Everlong — Grindstone Cowboys

Proof that even worms poo.


Shriners and Mounties and bears, Oh My!

CD package for my band The Grindstone Cowboys.
Just for fun.


Upgraded to Serious

“A brilliantly humorous view of a world falling apart. The poems employ medical terms and metaphors to work through loss and detachment.”


Coupe No. 21 Cover

The cover of the new issue of Coupe.


The Carnivore

Turns out I'm not a very diligent blogger.
Been darned busy with work and fun and some epic, life altering stuff.

A new jacket hot off the press for the nifty novel The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett.

Here's the synopsis:
In October 1954, just as Ray and Mary Townes seem to be establishing the perfect marriage, Hurricane Hazel barrels through Toronto, killing 81 people. Ray, a young cop, is hailed as a hero by the newspapers, for saving several lives from a rampant Humber River, while Mary is a nurse who performs her own small miracles that night. But as the young couple try to resume their life together in a shell-shocked city, Mary begins to doubt her husband’s story. Who is it, exactly, that stares out at her now from the cover of the Globe and Mail? Definitive answers prove elusive, and divisive. And fifty years later, when a reporter comes knocking, wanting to once more revisit and celebrate that violent night, a host of secrets finally surface that threaten to destroy them. 

Combining images of a historical photo evoking the era and setting, a detail of classic wallpaper connoting the idyllic dream of marriage in the 1950s, and a slab of protective plywood was almost enough. Almost. A big thanks goes out to my boy Michael Holmes for letting me add the first rain drops of the impending storm in the form of a clear spot varnish.


Spine Out

A small cross-section from 15 years of book design. Warts 'n all.



Rebecca, Born in the Maelstrom is the latest offering from Marie-Claire Blais in her award-winning and beautifully strange series. Think Lost meets Alice in Wonderland meets Apocalypse Now.
When I designed the first installment in this collection it was not clear that it would grow to a trilogy and then beyond that. The challenge with the collection which spans 12 years was to try to maintain a coherent look while updating each separate title to reflect the moment and not look dated or staid. Some elements were carried throughout the series and some were let go but the end result is an organically grown "series" look.

The english edition of Augustino was released in 2007.

The english edition of Thunder and Light was released in 2001.

The english edition of These Festive Nights was released in 1997.



One of the good things about the internet and blogs in general is that design projects that get killed now have a place to see the light of day. 
Case in point, here are 3 covers I designed a few years ago for Michael Winter's most recent novel The Architects are Here. The story, much like my experience working on it's cover design, is an epic journey full of dark humour, tragedy, and death. I worked on the jacket design for a year, a year which started with a quick and unanimous OK for one of my early designs, and ended with a kill fee after 25 total cover designs and an awful lot of frustrations along the way. The greatest frustration was when I saw the dog of a design the publisher eventually stuck Michael and his book with. He and it deserved much better.



Three pieces from  a new collection entitled Indie·Punk·Typographic·Produce 
launched June 6, 09 at Coupe Space.
This series of seven montages are each 16" x 20". Rebuilt digital prints and tape under glass.
4 sold. 3 remain as of July 2.


My 2009 contribution to poetry:
Gun Dogs, Pigeon, and Mole (House of Anansi Press)
Always Die Before Your Mother (ECW Press)

And as a bonus this years Canadian winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize,
A. F. Mortitz' The Sentinel (Anansi, 2008). Congratulations Al.


The final cover design and runners up (runner ups?) for an anthology of some of the best non-fiction writing to emerge from the Literary Journalism Program of The Banff Centre in the past six years. I wanted to keep the design mainly typographic but with just a wee bit of Canadiana thrown in for good measure. I'm kind of glad the "Hudson's Bay Company" colours version wasn't chosen. Never fun being sued.


Nothing says 'summer time alt. country' like a Johnson.


From the archives . . .

This was a rather ambitious cover design for issue 14 of Coupe released in 2005.
After putting in many hours scratching, etching, burnishing and layering I bailed on this design at the 23rd hour. Looking back I wish I hadn't.


A series of posters for a monthly gig at a local pub. I play (fake) a little accordion, sing a few tunes, and design the posters for the Grindstone Cowboys, an alt. country band.


This is my third go-around designing a cover for Ray Robertson's fine Moody Food, a 60’s rock novel harkening the spirit of The Great Gatsby and Gram Parsons. Like Parsons, the novel's anti-hero with Christ-like overtones meets his doom off a desert hi-way. The electrical poles work well.

Incarnation #2 published by the Santa Fe Writers Project makes use of one integral image and a subtly  trippy title treatment.

Created in 2002, this is the original cover (published by Doubleday Canada) which attempts to combine elements of the burgeoning country-rock scene of the 60s with psychedelic drug-induced regalia of the day.


A couple spreads from inside issue #20 of Coupe. 
This issue runs on two paper stocks.

This is the cover of the brand new issue of Coupe. It is also the 10 year anniversary of the little magazine I began a decade ago. I wasn't really thinking that far ahead when I started this thing. It all just sort of happened which is the best way for things to happen I suppose.

This is a strange, introspective issue, certainly where Coupe is most comfortable. A single poem runs thoughout the pages, repeats, fragments, and alters amid the dense but stark images of a forest.