Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Big Rondo for the Little Lady?

Donna burning the midnight oil as she designs the discography layout for the Bava book, with lil' Pip riding shotgun, on March 10, 2007.

The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards nominees were recently announced, and Donna and I were pleased to see a number of our efforts recognized on the ballot -- VIDEO WATCHDOG once again nominated for Best Magazine, my Mario Bava talks made the list of Best DVD Commentary candidates, and, most gratifying of all, MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is in impressive company as a Best Book nominee. I finally found the time to cast my votes the other night, but last night I received an e-mail from a friendly reader and customer that jolted my thinking about a particular category.

Tim Hammell of Calgary, Alberta wrote: "Just did my Rondo voting with MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK as Best Book, yourself as Best Writer for said book, and wrote in Donna as Best Artist for book design of said book."

This note jolted my thinking in a most welcome way. To be perfectly honest, I had not considered Donna for the Best Artist category and had cast my vote for someone else, someone who draws and paints. But as soon as I read Tim's note, I knew immediately that Donna was not only worthy of this award, but in my opinion, had done more to earn it this year than anyone else. The wording of the category guidelines only served to further solidify my conviction:

25. ARTIST OF THE YEAR (for 2007)
Not your favorite all-time artist (although they might be the same), but which painter, illustrator, model-maker or designer did the best published (or online), work in 2007?

Donna herself protested the idea of being proposed for this category until that all-important word "designer" popped up. Most everyone who received the Bava book has written or called to tell us how overwhelming it is visually, and I know myself that it actually satisfies the reader on purely visual and visceral levels before they read a word of my text. What Donna achieved with her design of the book is extraordinary, and if you agree, I ask that, when you visit the Rondo website to vote, you consider Donna Lucas as your choice for Best Artist of 2007. Or -- if you've already voted, as I had -- there is the possibility of writing to Rondomeister David Colton at and reconsidering your vote.

Donna is the first to remind people who compliment her efforts on the book that she was assisted in her labors by people who are more deserving of being called artists -- Charlie Largent, Simonida Perica-Uth, and Matt Bradshaw -- but I can personally testify that it was Donna's vision of the book that guided them all, and that she and her computer were the final filters through which all of her assistants' digital work had to be passed, processed, and finally applied to page.

I think it's wonderful that the Rondo rules are flexible enough to allow for the recognition for the superhuman work she did. If you were impressed by the book, I would naturally appreciate your vote in the appropriate category or categories, but I would personally love to see Donna Lucas win a Rondo all her own for what she contributed to MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK.



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