Todd Thyberg, “The Miskatonic Papers”

Todd Thyberg
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Miskatonic Papers
12.75 x 9.75 x 2.75″

Artist Statement

I have been a letterpress printer for thirteen years and have been making artist books for eight of them. One goal of my work has been to engage the reader in an ergodic experience; that is, encourage the reader to do more than simply read and instead engage and interact with the book before them. Explo- ration of the written word and of the book format is something that fascinates me and I seek to push this development further. I’ve used various methods of engagement from producing QR codes within a letter- press-printed graphic novel which takes readers to interactive online elements that deepen the story, to the process of aging and weathering papers which gives the reader the sense of delving through history. This process gives the feeling of being transported to a bygone era and transcends time through the visual and aural experiences of crinkling paper that is brittle, marked, and stained. I continue to explore creating im- mersive and interactive themes in my work.

The Miskatonic Papers is an epistolic tale taken to an entirely new level. By delving into an archive that has been hidden away and sealed from prying eyes for over one hundred years, the reader is transported through time and experiences the story as pieced together from different sources. The story comes alive as the reader interacts with over fifty documents including letters, a handwritten journal, drawings, telegrams, a broadside, numerous burned fragments, newspaper clippings, and a cast resin artifact central to the tale.

This original story is a fictionalization of the Tunguska Event of 1908 and plays upon the mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. The story follows an intrepid group of explorers from Lovecraft’s fabled Miskatonic University as they travel in search of ancient cultures in the heart of Siberia and find far more than they bargained for. Characters and locations from Lovecraft’s stories all play a part in this old fashioned tale of adventure and cosmic horror.

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