“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King,
There is a certain magic that comes from the covers of your favorite books. They set the tone and assist your ‘theater of the mind’ for what your are about to read. It’s a brief glimpse of the journey ahead. Personally I still love actual books. The tactile experience, the act of turning a page all still resonates with me and so do great book covers.
Growing up in Maine, it was easy to get lured into the utterly horrific, disturbing and sometimes inspiring Stephen King universe. The prolific author is the pride and joy of the North East and his work is beloved by fans all over the world. Since 1974’s “Carrie” to 2017’s “Sleeping Beauties” he’s managed to haunt our dreams and left us feverishly turning the pages of his books with demented and heroic characters and memorable often bizarre places.
Suntup Editions shares a love for King’s work and more directly, the art that has graced his books over the years. Owner Paul Suntup has been involved with books in one way or another for the past thirty years and has now embarked on a rather remarkable project.
Called “The Covers Collection” Paul is working directly with the artists who created the book covers for some of King’s most unforgettable stories. To date, artists include Dave Christensen, Tony Mauro, Ned Dameron, Bob Giusti, David Palladini and Linda Fennimore, with more to be announced.
These gorgeous prints are a must-have for any King fan. We asked Paul about this enormous endeavor and kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to speak with us.
Seeing the art without the cover text really give is a whole new life. How did the “Covers Collection” start?
Paul Suntup – Yes, it’s quite something to see. The project evolved out of one of the custom-bound books I was working on. I thought it would be a nice idea to contact the artist of the original jacket art, and see if he’d be up to signing a small 6 X 9 print which I would include with the book as a free bonus. In this case, it was Steven Stroud who did the Firestarter Cover. So I contacted him, and he loved the idea. Then it occurred to me that it would be really cool if we did a larger version, and that started me thinking that I could do this for other covers as well. And the idea was born. Now I have twenty covers in the series, and I’m working with fourteen artists, and adding more periodically.
What was the initial reaction to this project from the artists you’ve worked with so far?
PS – The overwhelming majority of them were all over it. I think they appreciated the fact that I was going to showcase their work without any modifications. Something that really amazed me, as I was getting into this, and seeing scans of the original work, the covers on which they originally appeared. There was no cover text and no modifications. For example, in some cases the art on the cover was cropped, so I was seeing a part of this cover that I have never seen before. This is the artwork, printed in a format and style that is faithful to the original, and now the general public can really appreciate these pieces for the first time. The series, for me, is a way to honor the artists and their work.
To date you have six prints in “The Covers Collection.” When can fans expect the next one and how many more are lined up?
PS – As of September 1st, 2017, I have officially released six prints. Those are Pet Sematary, Misery, The Shining, IT, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands and Salem’s Lot. I release a new one every month, and right now, that will continue until the end of 2018. Subscribers are shipped their new print on the 1st of every month automatically, and non-subscribers can purchase prints individually.
Our personal favorite print is “The Shining.” It brings us back to our youth in the late 70’s. I can remember that this was the first book that literally gave me chills and spooked the hell out of me! Which print are you most enamored with?
PS – See, that’s just wonderful to hear. I love hearing things like this. These images are so iconic to a lot of people, and like you, I too grew up on these. The Shining is a great one. I love them all, but if I were pressed to choose a favorite, it would be Pet Sematary. Oh, and Christine, Firestarter, The Eyes of the Dragon, Needful Things, IT, WAIT… that’s more than just one and I just gave away from future prints!
Patience is NOT one of my virtues so I can’t WAIT to see what you have in store for the month’s to come. Can you tell us more about the prints themselves, like what paper is used, how they are printed, are they signed, etc.
PS – Sure, so these prints are printed on a beautiful textured art paper that is very thick and is 100% cotton. The papers are acid-free and have no optical brighteners, which basically means it’s archival, and will last a VERY long time. They are issued in limited editions of only 50 per size, and there are two sizes. All prints are signed by the artist, and some will include an original sketch, aka a remarque. Also, we stamp all the prints at the lower right corner with the publisher’s mark. This is a seal impressed onto the print as a distinguishing mark using a cast iron and brass embosser. Framing options are available, and there is also an archival folio box, where you can safely store and collect the series. In terms of printing, these are giclée prints. I also offer an unsigned poster version as well.
After speaking with you it’s obvious you have an unrelenting passion for King’s work, any message you would like to share with his fans?
PS – Many of us have been impacted by his work, his imagination, the words he writes, the characters that he develops, and the worlds he creates. If there were a message, well I think firstly it would be to his ‘non-fans’, and that would be, read his work! He is a brilliant storyteller, and an equally brilliant writer. Pick the best book to start with for you, seek advice. And for his fans, I guess the only thing that comes to mind is that if you find yourself collecting his books, get educated first as to fair market prices, and make sensible purchases. Collecting Mr. King can be immense fun, but if allowed to go unchecked, it could be particularly hard on your pocket book. I would say, buy what you love nad what has special meaning to you, and make sensible decisions Know that collecting his works is a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, it might be best to consider it as a leisurely stroll in the garden. Just stay away from the mazes.
Head over to Suntup Editions OFFICIAL WEBSITE to shop their store and see all the great things they have. You can also follow them on TWITTER and FACEBOOK to stay up to date on new releases and Golden Ticket winners. Huge thank you to Paul for sharing his passion with us and giving us a new collection to obsess over.