Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A New Cover for Institutionalised Volume 1 - Beyond the Stanford Experiment. And One or Two Other Ventures

Anyone notice a change occurring in the sidebar over the last couple of days?  No? Well, it's a small thing I suppose but I finally got around to redesigning the rather bland, dire, green cover of INSTITUTIONALISED Volume 1 - BEYOND THE STANFORD EXPERIMENT.  And the sidebar image now links to the LULU PDF version (I discovered it went to the print version by default - a little expensive, and few people seem to purchase the print versions of books nowadays).

I have used one of the images my friend and artistic collaborator Angela Fox created for me as the basis; originally created for what was hoped to become an illustrated version of  INSTITUTIONALISED Volume3: A CONTINUUM OF DISCIPLINE it is, I think, just as relevant to certain events which unfold within the first couple of volumes.  The foreground image of the stern nurse or wardress with her trusty punishment cane is of course one of my photo manipulations and helps preserve the 'ToynTanen identity' as well as differentiate it from being one of Angela Fox's own book covers.  To the background computer art I have added a 'no talking' sign, the idea being to help further reinforce the sense of dark, heavy oppression and total domination I was looking for (which is also why I have kept the image rather on the dark and shadowy side - having added a background 'drop shadow' to my nurse and cane figure for that very purpose).

On another tack:  I have today created a Toyntanen Flickr (Google my name on Fickr) account to hold my book cover art as well as various other images from my collections that have inspired and influenced me over the years - and also to link to Angela Fox's work, so helping stitch our two bodies of work together for increased search engine visibility.  I have also added new sections to the new BEYOND THE BARRED WINDOW website, uploading over 300 images to a new section added to 'Women's Workwear' entitled 'Nylon Overalls - General' (although not all are nylon, and there are some duplicates from other sections / pages) and an incredible (and near-unmanageable) 701 images to the 'Nurse's Uniforms' section under the newly-added banner of... you've guessed it...'Nurse's Uniforms - General'.  In addition to all this I am gradually improving the website's pictorial links, upgrading each to open in a new page or browser tab and am nearing the end of that phase of the project, so please let me know of any link (other than the pull-down menus) you encounter which does not open as a new page / tab; ta!  Much obliged!

Finally:  I have begun the work of annotating a few of the more complete / polished images Angela Fox created (some of which I have since modified) for what was planed to have become an illustrated version of A CONTINUUM OF DISCIPLINE.  I am doing this for inclusion on another individual's website (of which more next time, or when the project is complete) as an extension of a few things I have started out creating on Deviant Art.  But it has occurred to me that the result could be very much like a truncated version of how an illustrated or graphic novel version would have appeared, if I put my mind to it and put in a little extra work - and if nothing else it could provide a sort of side-by-side reader's companion, albeit from within the website within which it will be hosted.  Interim sketchy ideas you should be able to view on my website as I go along from time to time.  Whether I use captions, speech bubbles or some combination of both is at present the subject of experiment.


Orage said...

"few people seem to purchase the print versions of books nowadays".

Not at all; formerly people hid their kinky books on the top shelves or behind the books on the top shelves.
These days it's much more simple: some books you can be seen reading, others not. So you buy the kinky ones as ebooks, and that's what I do.

Toyntanen said...

But it's such a shame. I mean; it's not the whole package, is it?

Don't get me wrong; I make more from ebooks / PDF sales per item than through printed copies (though so little really that I sometimes wonder why I bother - it's certainly not a commercial proposition!). But the cover art and stuff is all part of it; and the feel of a book in your hands, even a dodgy one, and the smell of books in a library or bookshop...

It is the same with music albums - it all started to go wrong with the introduction of CDs, let alone downloads. There wasn't enough room for all that creative cover and sleeve note stuff.

Remember all those gate-fold vinyl albums and double albums with all manner of commissioned graphics and artwork and pull-out art and even poetry. It formed a show case for all sorts of experimental photography and other techniques, all highly creative.

Anonymous said...

Some of us live in itty bitty apartmnts and have a serious shortage of storage spce, so books that disappear into our hard drives or our Nooks are actually a great leap forward. (Until the hard drive crashes, but nothing in this world comes without a price.) Point is, ebooks do have their advantages.

As for CDs, yeah, they meant the end of really cool album covers, but keep in mind that nowdays there's an awful lot of CDs out there that have only one or two decent cuts on them, and rest is just dross, so a download saves you from having to buy music you wouldn't listen to anyway.

SO that's march of human progress, I guess. Two steps up, at least one step back, and a couple of steps sideways.

The Non Victorian Chick

Orage said...

"But the cover art and stuff is all part of it; and the feel of a book in your hands, even a dodgy one, and the smell of books in a library or bookshop."
I heartily agree, I do love the covert art and the feel and the smell too. But what can you do when you are hemmed in by vanilla relatives squinting on your book?

Toyntanen said...

"... a download saves you from having to buy music you wouldn't listen to anyway..." Too true, Non Victorian Chick. Like the B-sides of the first two Roxy Music albums (well the first album anyway, to be fair, I guess the second wasn't so bad).

I used to stash all my dodgy literature inside the speaker enclosures of my music system, Orage.

While I'm here: Any body seen my first attempt at modifying one of the images Angela Fox created for my third volume as a frame from a graphic novel? It is up on Deviant Art now in an early stage form. It needs quite a bit of work yet and I'll probably put it out along with the various intermediate stages on one of the pages on my website. The final finished frame I'll probably publish here, but the set it will eventually go to form a part of I hope to see published on 'The New Institute' website eventually - a link to which can be found in the right hand sidebar. filed under 'Useful Resources'.

Orage said...

Yes, I've seen it, it's really much better than the original one.

What I'd like to say, if I may, that in Beyond The Barred Window, the link to Angela Fox's books should be this one, much more complete:

BTW "inside the speaker enclosures of my music system". What next? Inside the flush toilet? :))

Toyntanen said...

Mostly that's the link I use, Orage, but I have added a few that go through to the main section of her website.

Books in the cistern? Nah! Tried it... they go soggy!

WIP FAN said...

Love the cover, Garth! I really miss the days of gatefiild vinyl with inserts,posters and lyric sheets -a work of art in themselves (I suppose my huge collection of vinyl, books and comics is one reasaon why I'm single..)

It's diofficult to buy kinky e-books withouyt a credit card (I don't trust them), Orage!..)

Madmonkey said...

Is there any particular reason you have your new website set to open a new tab every time you navigate to another section? Personally I would remove this and open the new page in the same tab.

Toyntanen said...

Hi WIP Fan. I've got tons of vinyl but no decent player! Still got a partner, though... just!

Madmonkey... Agggh! What are you doing to me? Tell me you like it really... please tell me!

You see, what you describe is how it used to work. But then my friend and arty-graphic collaborator, hereinafter known as Angela Fox, said it was tiresome to keep having to backtrack and it would be so much better if each section opened as a new page (or tab, these days). So I have painstaking been working my way through as and when I update the website changing it all over to open in a new page!!! (At least I have someone else I can blame!)

I'm in two minds about it myself. Sometimes, under some circumstances I like it - if you forget and close the page / tab you are looking at you have not totally lost direction and can quickly set out again from the starting point.

On the other hand, if you follow a whole string of nested links then you can quickly get to the point where the browser toolbar or whatever is jam-packed with overlapping tabs... And in my case here, if using Chrome (horrible - don't like it)the computer misbehaves (blue screen and geeky hexadecimal gobbledygook.

Mind you: the website is kind of in two minds itself. If you use the branching dropdown menus at the top of the page you'll find they behave in a different way and don't spawn a new page / tab each time (I designed it that way, to provide a choice!.

The only exception to that latter rule is the section given over to Angela Fox's books / novels where the text / blurb / book extract sections can only be accessed by clicking on the rear cover image.

I guess the only way forward now is for me to set up an opinion poll for it, either here on the blog or on the website itself. What say you all? (or does that constitute a poll in itself?)

I'm at home all day today working on creating comic-stlye graphics for a sort of half-hearted truncated series of graphic novel excerpts based on Institutionalised volume 3.

In addition to my own photo / catalogue image manipulations, I am trying to utilize adapted versions of the art Angela Fox created when we were working on producing a full-blown graphic novel version of 'A Continuum of Discipline, way back when I was writing the thing and before it balloooned in to a 250,000 word epic. One or two of the results you can find on Deviant Art (and maybe a little later, right here ) but the majoatory of the series will be earmarked for 'The New Institute' website as and when they are created.

Why do I keep saying that? It is called 'The Original Institute'

So whenever you see me mention 'The New Institute' website, now you'll know I really mean 'The Original Institute'... Sorry!

Madmonkey said...

You don't like chrome? That's the best tool a web developer can have. Have you tried the debugger?

Toyntanen said...

I mean I don't like it to use as a browser - because it crashes my computer (or at least when my computer has crashed with a blue screen in the past, it has almost always been while running Chrome).

No I have never used the debugger. I'm building the website using Weebly's own tools and only poking and prodding around in the HTML / CSS stuff when I have to, like in recent days when I have added a bacground image to the pages (which I am still fiddling with. I'm just not that expert!