Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr ’97 are collaborating with caped superhero Cory Doctorow (the blogger behind the beloved Boing Boing) on his new book, Makers, which is about two guys living in the not-too-distant future who invent things out of junk, start a movement, eat lots of IHOP, and end up having all sorts of dicey legal adventures with minions of the Disney corporation.

The book will be released in 81 parts on (the whole thing will be released in October, but you can start reading it here – the first 14 parts have already been published – table of contents here). Behr and Swanson are creating an illustration for each section. What’s unique about this is that the 81 illustrations are designed to be recombined endlessly* to create new composite illustrations. You can read more about what that means and how it works here.

The first 9 illustrations have been used to create a flash game where you can rearrange the images on a 3×3 grid to come up with new illustrations. As the book grows, this game will eventually expand to a 9×9 grid. Even with only 9 tiles, the results so far are fairly magical.

You can also save the images you create, and if you’re particularly proud of your creation you can send it to Matthew (who can be reached at Matthew at idiotsbox dot com), who will feature it on his blog.

Click on the image below to start playing:


*Question for math majors: yes, I know it’s not technically endless.  How many new illustrations can actually be produced with the 81 squares? Remember that they don’t always have to be combined in grids when they’re printed – you could cut them out and combine them in various sorts of linear arrangements.

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