At the center of Dreaming Spies is a book—
A folding book of illustrated poems, some eight inches tall and three and a half wide, with a slip-case to hold it. When stretched out, it forms a panorama of the very road you travelled along to get here: the Kisokaido.
Years and years ago, in some museum gift shop or other, I came across a Victorian-era game called a myriorama, where cards with various scenes on them are laid side to side to make an endless landscape. Every so often I would take out this miniature deck and play with it, wondering how I could do something like it.
Then I came across a freebie piece of software that let you feed in images and scroll them across the page. Aha!
I put out a call for images, making a contest out of it, and was so happy (if not surprised) at the creativity of LRK readers.
However, for some reason, the software developers withdrew their program. For a while it was available with strange cartoon advertising figures across it, but then it was gone entirely. Sadly, I archived the Russellscape.
In the meantime, my very clever son was growing up and doing a degree that was, basically, making things march across a screen. Surely the kid owed me a favor or two…?
Ta Daa! The all new, improved version of the Russellscape, marching across a screen near you.
And because this new Russell memoir has at its heart a book about a road, what better contest for 2015 than a Russellscape?
To get you started—and to prove that even a person with no artistic skill at all can play this game—here’s my panel for the Russellscape:
It’s a collage of (mostly) Hokusai art. And it follows the STRICT RULES of the Russellscape, namely: its sides match the colors of the Russellscape Border. Surely you can manage that, too?
Prizes are a signed hardback of Dreaming Spies and posters of the Dreaming Haiku project (more on this later). But mostly your prize will be the wild adulation of your peers and my profound respect and affection.
You have until Feb 10 to get me your panel. You can do your panel on any of the stories, but if you want to use Dreaming Spies, there’s a lonnngg excerpt, here. For the Russellscape rules, entry information, and the border to get you started, download and print the instructions here.
And as always–have fun!