History Archives

Doris Book: Anthology 1991-2001
6.5"x8" 320 Pages
B/W Paperback

I just came across the website for my old friend and penpal Cindy Ovenrack Crabb. She's been doing a brilliant zine called Doris for the last 15 years. When I worked at Epicenter, my friend and I were serious fans and had every issue of Doris as well as all the little comics she made like "67 boyfriends" and the one about the ice cream shop. She came back to town around that time and started dropping by. We became friends after she showed up to a dinner at my house that wasn't happening, invited by a person who didn't live there.

All the issues of Doris have been collected and released as an anthology. It's so exciting! Everyone should read it. It really actually will make you laugh and cry. Cindy tells the fascinating stories of her life honestly, sweetly, and smartly and manages to include helpful tips, history and information on all manner of topics ranging from feminism and politics to travelling and making art. It's very close and immediate like a friend telling you stories and secrets but you also come away knowing all about the history of political collectives in Philadelphia or something like that.

Buy it from Cindy directly or from Microcosm Publishing.

murdercanbefun.jpgMurder Can Be Fun
5.5"x8.25"; 48 pages
Black and White photocopied

Awesome, an issue I haven't seen yet of John Marr's infamous zine of bizarre deaths, murder, and mayhem is out. Murder Can Be Fun issue #19's theme is Musical Mayhem and includes stories on convicted Western Swing star Spade Cooley, the David Cassidy fan riot, Frank Rosolino, and great rock 'n roll deaths. This zine is very educational. It's like a super creepy history class with a hilariously deadpan true crime obsessed professor. Get this issue, as well as all the back issues still in print, here.

outpunk.jpgLet's have some history this morning. I just came across a Queer Zine Archive website that has PDF versions of some of the classic homo zines of our times. It has issues of Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones' great zine J.D.s, Brat Attack, Outpunk, and Holy Titclamps. I'm sad to see some of the major titles missing like Homocore (who's archives are in jpg form at this link) and Chainsaw and I would just die for a PDF of Now I Don The Mask of Melancholy—the most hilarious and amazing gay goth zine I've ever seen. Maybe we should scan our copies and send them in. Anyway, check them out, give them some support.

archivision.jpgArchivision #1 and Now Let's Put On A Show #6
72 pages, 5.25 x 8.5
Photocopy, saddlestich

Last week's post about the Queer Zine Archive, and a subsequent rummage through some old boxes of zines, has got me thinking about The Confessional Zine. They were certainly popular when I was a kid--most of my friends and i wrote pages of diary-like prose and photocopied them into lil mags for the enjoyment of others. I was hoping to find some examples from some of my favorites so I could treat you with a little zine history today. I'm not really having much luck. I'm on the lookout for copies of Mr. Dog, Hessian Obsession, and anything by my disappeared friend Jason Pruitt. But I did discover that Joshua Plague of Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live fame and writer of Now I Don the Mask of Melancholy and Now I Devour You is now a chef, has a vegan cookbook out, and has been touring the country with a rock and roll cooking show.

He's also recently put out this thick compilation of stuff which he describes on the cover as, "A torrid tome of collected flyer art, flyers, amusing tales and dull recitations from various and sundry shows mostly from the 90s..." Maybe I'm just having a moment of nostalgia (gag), but this mag is hilarious and I'm totally enjoying it.

Buy it from Buy Olympia. His cookbooks and food related zines are also available there.

Keeping it WET


wet128101.jpgHere are some links to a few full issues of awesome LA new wave magazine WET. This one is from 1981 and features side by side interviews with Johnny Rotten and a young David Lee Roth and some great stuff on xerox art. Plus the whole thing, even the ads, looks amazing. This page has two issues from 1978 up on their site. And this page has a cover gallery.

[from ryan, via boingboing]

After Dark


coming_soon_LEQUIN.jpgAfter Dark was the gayest not specifically gay magazine you could buy on the newsstand in the 70's and not be embarrassed. It was a "mainstream" entertainment magazine where the gays ran amok and slipped in sexy male nudes anywhere they possibly could. We'll definitely be writing more about After Dark, but for now check out these cool links.

Photos and captions on the original cast of Hair

Behind The Glass Booth

A Diatribe Against Patti

Photographer Jack Mitchell on Rudolph Nureyev

After Dark Yahoo Group

Warhol Week


warhol_brillo.jpgHappy Andy Warhol Week! This Thursday is the 20th anniversary of Warhol's death and Factory Craze: A Week of Warhol at the Gershwin Hotel will be celebrating his life and work with events all week. Party promoter/curator Earl Dax went to the private opening ceremony yesterday and had this to say:

"The event was fabulously messy and filled with many off the cuff recollections. Robert Heide recalled Andy Warhol asking "When do you think Edie's going to commit suicide...? I hope she'll let us know, so we can film it," and Ultra Violet observed "The Factory was a like a multi-level marketing firm with no pay." Penny Arcade brought the room to a hush when she noted that "Warhol's greatest accomplishment was convincing the the art world that he was a painter when he really was an art director. You can see Andy Warhol's impact today because there's not a lot of art in art, but there's a lot of art in advertising."

A quick side note: I went to Penny Arcade's garage sale on my first day in New York and she gave me a fedora and told me some stories about the neighborhood. A list of events, including a panel discussion of Warhol's influence on publishing, is after the jump...

Continue Reading Warhol Week

flip7.jpgA couple hours after arriving here in Paris, instead of spending a lazy jet lagged afternoon eating croissants, we hopped on the metro to meet our friends at the Centre Pompidou. It turns out that wandering around staring at paintings is kind of the perfect thing to do when you're in a hazy daze. The place is enormous and they have this amazing library where all sorts of people were lined up outside smoking and making out (it's true) while waiting to get in and do their research. I heard a rumor there was a Pipilotti Rist projection on the square in front of the museum but we didn't see it and right now I can't find any information about it in English.

Anyway, the point of this post was to tell you about all the old magazines and things they have in their collection. I saw collections of MA, an avant-garde activist magazine started in Budapest in 1916 by the poet Lajos Kassák, Helhesten, a Danish art journal started by Situationist Asger Jorn, De Stijl, Stile Futurista, Het Overzicht, Art Aujourd'hui (so many beautiful covers!), Vouloir, Abstraction Creation Art Non Figuratif, Wendingen, and Futurismo. This site has a bit of info on some of the dada journals. Pardon my lack of links for these, I'm having a hard time finding anything. So instead, after the jump, I give you my photos of them. Some are behind glass so you get the added benefit of seeing my cute reflection.

Continue Reading Magazines and Manifestos at the Pompidou

Skate Graphics


29.jpgLately I've been going on about how bored I am by all the millions of bro-y skater painter dudes in the art world, so I think it's only fair that I come clean here: I too, like many California kids, grew up skating/being obsessed with skating/following my cousin and his friends around trying to learn the tricks they did. My dad also had a friend who worked at Thrasher sometimes and would give me Skate Rock tapes, and stickers and posters and things. I wish I still had some of them. Actually wait, I think there's still a Bones Brigade sticker on my parents' bird feeder. Anyway, so I was perusing Fecal Face this morning, maybe having a bit of a homesick for SF moment, when I saw Andreas Trolf did a studio visit with the god of skateboarding graphics himself Jim Phillips. Whoa. In the words of Andreas, he is "the man responsible for pretty much all of the most recognizable and iconic skateboard graphics pretty much ever." In the late '80s, he was head of the art department of Santa Cruz Skateboards. This is the dude responsible for the slime balls wheels logo, that screaming blue hand, the independent trucks logo, and many many other awesome things which feature lots of drool and big teeth and eyeballs and skulls. Cool! The 12 year old me is super excited to see this. According to Fecal Face, Jim Phillips has a new book coming out but I can't find any information about it. So keep a (winged, fanged, and drooling) eye out for it.

daughters.jpgI first saw/met the Daughters of Houdini at a Valentine's Day event at Artists' Television Access in San Francisco. They were sewn together, facing each other, with messy red yarn. It was barely loose enough to allow them to sit next to each other, shoulders smooshed together. I thought they seemed really exciting. The Daughters, Zoey Kroll and Carolyn Ryder Cooley, held performances and events around town but I was sort of too shy to go to them so instead I bought all their zines. They made these little photocopied items with stories and scratchy drawings. Their interests included: rats, bees, medical stuff, accordion, circus-y stuff, hysteria, witches, blood, pee, bodies, sex, childhood games involving rope and swimming holes and horses and funny feelings in certain places. Some of my favorites are the Daughters of Houdini Medical Series. For your viewing enjoyment, I've scanned 7 pages of Naughty Nursie, My Bloody Sister #3.

Carolyn Ryder Cooley is making art and has relocated to New York. Go look at her site and keep an eye out for any events she might have. Zoey Kroll, I'm not sure where you are, but if you're making stuff, let us know!

Continue Reading Daughters of Houdini

outFabulous! 2 full issues of our favorite "Gourmet Bathing" magazine. Wet - one of the most fierce magazines of all time!

link via Jockohomo

outI was really excited about Sleaze (the relaunched Sleazenation) - although it's "anti-consumerist," "anti-celebrity" stance sounded a bit bombastic (who am I to judge?), it was nonetheless executed with a joyfully cheeky brit sensibility and ferocious adherence to style. It only lasted 3 issues, but had the hottest covers on the rack. Though completely modern, the covers harkened back to a distant time long, long ago when a cover was actually composed thoughtfully - not just littered with ugly cover-lines.

Beautiful Sleaze

Sleaze is really rocking me out right now. It is by far the best designed, most fun to read style magazine of the moment. It seems to be doing what others posture to do – embracing a true DIY, ‘zine aesthetic, while still being highly refined. The ‘zine influence got hardcore in the 90’s, but most mags had lost their way, like Sleazenation. They pantomimed the look, but forgot the true ethos. Sleazenation did what most cool mags SHOULD do – they scrapped it all and started over with Sleaze. Magazines have a very limited shelf life for capturing a zeitgeist – lets face it, Rolling Stone should have ended at the very latest in 1979. The Face should have called it quits at the very latest in 1995. Sleazenation realized their time had passed; now they’re creating the future zeitgeist. Sleaze is post (faux) irony – we can still want stuff, enjoy fashion and pop culture: but enough is enough, lets make a side note and get real; let’s not be manipulated by gross materialism. Let’s actually believe in something.

Continue Reading From The Vault: Writing on Sleaze Magazine; May 2004



Here is something to do on this rainy, lazy Sunday...I've been browsing this enormous collection of photographs and writings by William Gedney for weeks. The Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library has his whole collection of photographs, contact sheets, and notebooks. His two main bodies of work are photographs of hippies in SF's Haight Ashbury and photographs of coal miner's families in Kentucky. These were shown in his first and only solo exhibition at the MOMA in 1968, organized by John Szarkowski. All these images are in the Duke collection, as are his cross country drives, trips to India, photographs of composers and many other adventures. The notebooks have meticulous records of images and prints as well as writing on other photographers, sketches of subway riders, quotes, bits of personal drama and pep talks, and book mock-ups of his own photographs.

More of his photographs after the jump... They are all, btw, Copyright Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Continue Reading William Gedney: Duke University Collection


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