Monday, June 30, 2008


My FIRST coffee table book is coming!!!! WE ARE CUBS FANS: An unofficial journal of baseball's best fans.... will be out this week!

Check out to see the book and even purchase one. The new website has just been launched and while it is still a work in progress I can't thank Sheila Butler enough for her design work and creation in getting the new website online!!! Thank you.

Keep in touch and say hello.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

West Side Rooters at Harry Carays

Between spending hours at Alta Vista last week printing the book and trying to figure out the world of self publishing, I never got the chance to post these pictures. Another very cool event that happened last Wednesday night at the excellent new Harry Caray's in Wrigleyville was the first meeting of the West Side Rooters Fan Club ( This group has been organized by PR master Grant DePorter of Harry Caray's along with Dutchie Caray, Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg and others. It is in honor of the very first Chicago Cubs Fan Club... way back in 1908. You might recall that was the last time they won the World Series... so hopefully bringing back the fan club will bring back the title to Chicago as well. I have actually been asked to be the official photographer for the West Side Rooters and that is an honor. Here is a picture from the event:
(left to right: Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers, Ernie Banks, Grant DePorter, Dutchie Caray, Will Byington)

Normally, I am behind the scenes and do not always get autographs and such, but when opportunity to get a baseball signed by Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks himself... I could not pass it up. I the am SOO glad that I did. He signed it with what is now my motto for life and this project in general... "To Will... Think Big... Ernie Banks.... Mr. Cub".

Crazy. I seem to be saying that a bunch lately... crazy and wow... this whole process has been slightly overwhelming, fun, interesting and amazing... and it is only beginning. Not only did I see Ernie on Wednesday. Friday morning one of my radio heros - Johnny B - the one and only Jonathon Brandmeier of WLUP-FM in the morning was doing his show from Harry Caray's. So I trekked over there before going to the WXRT event at the Cubby Bear and snapped some shots... this one is a favorite:
(left to right: White Sox legend Ron Kittle, Jonathon Brandmeier of WLUP, Mr. Cub Ernie Banks, Photo by Will Byington)

From there I headed over to XRT's Baseball Broadcast and saw great music from Mike Doughty and Michael McDermott and then a Cubs sweep of the Sox that weekend. Can it get any better???

Friday, June 20, 2008

Action shot of the book being born...

This has been my office this week... Can I first say
that I now have a TON of respect for all my friends
and everyone who daily gets up, treks to work at 7am, works till 5 and still finds a way to work out, get other things done, and entertain at night. I am a bum. My commute most days if I don't have a photo shoot or project is to my couch and computer. I don't know how some of you do it.

Not that this is anything like this at all, but I feel like I have been in the delivery room of a baby this week. Watching the book be born. I know us gentlemen have it easy when it comes to childbirth, so I hope no offense is taken by that comment.

The attached video is not the best, but if you look closely you can see the press at work, spitting out page after page of my book.

video of the printing press at work....


Imagine watching that for something like 70,000 sheets. Welcome to the world of printing!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

the book pt. 3

Wow... where to begin today... 

Printing has begun... This is quite surreal.  Just three to four weeks ago this book project was still kind of a dream... and now it is quickly becoming a reality!  I am worn out from a very fun week of being at the printer, doing daily press checks and seeing how this works... 

Ever wonder what 5000 books looks like when it starts out?  Check out the picture to the left...  that is the paper that they ordered that will be turned into the book!

One of the most amazing things I have learned through this process is how much paper is wasted as they get the press rolling and all the colors correct, etc.  The good news is they are a HUGE recycling company... but wow, it is wild to see page after page come off the press before it is even correct.

It is also very cool to actually see the pages roll through the big printer and get coated with ink... After spending months with the idea and some of these pictures, it is wild to think these are the finished pages that will be sewn together to make a 112 page book.  The attention to detail that Alta Vista is paying to my project has been a pleasure to watch.  They are treating it as if it was their baby just as much as it is mine!  

Tomorrow I will post a short video of the printer at work!

You can also pre-order a copy of the book now Online.  Let me know what you think of these updates or what you would like to see.  


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the book pt. 2

So a week ago, I visited Alta Vista for the first time and was blown away by the size of the printer and the process I was about to undertake.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  Over the past week I have had to create and edit the final pages for what will become my book.  Insane.  At one time, I was thinking the book would be around 160 pages... then it went to 128 and now we are at a final # for pages locked in at 112.  The amazing thing is that at 112... it is still a very substantial heavy book.  I got the Proofs late Friday afternoon and I can't believe how real this project is becoming.  Wow.  

I have been working with Jason at Alta Vista and he is a whiz on the computer.  He has taken my designs and pages and made them look spectacular.  I am going to owe him and Jenny who has been babysitting this project a TON when this is done.  

We decided to add a spot varnish to the images to make them JUMP off the page.  That adds a second layer of plates to every printing page and Jason has been working full time on this to lay it out and make sure each and every page will look and feel just as we want.  Thank you.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bring on the book!

Here comes the adventure!  Let the ride begin... 

It is now June 10, and I have selected Alta Vista Printing here in Chicago to print my self published book WE ARE CUBS FANS.  It has been an insane process and educational all the way.  I can't thank everyone who quoted me prices for this project and who educated me on the process.  Most of all thank you to Tim, Tom, Bruce and Stephen.  You know who you are and while we did not work together on this project, I can't thank you enough for the opportunity and the education.  In the end, it came down to price, location, timing and a very very high recommendation of Jenny and Alta Vista.  Today, I viewed the press that the book will be printed on... you can see the big Heidelburg (sp?) printing press in the picture to the right.  

You will see more of that machine in the days to come.  I can't believe that within a month I will have my first book published!  Stay tuned to this blog to see snippets of the journey.