Boy Vereecken

Boy Vereecken is an editorial designer, researcher and publisher.

  • Herewith the Clues

    Herewith the Clues

    Boy Vereecken

    An investigation of the Crime Dossiers, a form of literature as mystery game— an entirely new manifestation of gamified literature—developed in the interwar period.

    “An intricate web of envy, desire and aspiration,” Herewith the Clues is a jaunt through the history of the Crime Dossiers, a form of literature as mystery game—developed in the interwar period—where players solved puzzles much in the way that a detective in the 1920s might have solved a crime using forensics. These mass-produced games came in the form of binders, books, suitcases, or boxes containing crime-scene evidence (and literary red herrings), each piece of evidence itself a kind of riddle. One could see these as not only an entirely new manifestation of gamified literature, but game playing itself evolving: storytelling as a riddle-solving game acted in the flesh, rather than existing solely in the minds of author and reader.

    • Paperback $22.00
  • Signature Strengths

    Signature Strengths

    Boy Vereecken

    When first introduced, mass-market paperbacks sparked a publishing revolution. Critics despised them as lowbrow diversions, which did not impact their popularity. But the business model barely worked. Prices were so low, the books needed to sell in incredible numbers to make a profit. An industry norm emerged to pump up sales, whereby most of the novels were wrapped with images of women in provocative settings and states of undress. Many readers were duly provoked to purchase, but this recurring allure eventually lost its sway.

    Simultaneously, an opposing theme of essentialism was asserting itself in grocery stores. The No Frills brand presented goods in unadorned packaging. It was as if the very intention to sell had been excised from the label's straightforward design and terse declaration of contents—SALAD DRESSING, FRUIT PRESERVES, LAUNDRY DETERGENT. No Frills stripped the cloying appeal of traditional marketing and replaced it with a candid offering of canned beets and corned beef, pure and plain.

    Inspired by this direct approach, Terry Bisson and art director Frank Kozelek developed the No-Frills book series in the early 1980s. Signature Strengths, conceived and edited by Boy Vereecken, reproduces in full the four books published in the series—Western, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Romance—as well as critical evaluations of the fascinating experimental endeavor in genre writing and mass-market publishing. Copublished with La Loge, Brussels

    • Paperback $19.95