Chop Suey Books will publish Skull-A-Day book as part of new imprint

The Carytown retailer is going “old-school” by creating a physical book imprint.

Chop Suey Books recently announced the upcoming launch of its imprint, Chop Suey Books Books, which will publish physical books beginning with a pictorial collection of local artist Noah Scalin’s Skull-A-Day project.

Scalin began his Skull-A-Day project in June 2007, wherein he created a unique work of skull art–using traditional art materials, gym shoes, vegetables, whatever–each day for one year. By the project’s end, he amassed hundreds of thousands of followers, published a book documenting the first half of the project, and appeared on The Martha Stewart Show.

“I never imagined that my personal project would touch so many people and transform my own life in such a profound way,” Scalin said in a statement.

Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey Books, said the Carytown store has hosted several Scalin exhibitions and book signings in past years.

“I am always blown away by his artwork,” said Tefft about Scalin’s work. “It seemed only logical that we work with him on packaging Skull-A-Day as a beautifully bound book that can be enjoyed and shared as only a book can.”

An independent bookseller launching an imprint for physical books may seem…unviable to some people. Amazon’s success in recent years has already displaced many independent book stores, and the rise of e-books has started dwindling the desire for physical books. But Chop Suey Books’ owner, Ward Tefft, is optimistic, saying the Carytown bookseller has endured with local support.

“Obviously, we have kept our doors open for over twelve years because Richmond treasures a finely curated independent bookstore,” Tefft said. “Publishing Skull-A-Day is symbolic of this tight bond with the local community: the profits from this book will allow us to thrive as a small business at the same time that we are bringing this very important art piece to Richmond and the world.”

Scalin has created a Kickstarter fund to finance the 260-page, hardcover binding showcasing each of the 365 skulls he created. The Kickstarter ends on July 1st.

The book will be available in October.

photo courtesy of Chop Suey Books

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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