Here it is! The new COMETBUS book!
Xerography Debt #35 is a 68-page, digest size, B&W review zine edited by Davida Gypsy Breier and published by Leeking Inc.
In this issue’s introduction to Xerography Debt Davida channels the curiosity of Tom Waits and Paul Gauguin as she explores the state of publishing and questions where we’re going and “What’s He (Amazon) Building In There?” Davida provides an insider as well as a zinester view of the publishing industry and the impact Amazon has had on it. In her essay she examines the motivation of Amazon, their relationship with authors, and the bleak future we appear to be headed toward.
In addition to Davida’s introduction there are also a handful of columns included in this issue. They are: Joe Biel’s The Best of Intentions, The Weirdest of Methods; Gianni Simone’s Gloomy Sundays, The Mail Art Interview project; Jeff Somers’ It Means It’s Wank, That Giant Sucking Sound; Josh Medsker’s Twenty-Four Hours; Kari Tervo’s Zinethropology; Ken Bausert’s Pete’s Mini Zine Fest; and Kris Mininger’s It Comes In The Mail: An Interview with Ned Brooks. Lots of enlightening and enjoyable stuff to appreciate!
As much as I dig reading Davida’s intros and the other guest columns, the real meat of Xerography Debt for me are the reviews! And the neat thing about Xerography Debt is that the reviewers only review publications they like, and they are free to write their reviews in a format of their choosing. The result is page after page of enthusiastic and informative descriptions of zines and comics from some really talented DIY’ers. In all there are around 50 pages of reviews in this issue written by: Andria Alefhi; Anne Thalheimer; D. Blake Werts; Davida Gypsy Breier; Eric Lyden; Frederick Moe; Fred Argoff; Gavin Grant; Joe Biel; Josh Medsker; Ken Bausert; Kris Mininger; Liz Mason; Maynard Welstead; and Stuart Stratu. Hope I didn’t miss anybody!
Xerography Debt is a great resource for learning about issues affecting the zine scene and for discovering what’s out there worth reading!
Get your copy, and learn how to submit your zine or comic for review, at Leeking Inc.
Title: On The Books
Author: Greg Farrell
Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Full Disclosure: Bought
Book Description: On the Books is the firsthand comic strip account of the labor struggle at New York City’s legendary Strand bookstore in the summer of 2012. Told by Greg Farrell—an employee of the store who interviewed numerous other staff members—the book examines the motives and actions of those involved, including the management, the staff, the union local, and the people of New York City. Through interstitial comic portraits, Farrell gives voice to his comrades, who often share a nuance of the story that would have otherwise gone overlooked, and provide a depth of opinion and fairness to accompany Farrell’s often very personal interpretation of events. The book explores at once the inner workings of our national retail environment, the struggles as a young working person, and the current state of the book trade.
My Review: For those of you who know/known me in real life and on tumblr… This is a completely important, brilliant and informative non-fiction work. Greg is indeed a coworker of mine and I am one of the Tier Two employees here. This may sound dumb, but our struggle is real. I often joke openly to my fellow coworkers and managers that being at Strand is like being at School again. Between the level of drama and being scheduled lunch, daily tasks etc… is like being treated as a child again.
I admit writing this isn’t easy, because embarrassingly I am afraid of the potential consequences that it could stir up where I work. However, time to be brave and supportive. Greg nailed it. He’s a primary source to what happened in the last contract negotiations, he did extensive research from primary and secondary sources for other events in the Strand’s and the Union’s history and at no point, did I feel like his criticism was unfair. I think if you love the Strand and it’s employees you need to read this. I think if you’re a New Yorker you need to read this. I think if you are human you need to read this. You can pick up copies of his book from him at Strand and Forbidden Planet also sells copies.
Overall Rating: 7/7
DINNER + BIKES, PART EIGHT: THE ADVENTURE! Over 8,000 miles we replaced only three hoses and a fuel filter on the van. Aaron lost a sweatshirt just like last year and Joe lost his third leatherman on the third year in a row and swears he had another “special” pen stolen. Only one trip to the Emergency Room and everyone is still friends.
Here’s our ten Spring 2015 releases (and our last two Fall 2014 releases on the bottom left!)
A trailer for On the Books by the author, Greg Farrell…
Slip of the Tongue: Talking About Language by Katie Haegele
Let me just get this out of the way: Katie is one of my favorite writers, and humans. In my head I’m writing a review of Katie herself, where I talk about how clever, sweet, relatable, forgiving and self-aware she is. You can read my fawning reviews of some of her other books and zines on Lower East Side Librarian.
Slip of the Tongue is comprised of essays and columns by this former linguistics major and lifetime word lover. Upon taking her first linguistics class,
Up until this point, I’d only really thought about the things we can make with words: the books, poetry, and songs that meant so much to me. But learning to think about what the words themselves were made of, well, that was like a stick of dynamite blowing up inside my head.
She’s not the kind of word lover who gets crazy over Oxford commas and definitions that evolve over time. She’s the kind who adores old postcards—the mundane messages and sometimes hard to decipher handwriting. In fact, she’s the the kind of nerd who has a Google alert on handwriting.
Hello Pearle! You w/ your better 1/2 come to the dance Thursday Eve at Factory. I believe it will be warm enough so John won’t freeze his feet.
Going through my dogeared pages, even though I am not a fan of the publisher, I admire their book production, design and copyright assignment—the text belongs to the author and the edition to the publisher.
The first essay in the book is about Helen Keller and how she acquired language. Like Katie, I was dazzled by Keller’s moment at the water pump where she understood that the movements Annie Sullivan was making in her hand were words.
"Everything has a name. There is a way to match up our lived experience with our desire—our need—to share it with each other, and that way is words.
"It would be hard to exaggerate how excited I was to watch Helen understand this for the first time, and the fact that her first word was water only seemed to highlight how elemental her discovery was."
Getting back to the early twentieth century postcards, Katie observes,
In general I like thinking about how, while the handwriting on these cards is lovely and the spelling is a bit better than the samples you’ll find on the average page of Youtube comments, they aren’t evidence of vastly superior literary skills. They don’t come from some idealized past when everyone was civilized and gracious, before life got ruined by TV and smart phones, or whatever. … This is heartening to me.
It’s Katie’s joy in these objects that is heartening to me. And you know what else, Katie is a metal head! She writes about “metal chicks,”
The status of these women was a little confusing. They seemed to be integral to the success of the thing—the videos, the concerts could be pointless without them—yet clearly they were secondary to the men making the music. No one ever uttered the word slut, but it hung there like a fart.
She equates sexism and flatulence.
A beautiful/intense thing about Katie is how tangible, loving and imaginative her longing is.
I am nostalgic, almost painfully so, and often for things I don’t remember. I love kitsch for its sadness, its former beauty made ludicrous by time. I love obsolete, forgotten objects. … I love these things purely, and without a sense of irony, although I used to dress up my feelings as irony—to hide their tenderness, I think.
"Tenderness" is the perfect double-meaning word for Katie’s nostalgia.
Oh dog, and how she describes the emasculation-by-naming of a tiger
…so this male tiger has been kept separate from the mother and baby. In the wild, if he encountered his own cub, he would kill it. Today, though, he’d been able to spot them both through a few layers of glass, and it had him all riled up…
"Lar-ry," [the zookeeper] chided. …
Jesus Christ, The tiger’s name was Larry. … I’d always heard the idea that “to name something is to own it,” and I thought I understood what was meant by that but could never really feel it. Looking at the tiger behind bars, I felt it for the first time. Even for a person, Larry is sort of a goofy name: A permanent nickname, seemingly owned only by middle-aged men who are somehow insubstantial and unthreatening. This animal that was never meant to have a name, had been given one that sounded like a joke.
Katie, who seems so perfect to me, also writes relatably about dealing with depression, the echoing aftershocks of her father’s death and about two thirds of the way through introduces us to her now-fiancé who fell in love with her through her book of poems, Obsolete.