As far as I know, the originals left the US yesterday and should have arrived in Belgium. Hollie called on Tuesday asking for my help valuing them for insurance purposes. I'd never thought about it before, so I was little help. All I could tell her was that the materials probably cost about $300, and it took me several years to do them. She wrote back and told me they were going to insure the art for a figure that seemed, frankly, astouding. How could anyone think these little bits of paper worth that much?
Later in the day, talking it over with Georg, I realized that it wasn't such a ridiculous number after all. If the unthinkable happened, if my anonymous Belgian friend's suitcase was stolen at the airport, or there was a freak drum scanner accident, and all the cards were lost or destroyed, the insurance would allow me to take seven or eight months off work. Which I'd probably need to recreate them all. So I guess it's a fair value. (This is assuming, of course, that the insurance money would be given to me. I have no idea if that's how it actually works.)
Anyway. Now that the cards are on their way to Belgium, a quick status report:
- I won't hear about the cards again until sometime in late fall. They'll be printed in December and I'll see some kind of proof before then.
- I have no idea where the book-editing process is. I guess eventually we'll see copy edits.
- I'm supposed to see the packaging design within a few weeks I think. I will have the opportunity to comment but I'm not sure how much input I'll have. My friend Judith, who writes, told me about getting some major changes to the cover of her second book -- the heroine was too tall and her clothing was all wrong. They did the whole illustration over based on Judith's wishes. But I think it was a struggle to get them to make a change of that scope.
And I think that's all there is to report. On a totally unrelated note, last night Georg and I saw a performance by the Buena Vista Social Club. We agreed that the tour should be subtitled "A Dozen Geezers Who Rock Out More Than You Ever Will." To be fair, there were also a handful of young musicians on the stage, but the stars of the evening were definitely the old coots. It was a joy to watch them. Not only because the music was so good but because they were obviously having such a great time. I haven't seen the movie yet; guess I should rent it.
Saturday June 30: They upgraded the web cam at the Duke college radio station to a nice color image. Thought you all might like to see what Georg looks like on the air.