A new illustrated story set on the North Shore of Lake Superior comes with solid Minnesota music cred: It’s written by Chan Poling of the Suburbs and The News Standards and illustrated by Lucy Michell of Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles.
“Jack & The Ghost” is a quiet story about a sad, sad not-quite fisherman who lives alone on a cliff in Greyshore, a fictitious town on a lake known for its temperamental November flares. The duo will read from the book and perform from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 1 at Zenith Bookstore.
Jack Cooper hasn’t been fishing much since he was the sole survivor of a wreck on the big lake — one that took most of his loved ones in one giant swell. He still has Red, though, a longtime friend bent on keeping him pointed toward the future. Jack discovers a mysterious woman hanging out in the old abandoned cemetery next door to his little house and has to figure out what it all means.
Michell, whose work has been used for T-shirts, band posters and album covers, created a series of illustrations are lake-themed: moody, wet and gray. Poling is a longtime Minneapolis musician whose most recent work has been with The New Standards, a jazz band that cleverly reimagines pop tunes. He also created the score for “Glensheen,” a musical written by Jeffrey Hatcher that has played at the History Theatre in St. Paul.
“Jack & The Ghost,” published this month by the University of Minnesota Press, looks like a picture book but acts like a story for grown-ups.
The book’s featured blurbs are a who’s-who of artists who have worked with ghostly themes: Singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, who has a song “Ghost,” calls it “gorgeously illustrated” and “a poignant reminder to not let the ghosts of the past control the present.” Dessa, the Doomtree artist who wrote the song “Call off Your Ghost,” says that it’ll test readers’ mascara. Author Arthur Phillips, who wrote a Victorian ghost story in the mid-aughts, describes it as having charm and beauty.
If you go
What: Reading and music with Chan Poling and Lucy Michell
When: 2 p.m. Dec. 1
Where: Zenith Bookstore, 318 N. Central Ave.
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Title: "Jack & The Ghost"
Author: Chan Poling, illustrated by Lucy Michell
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press