Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy and his wife Carson Ellis are certainly no strangers to intra-marital artistic alliance—she’s responsible for the art for all of his band’s albums and of his solo CDs, plus most of The Decemberists’ merchandise and a couple of live show backdrops, too. And, according to Ellis’ blog, sometime soon you’ll be able to add a children’s book to their collective CV.
It’s called The Unfortunate Demise of Whitley Rackham, Ellis writes, noting, “It’s been in the works for years but it’s completion seems to be on the horizon.”
Not sure exactly what kind of timeframe that might be, but don’t start stalking your local independent bookseller and/or Barnes & Noble quite yet. Ellis writes that Portland’s Stumptown Printers are working on the book, which probably means it’ll be really, really, really, really pretty but produced in super-limited quantities.
In the October 2006 issue of Paste our writer Corey DuBrowa reported that Meloy and Ellis were working on “a children’s book, due out mid-2007, about a talking cat who lives in turn-of-the-century Butte, Mont.,” but we’re not sure if this is the same project. If it is, well, then it involves a talking cat and a bunch of dead Turks. So, yeah. Awesome.
Meanwhile, Meloy and his Decemberists have just finished up their Hazards of Love tour in the states and will be heading abroad soon, with some November dates in the U.K. and the Netherlands, and some Australian gigs planned for January. And if you happen to be in Portland on Nov. 5, you can hear Ellis chat about one of her favorite paintings in the Portland Art Museum as part of the museum’s Artist Talk series.
Update (11/5/09): Oh, Internet! This afternoon, Meloy took to his Tumblr to provide a few more details about his fledgling juvile literature career. It seems that _The Unfortunate Demise of Whitley Rackham_and the as-yet-untitled “the story of a talking cat in 1920s Butte Montana” are two separate projects, though both will be illustrated by Ellis and are forthcoming at indefinite points in the future. Read more here.