Worse Things Happen at Sea

Back in March, the wonderful illustrator Kellie Strøm spoke at Offset Festival about the trials and tribulation of finally dropping the anchor on his beautiful new book, Worse Things Happen at Sea.

Worse Things Happen at Sea cover
Worse Things Happen at Sea cover

Speaking at a session from publisher Nobrow, Strøm’s story was certainly a stormy one, of ever-later deadlines, printing nightmares, and no shortage of very, very hard work.

However, to say it’s all paid off is something of an understatement. The tome now sprawling across Design Week’s desk is truly beautiful – an incredibly intricate illustration that narrates a treacherous tale of ‘monstrous sea beasts’.

A huge narwhal-like creature at sea
A huge narwhal-like creature at sea

The book is in a Leprorello format (like previous gorgeous Nobrow releases Festival Frenzy and London Deco), folding out to create a double-sided, illustrated panorama that spans an impressive 136cm.

This is contained within a sweet cardboard cover, which reveals the words and tune to a 19th century sea shanty when opened up.

A fish as tall as a wave!
A fish as tall as a wave!

London-based Strøm was born in Denmark and raised in Ireland, and looked to use the ambitious format to ‘bring to life the horrors of nautical legend in [the] ultimate Leviathan showdown’, according to Nobrow.

It’s no surprise to learn that Worse Things Happen at Sea took two years to create, such is the painstaking detail throughout the 20 panels that make up the concertina book.

A very barnacle-bedecked turtle
A very barnacle-bedecked turtle

The colours are fittingly muted, as if drawn from a raggedy-skinned sailor’s tattoos, and were created to give the appearance of engravings.

Nobrow says, ‘inspired by takes of mythical sea creatures and the tall stories of doomed voyages passed down from sailor to son, Strøm brings us a rich tapestry of wonderment… the image unfolds in front of you like a foreboding fable from the cracked lips of an old sea captain’.

The book is folded out as a concertina
The book is folded out as a concertina

Worse Things Happen at Sea is available now from Nobrow priced £10. For more information and to buy the book visit http://www.nobrow.net/15721

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