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We Are The Friction

Posted by Will Hudson,

If they are We Are The Friction then we are the impressed. The second book from independent publishers Sing Statistics is nothing short of stunning, 12 pairs of writers and illustrators were brought together to create an anthology of new short fiction and illustration.

Every contributor produced new work inspired by the work of their partner, in other words, stories from illustrations, and illustrations from stories. Wanting to find out more we spoke to the hugely talented creative duo behind Sing Statistics, Jez Burrows (none other than our occasional contributor here on It’s Nice That) and Lizzy Stewart.

Hi Jez and Lizzy, how long was We Are The Friction in the making?

The whole thing took six and a half months from start to finish. We were emailing contributors in early January, and opening boxes fresh from the printer on July 23rd (which is lucky as that was the day of the launch.)

How did you decide on the writers/illustrators?

Like children writing a Christmas list. Really though, we just wanted a good balance of styles and diversity of tone on both sides; eclectic without being jarring or overwhelming, and it just so happened that the collection of people that fitted that description perfectly included people who’s work we love, a few friends, and people we thought would never possibly say yes, but did.

How does it compare to commission writing as opposed to illustration?

Strangely, we don’t think we discovered too much of a difference between the two, though obviously it takes a little more time to get a handle on a writer’s style than it does to look through an illustrator’s portfolio. Initially we thought it might be tougher to find suitable writers as illustration seemed like our home turf, but once we got going we soon found we had too many to choose from.

What are the plans for the future? We Are The Friction 2?

No more books with ‘friction’ in the title! Two is probably enough. We’re still very interested in experimenting with fiction and illustration but we’re keen to work on something where a book/publication isn’t the end product, or at least one as big as this. We have a few ideas floating round but its just a matter of getting to the stage where we have the time/energy to invest in it.

We Are The Friction is out now published by Sing Statistics. Available to buy online and in selected bookshops.
Contributors include Frank Chimero, Charlie Duck, Ray Fenwick, Andrew Holder, Verity Keniger, Jon Klassen, Micah Lidberg, Edward McGowan, Nigel Peake, Pietari Posti, Lizzy Stewart, Nous Vous, Dan Kennedy, Carey Mercer, Spencer Krug, Mark Hamilton, Caren Beilin, Jez Burrows, Roxanne Paris, Ben Greenman, Chris Eaton, Ryan Boudinot, Sean Michaels and Tao Lin.

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Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.