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Christian Patterson on the Second Edition of Redheaded Peckerwood

cover of the second edition of Redheaded Peckerwood
Christian Patterson's Redheaded Peckerwood was released to stunning success in November of 2011, just in time to make it on multiple top-books-of-the-year features, including 8 lists on our own Best Books of 2011. Originally conceived as a self-published artist book centering around the story of the infamous murder spree of 19 year old Charles Starkweather and 14 year old Caril Ann Fugate, Patterson's book "record[s] places and things central to the story, depict[s] ideas inspired by it, and capture[s] other moments and discoveries along the way."

The first trade edition, published by MACK, was sold out by early 2012 and a second printing was announced shortly there after. Signed copies of the new edition have just arrived at photo-eye and the new Redheaded Peckwood is not merely a reprint. Patterson took the opportunity to revisit the book, reworking aspects of the design, using higher quality files and a new printing technique to make for a finer volume. Patterson was kind enough to share what makes this new edition stand out from the first.

image courtesy of Christian Patterson
"I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to print a second edition of the book, for a number of reasons. First, I wanted the book to continue to be available. I have nothing against the first edition of the book being a collected or valued object, but I don't want that to be a barrier to people who wish to access the work. I made the work to share it, not to have it become this unseeable thing. Second, I wanted to make a few subtle changes and refinements to the book. And ultimately, when we went on press, we had the opportunity to work on an amazing new printer that made this new printing even stronger than the first.

"The cover of the second edition will be subtly darker. I like the idea of the cover image changing with time.

Redheaded Peckerwood, 2nd printing
"Most significantly, we printed the second edition on a new ten-drum Heidelberg press using a new black ink and a light gloss varnish instead of the matte varnish we used on the first book. I also supplied improved files for a few of the images. I couldn't believe the difference we were seeing with the new printer, ink and varnish. I'm sure all of these changes will be apparent, especially to anyone comparing the two editions.

"Lastly, I revisited the material I acquired from various archives and added some images to the booklet insert, and so now the essays are accompanied by this new visual content.

image courtesy of Christian Patterson -- Redheaded Peckerwood, 2nd printing
"Again, most of the content- and visual-related changes are subtle, so in that sense the book hasn't changed all that much. But I'm excited about the improvement in the quality of the printing, which was already quite good, and the opportunity to add a few new touches, like the altered cover and additional images." -- Christian Patterson

Order a signed copy of Redheaded Peckerwood here