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1960: Four young men set off on an overland trip to India by Land Rover. To give the journey a theme they decided to follow the route of Alexander the Great as far as was possible. They calculated on six weeks there, six weeks back. In the end, due to many unforeseen circumstances, it took them three months to reach New Delhi.
Their experiences are still relevant today, in spite of the many changes that have taken place in the countries they visited.
‘Overland adventures often start with a loose plan and are typically embarked upon with a ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’ attitude. After You Alex captures the excitement, uncertainty and adventure of undertaking such a trip and paints a lucid picture of the events that unravelled following in the footsteps of Alexander The Great.’
ANDREW SMITH - THE OVERLANDING PODCAST
My father frequently talked to us about the over landing journey he and some friends took in 1960. And that although their adventure had been written up into a book, it had never been published and was resting in a draw in our house.
After he died in 2007, my mother dug that manuscript out and transcribed it into a digital form and with some photos and maps, published it in 2011, passing it around to appreciative friends.
Wanting to do it further justice, I embarked on an illustrated version and this second edition was printed in 2018, introducing a new cover, new illustrations, new maps, and a number of photos not included in the first.
Deciding to produce this second edition presented me with a challenge of deciding on a style that would be modern as well as sympathetic to the illustration style of when the book was written (1960). The style I settled on is a mixture of mostly angular, hand drawn images, with colours and textures added digitally, a style derived from the paintings of John Piper, the animation design work of Paul Julian ('The Tell Tale Heart' 1953), and the more recent design work of Lou Romano (Pixar's 'Up.'). In fact, reading Lou Romano's blog also pointed me to the incredible set designs in Fellini's 'Satyricon', which are similarly angular, expressionistic and use contrasting textures.
I also undertook the painstaking task of digitally sharpening and retouching all the photos, and in one case combining 2 photos into one so that all four travellers could be in the same image. I also had to learn how to create a book in the Indesign software.
It has been the most creatively stimulating project I have worked on so far, and is the culmination of everything I have learnt about making images. It has also been an honour to do justice to the book that my father and his three friends wrote, about a journey he talked often about that contributed so much to the inspiring person he was.
I would like to thank Andrew Smith and Aaron Yeandle for their advice on the design and photos, and Colin Ferbrache for the time he put into the publishing duties.
The final printed book is a beautiful object in its own right, and printed to the highest standards.
Designed and illustrated by Mikal Dyas
Edited by Cathrien Dyas
19.8cm tall, 12.9cm wide. 1.7cm thick.
342 pages in total
Printed on high quality glossy paper
Fully illustrated cover, spine and back cover
Full colour, double page, patterned endpapers
10 single page full colour, original illustrations
2 double page full colour, original illustrations
35 photos, 13 of which are printed across 2 pages.
All photos have been retouched and sharpened
3 full colour, double page maps charting the route of the group through Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran
Printed and bound by www.printedinguernsey.com