44Flood: Tome

Every so often, there comes a project the scope of which is kind of baffling--not just in terms of the physical components, but in emotional and psychic resonance. TOME, by Ben Templesmith's new artist collective/publishing house 44Flood looks like it's shaping up to be just such a project.

To quote directly from the Kickstarter Page:

TOME is an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using the comic book, painting, and music mediums. And by oversized we're talking big, around 11x17" [They have since updated this to 12x18"] and 180 pages! That size will let you experience art and sequential storytelling in a way that would be almost impossible outside of standing in front of the original work itself.

This year's TOME will focus on the theme of VAMPIRISM. Modern popular culture has shown us all kinds of depictions of vampires, from the silly to the subdued. The artists in TOME will each take 3-5 pages to explore what we think is a unique and relevant take on vampirism as a whole, including the misuse of power and the objectification and exploitation of others. And at the conclusion of each artist's contribution, they'll have a one-page interview conducted by another artist to continue their artistic exploration.

More info after the jump.

Now, the whole crowd-funding shebang has been live for several days, and they have already reached over triple the goal they set. But this wasn't ever a call to fund some stuff, necessarily. No, this was about telling you about a really weird multimedia project with a fantastic line-up of artists, and to show you how to get in on the ground floor.

Speaking of the artists, there will apparently be a new set each year. Here's the word, from the producers, "[The roster] will change, and we have have some people come back etc. The artist will be picked based of the theme that year."

Knowing that this project has Ben Templesmith at the helm, a few things fall more clearly into line. For instance: Vampires. Duh. But then there's the choice of first collaborative piece, from Templesmith and Menton3: A giant redesigned version of the Tarot's Death trump. See the first of the two videos, below, to hear each of their reasons for this choice. Long story short: The Death card represents change, transformation, loss, and, of course Death. For each of these artists, these themes have become vastly important, over the last few years, for very different reasons.

This is the spirit of 44Flood, and the ethos behind TOME. Bringing the artists in together to work on those themes with which they resonate. And so far, the results look amazing. For more info or to contribute to the funding of the project, check out the Kickstarter page.

Ben Templesmith and Menton3's Death:

TOME