Maps and Legends

Maps and Legends

Dec 27

My wonderful wife got me two amazing gifts this year for X-Mas. One is a USB preamp thingee that enables me to create pro-am musical recordings in the comfort of our back closet.

The other is a copy of Michael Chabon’s new book of essays, Maps and Legends, one of those books you know you want, but you didn’t realize it yet. It’s a great read–he writes on topics from “the borderlands,” which includes comics, genre fiction, old stuff, and more.

Even more than a great read, it’s a great looking book.


I had really forgotten the sheer joy of holding and reading an incredibly well-designed, thoughtfully crafted book. Maps and Legends has three separate dust jackets, with art from Jordan Crane. They depict cartoon images of many of the topics in the book–monsters, mythology, and the like. Each separate jacket sits atop another, creating three separate layers of artwork–in the center is a die-cut hole, and beneath the hole is the title, set in black type within a gold-leaf X on the actual sewn cover of the book.

I’m doing a shitty job explaining it, but from the second I opened the wrapping paper, I loved this book. Hadn’t read a word, didn’t need to. It’s a beautiful object. Fondle a copy the next time you’re in a store.

Leave a Reply