At the lovely, dearest Green Arcade in the “hub” of San Francisco we encountered this store-exclusive Lit Crawling from Bentboybooks, a tiny publisher of whom we are, as usual, the shit-last to learn.
Funny enough this October 2017 zine, besides being exclusive to Green Arcade, is not listed on Bentboybooks’ website. Turns out to be a survey of their recent zines.
The collection of mostly poetry begins with an anthology, complete with CV beginning in 1972, of Jan Johnson Drantell, whose work evidently has been rediscovered and put into the zine. Her poems could be called provocative: her voice earnestly and compassionately pushes against the ideas and word-bunches of her time, beginning in the Vietnam era. I really can’t pick a favorite poem, they are all so precise and on-point.
Then comes Pam Martin, who is quite joycean, and I’m a sucker for anything joycean that pulls it off, so I’m in. She’s apparently a big deal in the local art-organizing scene, and I mean the upper echelons, the museums and so forth.
Drew Cushing closes the collection out, and he seems to be the ringleader of Bentboybooks. His selections have a lot of political allusions that will have to remain over my head until sometime after I finish this zine review.
I’m finally excited to say that the book turned me on (ha ha) to the devotedly naked Ronald Palmer, whose books I will be investigating soon. Apparently he’s complex, capable and raunchy, so I’m looking forward to it. His story Manikin is very San Francisco-completist, lots of locations named, five-Os bleaching sidewalks. He’s always naked in his promotional photos, so it’s got to be good.
Check out Bentboybooks every time you spot one!
Way behind in my zine reviews since I’ve been pretty much committed these last months to Byebye and Shlort and this movie script thing. I’ve had these five episodes of Free Money, “illustrative journalism from the future” by Cyberpunk Dan since January, which he sells for “1 gal. gas.” The interesting thing about these is that he appears to be writing and printing them while living in a “customized 95 G20 Sport” and traveling, though he seems to be based in Pittsburgh.
The stories are about underemployed working-class rebels who get into crazy messes while trying to do a job or make their own work. No corporate bottom-feeders here. The first story’s protagonist upsets the pecking order in her shithole town by doing some cleaning that no one else wanted to do until she started getting paid for it. Mayhem ensues.
Honestly I can’t tell anymore if he draws them on a computer or with mixed media, or with mixed media augmented by a computer, or whatever, but the line is loose and active, the colors well-planned and expressive. And it comes on newspaper instead of xerox, which I love.
Besides the focus on matters of survival, what I liked about the zines is how Dan generally does it like the old comics did, offering advice, spots for reader interaction, advertising space, and news about arts events. The marginal budgeting tips add to the stories’ pervading and tense feeling of “I’m sick of fuckin being broke,” with which I think many of us can identify.
I’m glad I finally got to this review since it made me look at the stuff again. I’m definitely into it. Buy Free Money and support Dan wherever you can! If you have InstaGram, he’s @cyberpunkdan.
Went to visit the Dead Center at McHenry Library, UCSC, the other day, and was bedazzled by the print media shown there, which included old Rolling Stone issues (just as vapid as now only in a different way, a consequence of reliance on secondary sources) as well as Furry Freak Brothers and Zap, and the journal of the Diggers:
Now this is what I call relevant writing from the summer of love! In the Diggers’ magazine from 1968 I found an article that really touched my soul as an avid collector of and despairer over garbage: “Garbage or Nothing.” Turns out it’s online right here, so my photo was useless. The argumentation is definitely in a poetic vein, but the message is right on. Who’s going to collect the garbage?
Those of you who insist on focusing your call-out culture on exclusion, representation, etc., without ever coming finally around to a practical discussion of and action on behalf of CLASS, the existence of this article and persistence of its problem are my challenge to you!
The young people want no part of [the problem of garbage], what with garbage their natural matrix and medium … Produce it? Collect it? They want to fuck in it!
Sounds like the line for the Genius Bar, the spectral trash heap of Snapchat exhaust! Turns out that environment wasn’t just Joni Mitchell’s thing. Here we have an article about how consumption was then and now visibly remains the axis of determination for class: the consumer class into which workers, owners, students, the incarcerated, the elderly, are all forcing themselves and from which we have to free ourselves in order for our movements for social and environmental justice to ever really gain traction in western society. At the time of publication, the movement in question seemed to be the famous sexual one. Now it’s the famous representation one, or whichever totally off-mark and irrelevant clicktivist movement one should like to choose before the militarized cops and the student loan companies crush it.
The article’s logic is ropy in places, and conversely needs a guide to really explain what people talked about then and what it has to do with the words used therein, but it’s still relevant as ever. Check it out!
Weed has been legal in California for three weeks now. How’s it going? See what consumers and innovators say!
Incredible that there are 86 countries in the world with people wasting as much time on the internet as to find my comics! Probably 60% of them are only one hit per country, mind you, but it’s still impressive to think about. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Share with your friends, love each other, and don’t tolerate nonsense in the private or the public!
Myself my goal for 2018 is to go back to 2008 internet usage, which is next to none. Hit me here or at email@example.com. Love you! Here’s one from FK Waechter: