the Little Red Reviewer

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What do you get when you mix nightmares with prose poetry and then set it all to the sound of unique and unexpected typography?  You get something like The Quick Shivers anthologies from The Daily Nightmare.  and when they say “quick” shivers, they aren’t kidding. Every entry in the anthology is only and exactly 100 words long and based on a Nightmare that was submitted to their website.  And the typography? Certainly I remember typography from my college graphic design classes, but I never knew it could be used like this.  This is quite literally, graphic literature.  Jim and Janice Leach of The Daily Nightmare were kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the anthology series, the genius and challenge of unique typesetting, snob horror, and more!

Shivers 3

LRR: I absolutely adore your Quick Shivers anthologies. the writing is smart, snarky, fun and punchy, and the graphic design is just beautiful. It’s one thing to do an anthology of 100 word prose-poems, and a completely different thing to type set each entry differently and creatively. Can you tell us a little about the artistic process of putting these anthologies together?

 

Jim: Thank you for the kind words. The Quick Shivers anthologies are rather non-traditional, and not everyone appreciates the big concept. For instance, we’ve submitted both anthologies for consideration for the Bram Stoker Awards, but they don’t know what to do with them — they’re not poetry, not fiction, not graphic literature so there’s no category where they fit. And that’s kind of the point. We’re making something that’s intentionally interstitial.

 

And our other goal is to slow down the reader. I’ve had a long love affair with weird typography partially because it’s “difficult” to read. In our quickly paced society, we all rush through too much of our lives. We present the works in a way that is both expressive and helps a reader work through a piece with a bit more leisure.

 

Janice: But you’re not answering her question, dear. As far as artistic process, our books are a team sport, perhaps even a relay race. The writers pick the nightmare, give it their own interpretation, then we pass along our selections to the designer who works hard to make every piece unique. It’s fascinating to read the different takes on the same nightmare, to see how individualized and open-ended stories can be.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.