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Written by Zam Steepa (A.K.A. Nathan Gross) and illustrated by Sally Dee, Rotten Veggies is a series of picture books for adults consisting of four volumes, the first being ‘Ginger the Carrot’ (available from May 2013). In each story the characters are at once innocent and ambitious, naive, and simply rotten to the core. Curious carrots, drug lord beetroots, drug running beans, baggie packing radishes, monster peas and a whole fridge drawer full of veggies taking on that smarmy cucumber, Rotten Veggies visits the darker side of our vegetable friends. Normally good for your health, these vegetables are anything but!
Zam gives the rotten little buggers of ‘Rotten Veggies’ a voice, a meaning of being more than just a lining for our stomachs, and adventure. The stories are often caustic and brutal, yet at the same time they portray an honesty and an innocence of discovering the world and all that is in it, both good and bad.
Sally brings these characters to life visually. Her style in this series is naïve, destined for a young audience in their appearance but specifically for an adult audience in their detail. Sally’s illustrations capture the essence of the stories while portraying the shock and awe of the meaning of the words in a subtle and clandestine form.
Each book in the series is a small and stylish object printed on 215 gram thick Freelife Merida paper within a double folded 350 gram cover of white Tintoretto Aylon paper. Sally and Zam see each volume of ‘Rotten Veggies’ as an ‘Object of Art’ as well as a book. They love the feel of the thick grainy paper rubbed between their fingers and the sturdiness of the book as a whole in their hands. Zam and Sally see ‘Rotten Veggies’ displayed on a bookcase, a coffee table, or opened like a work of art on a shelf, ready to be picked up and appreciated.
Like Ginger and Carrot in a soup, the collaboration of Zam and Sally mixes perfectly in this series to produce a product that is in bloody good taste! Indeed, in Rotten Veggies you’ll find a little bit of Zam, a little bit of Sally, a little bit of all of us within each story.