altered book using Nina Martinez's Caramba!
Over the years I've been creating altered books, I've often wondered what the authors of said books would say if they could see what their work looked like after its "alteration."Of course many of my altered books use, as their substrata, tomes whose authors are no longer with us. But this one Caramba! by Nina Martinez was written in 2004. I first came across a copy at the library - read it, loved it and knew I wanted to alter it.
Publishers Weekly says about Caramba! ...draws on magical realism, kitschy humor and tongue-in-cheek clichés, but there's truth behind the zany humor. Martínez's soap opera-silly story belies serious truth telling about love and happiness in life and death. And as if the fabulously ludicrous plot weren't enough, Martínez illustrates her work with "artifacts," including Mexican Lotería cards, letters written to an advice columnist and the classified ad Lulabell runs in the local paper, selling her soul to the highest bidder.
The illustrations and additions of ephemera made it semi-altered to begin with. I purchased two copies - one to keep to read and one to alter. I took it with me, in 2005, on a 10 day trip to Manzanilla in Jalisco, along with a small suitcase of art supplies and ephemera. Using those, and things I picked up in the village, I spent a couple hours each day out on the patio overlooking the bay and altering away to my heart's content.
A couple of years ago I put several of the spreads from the book, which I christened Caramba! Mexico!, on my new website. Imagine my delight and surprise when I received this response in my e-mail,
Hi, love what you did to my book. As I envisioned, I wanted a popup volcano in the middle, but alas, that would have been too expensive. Have you ever seen a book called "Terry's Guide to Mexico?" It's an old travel book .try to find yourself a copy. I think you would dig it. Good luck with all...Nina M
What a lovely feeling to have the author's approval and enthusiasm!