John Waters: Pope of Trash

Organized by Jenny He and Dara Jaffe
Contributions by Jacqueline Stewart, Jeanine Basinger, B. Ruby Rich, David Simon, John Waters, Sean Baker, Debbie Harry, Barry Jenkins, Johnny Knoxville, Bruce LaBruce, Ricki Lake, Orville Peck, Iggy Pop, Cindy Sherman, Kathleen Turner, Christine Vachon, Edgar Wright

Designed by: Content Object, Kimberly Varella
Casebound Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles and DelMonico Books, 2023 
ISBN: 978-1-63681-085-0
Dimensions: 8.75 × 12 in.
Separations: Echelon, Los Angeles

Catapulted by the book title, "Pope of Trash," the design for the book worked its way from the outside in. A crucifix runs up the book's fore-edge, its horizontal axis created by ticker marks printed on each page. These marks become anchor points for the folios which in turn dictate the universal axis point for the grid of the layout. The book has two paper stocks broken up into two parts: the uncoated front matter, back matter, and essays sandwich the book's center block, which is printed on ultra-glossy paper with an even glossier varnish—fully flooded in black. This section is both a chronology of Water's films spanning from 1964–2004 as well as a cabinet of wonders containing rare film stills, posters, sketches, and props, accompanied by short descriptions and emphatic lines from the films. The essays feature vertical rules, pull quotes, and inlaid photos that riff off of popular, trashy, sensational magazines. The cover is inspired by a scene in Serial Mom (1994) in which Kathleen Turner's character holds up a drag magazine in her defense—with a blatant label that runs across the cover reading "Bonus Pack—$5—Adults Only" [and if you know the movie then you know this comes back to bite her later]. Throughout the book and cover is a bonus PMS color, which could be coined "flamingo pink.” The back cover is a rolling roster of Water’s filmography, with the final film (Dirty Shame, 2004) folding over the case-binding, signifying the other films to come.

Photography by Chris Gardner