James Jean's 'Parallel Lives' catalog returns as innovative ebook

I wrote in January about James Jean's Parallel Lives exhibition at the Tilton Gallery in New York City, and then, a few days later, about the show's catalog selling out in record time. Unfortunately, in the gap between uploading the images for the post and writing the text, the book went from on sale to out of stock, causing me to do a quick re-write. I thought the amazing examples of Jean's artwork were newsworthy in their own right, and chose to file the story anyway. But as one commenter wrote at the time, "Thanks for all the great pictures of a book I can’t buy!"

Paul from Vancouver, you completely nailed the problem, and your comment has stuck with me. So you were the first person I thought of when I saw this: The catalog's publisher, Pressure Printing, has brought the book back on the market, now as a decidedly innovative-sounding digital edition.

The publisher's blog entry states how embarrassed Pressure was at the book selling out within a day, and also raves about how well the it works in this new format. Indeed, the high resolution of a retina display could have been for this kind of enterprise, rather than just for myopic Candy Crush Saga addicts. Bringing back the book has also allowed Jean to add 179 in-process photographs documenting the creation of most of the pieces in the book.  The new digital edition also makes the book's images portable within the iPad's systems (showing examples of Jean's work used as wallpapers and lock screens) and to the Internet, with every plate linked to its own webpage, allowing for sharing across platforms and social networks. It's good to see a publisher using the possibilities of ebooks to load so much added value into a product.

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