Introducing Fantasy Camp

By Nathaniel G. Moore

The going rate for a typical zine these days is still well under the $10 mark. But the brand new Toronto-based zine outfit, Fantasy Camp, is daring to raise the stakes with their latest artist book, Rugs.

Blurring the lines between chapbook, fancy artist book and zine, Rugs is a new handbound hardcover publication that gathers work from seven emerging illustrators. The book arrived on our doorstep in a nice box with a pamphlet describing the project and achieving a bit of an art show vibe with its packaging and presentation. One of the book’s illustrators, Eunice Luk, describes the work as “a new approach to the popular zine culture of today.”

When Luk started making Rugs, she wanted to create an art zine different and more substantial than most zines. Featuring work by Vesna Asanovic, Anjo Chiang, Diana Luong, Ted Gudlat and others, the book sells for an audacious $45.00 CND plus shipping. The high price is in part due to the intensely handmade nature of the cover and end pages. These are screen printed, while the title is hot foil-stamped on an antique press by hand so each book varies slightly. “By hand binding each book in a case bound structure using archival materials, the book will last for years as an art object as well as a publication that documents the illustrations my friends and I were making at the time,” says Luk.

Anonymous headshots, psychedelic motifs, cats pushing penguins in a shopping cart, fuzzy monsters playing with snakes in the rain, Bob and Doug McKenzie, and Dungeons and Dragons dice are but a few of the subjects explored in the 96 pages of artwork featured in Rugs.

For more information on Rugs, visit fantasy-camp.blogspot.com where they have a list of stores that are carrying it, more samples from the book and plenty of news about the artists involved.

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