very funny images that were specifically based on imagery from the book. From there, Noah Lang suggested some more artists, like yourself and Robyn O’Neil, and I did quick mockups to see how the work — extant work — looked with minimal type running over it. Your own work, Kristin, is so bright and bold and magnetic that it grabs the eye from 50 feet away. And there’s a lunacy and dizziness to it, too, that works well with the journey The Every’s protagonist goes on.
I'll cherish those words, thank you kindly. How many covers total do you think you’ll end up with?
I think right now we’re at about 60. A lot of those are subtler variations on a cover designed by Eve Weinsheimer (with a logo by Jessica Hische), but there are a lot of significantly different covers, too. We’re on the third printing now (the one you’re part of), and I hope there will be some more printings coming up. That depends on whether anyone still wants the book in December. If so, we have covers in the works by Karen O, Kris Lang, so many others. The plan is to print 1000 copies of each cover, and keep going till we can’t anymore. And I have to say, it has been a blast.
I'll say! Thank you for including me. Let's go for a million.
Special thanks and photo credits to Noah Lang and McSweeneys.net