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Author: Williams, Tennessee

Genre: Fiction

Year: 2009


Instructions for the Apocalypse
Rod Sweet & Tim Williams

Instructions for the Apocalypse fuses a collection of found photographs with the fictional account of one man’s descent into madness. Leaving “instructions” about living through an inevitable apocalypse for his estranged daughter Gareth Gray’s gloss of the last 200 years dissects the industrial military complex, technology and religion with a voice as original as the book’s use of photography and graphic design.

In Gray’s words: “I was brought up a nice lad. Nice thoughts always tried to catch up with the nasty ones and shoulder them out of the way. . .That’s what you’re seeing here, after all. Somewhere there is a little fire of love and hope maybe in a mother or a father and these boys can feel it sometimes on their backs. That’s something we’re conditioned to imagine. It’s a vision we’re conditioned to cherish. I don’t feel that anymore.”

Photographer Tim Williams and writer Rod Sweet, with support from The Arts Council of Wales, joined forces to utilize late Victorian, early Edwardian photographs and contemporary design that resist the cliché tropes such imagery typically inspires. Their efforts resulted in a story that exists as much in the imagery as in the words, providing snapshots of a fictional family and the all too real aspects of our times.

- Instructions for the Apocalypse is the latest MBP Illustrated Fiction, which feature narratives that rely equally on illustrations and text. Other titles include A Field Guide to the North American Family and The Inner Life of Martin Frost.

- Instructions for the Apocalypse by Rod Sweet & Tim Williams is a fictional account of a man losing his mind. He leaves detailed instructions for his daughter on how to deal with impending doom, clearly the evidence of his paranoia. This work of graphic fiction is a juxtaposition of pictorial past and puzzling present. The man's detailed directives are spliced with found photographs that illustrate this account of a fictional character coming undone. The book is a work of graphic design that leaves the reader with a feeling of unease. Is this due to the nature of the plot, such that it is, or the ephemera that surrounds it?

Hardcover, 128 pages. Mark Batty Publisher, 2009

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