temp.jpgAnyone who's worked a temp job or, hell, anyone who's worked anywhere can relate to the stories in Temp Slave! The zine was started by Jeff Kelly in 1993 as a one-off response to being strung along as a temp at an insurance company with a promise for future employment only to be canned out of the blue. He handed it out to other employees as he was leaving the company. He got such a good response that he continued publishing. Each issue includes crushing boredom, rage against bosses who use you and then toss you out, hilarious ways to scam the company, cartoons, survival tales, the many many ways to get fired, and more. Jeff Kelly no longer publishes Temp Slave! but you can buy the Temp Slave! compilation book through Garrett County Press.

This excerpt from Heidi Pollock's great article chronicling the day in the life of a temp from issue #5 is a perfect introduction. It reminds me of every mind-numbing spirit-destroying data entry temp job I've ever had:

"In the morning you always feel a complete and total separation from your fellow workers. At no other time during the day do you feel like such an outsider...Even the briefest thought that you might have something in common with the permanent secretaries makes you queasy and short of breath. This arrogance wears off as the day continues.

In any case, from 11 or so onward, until lunch, you experience a supreme and all-consuming boredom. It is so boring that you want to kill yourself. You want to stand on the top of your desk and scream and jump up and down and tear your hair and tear off your clothes. Sometimes the urge to simply scream out random obscenities is so powerful, it makes you worry about your sanity. You begin to feel the power of desire."

Some scanned pages and covers after the jump...

Continue Reading PF Collection: Temp Slave!

Growing up in the French Quarter I saw tacky T-Shirt shops take over like the borg. But Defend New Orleans makes N.O screen shirts that locals actually wear, such as the one below. Proceeds from sales benefit a a variety of New Orleans housing charities and arts organizations.

ONLYNOISREALlrg.jpg

Get Out!

03/27/08

japanese.pngLast week I went to a show of new Japanese painting at Secret Project Robot. My friends played music and I saw some good stuff.

I didn't know, until just now, that the show was part of a larger festival of emerging Japanese artists. Japanese comics and art books are on display at New York Kinokuniya Book Store, Printed Matter, Spoonbill & Sugartown, and St. Marks Books. Through Sunday March 30. (pictured is a piece by Ruriko Torii.)

Common Folk

03/26/08

comcar.jpgCommon Folk Illustrated Journal
Published by Garrett County Press
Design by briarmade,
Photography by Thomas Hancock
5.5" x 7", 200 pages, softcover
$14 + shipping

Far more than a nice portable journal for notes, doodles and drawings, the Common Folk Illustrated Journal is an inspirational sketchbook. Some of its pages are blank, some are photographs, others have crosshair guides. The photographs are of every day wanderings, common moments you could say... graffiti on walls, street signs and sky, bikes, abandoned furniture, empty bars, etc. Only a couple of them stand out for me as strong single images, like the store window with polaroids of shoplifters or the pipes and umbrella leaning against a wall in the sun. Otherwise, these images are mellow. They, like the rest of the book, have a nice brown tone. They let the mind wander, serving as a tool to get your own brain working. This is your journal, after all.

Common Folk, a collective of Brooklyn graffiti artists, put this together with photographer Thomas Hancock and New Orleans-based publisher Garrett County Press. Buy it directly from them, or at cool bookstores around town. (Pictured above is one of the inside photographs, chosen because I like to look at cars.)

Lately I seem to be writing too many comments on other peoples blogs when I should be writing on my OWN blog! Especially about all this Editor Vs. Art Director (started by a simply competent editor on a completely disposable magazine) hullabaloo. I'm just going to put up one of my comments. I mean, If MagCulture can quote me, I can quote me. Read the comment thread here.

Posted on the Folio site:
"Just because someone is a good editor of the written word, a skilled writer and proofreader, does not mean they are good at editorial arrangement and editorial concepts. “Editorial,” in the sense of periodicals, includes everything about a magazine. A magazine that has a staff that sees “editorial” and “art” as separate, opposing forces is a poor, poor magazine indeed. So, yeah… the majority of magazines, though their contributors may be highly skilled, are pretty crap. There is an art to putting a magazine together; someone who is skilled at cutting text and assigning articles is not necessarily the best at accomplishing a brilliantly conceived and arranged magazine. Conversely, someone who is good at “making it look pretty” may not have the best interests of the editorial whole in mind, and is therefore useless. To be a great magazine the art director and editor must have equal power - but only of course, if they are completely on the same page. If not, the solution is a “Creative Director,” who is equally qualified in the visual and narrative, who has the best interests of the editorial whole in mind and who can reign the disjointed impulses of the art director/designer and the editor."

Also I'll swipe magCulture's link: Designing Magazine's funny and well considered argument

mcart-1.jpgJessica Silverman, a pal of ours in SF, recently moved her gallery and shop to a new spot on Sutter Street. If you're in the neighborhood, go check out the Silverman Gallery and the Look Boutique. Or you can browse their online shop for mags, books, clothes, and jewelry.

There is some controversy over American Vogue's April cover featuring LeBron James and Giselle Bündchen. (via magculture)

Scans of Dan Clowes' 1997 essay Modern Cartoonist are up on the Fantagraphics site in all their hand-lettered and illustrated splendor. (via BookSlut)

And, now that I'm looking around on Fantagraphics, I see that there are some Love & Rockets 1st editions on sale. Ooooh!

Lazy Boy

03/24/08

lazyboy.jpgLazy Boy
Stories by Mike Baker
4.25" x 5.5", 36 pages
BW, photocopied
$2, free to prisoners

Mike Baker set out to start a gay magazine but ended up stripping it down to a single section, originally titled "Self Love." I'm glad he did. What we ended up with is Lazy Boy, a slim, tight volume of stories that chronicles Mr. Baker's sexual odyssey. It reads kind of like one man's Straight to Hell. In fact, Mr. Baker says Lazy Boy is an homage to a book of gay my first times that a friend bought for him when he was young. One of the things I love about reading porn (as opposed to just watching) is all the little personal details that come through. And not just the sex details... people mention clothes, movies, books they like, the way their kitchen looked when they fucked the mailman on the counter, etc. Not that Lazy Boy is just a porno. The stories focus on sex and jacking off but through that they tell a life story. The emotions here are raw and familiar. He starts early with a creepy story about an older cousin and goes through the years of messing around with friends under the guise of other games like wrestling and onto porn shops and toilets and love, friendship and regret.

Email or write Mike Baker directly for a copy. gomek@comcast.net. P.O. Box 1174, Tallahassee, FL 32302

Why do magazines suck? This "Editors Vs. Art Directors" post illustrates how an English major lacks vision.

Flickr Finds: Wow... What would NY look like without advertising everywhere? Check out the transformation of a city: São Paulo No Logo

Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Check out Pacific Standard, blog of former Visionaire and V Magazine designer Strath Shepard, who, despite that former job, is strangely heterosexual. Fascinating.

Food Love

03/17/08

foodmags.jpgThere is so much food related media and entertainment in the world. It can be overwhelming to wade through the average and the downright lame to find the real gems. Mr. Mcginnis and I both love to cook and discuss cooking...and restaurants and kitchen equipment and cooking shows and cooking blogs and, of course, cooking magazines. I've been trying to choose three food magazines to cover here on PF for some time. I decided on The Diner Journal for their great love and enthusiasm for all parts of the process from growing to cooking to eating, Cook's Illustrated for their obsessive need to test every possible way of doing something, and the Edible magazines for their commitment to educating and enjoying each community in which they publish.

The Diner Journal, published by the folks who run the Brooklyn restaurants Diner and Marlowe and Sons, gets better with each issue. I wrote about their first issue in 2006 and have enjoyed watching them grow. The Diner Journal has more heart than any food magazine I've seen. Inside are photographs of family meals and conversations with the people who grew the food, enthusiasm for under-appreciated ingredients, and inventive ways of using well-loved classics. The recipes are written in an informal style but are easy to follow. I've tried several of them. A new slim volume arrives each season and has a theme. The current, Spring 2008, is mostly about goats--ideas about how to solve the problem of too many male kids, lack of American interest in goat meat, recipes involving goat milk, goat cheese, goat meat, goat yogurt.

Cook's Illustrated is kind of the opposite of The Diner Journal. These people are crazy obsessives. They test a bazillion ways of doing one thing--say roasting a chicken--to see what methods produce the crispiest skin or the juiciest meat. Thanks to a subscription to Cook's Illustrated, my dad now knows that the best pie crust is made with a little iced vodka and this year's batch of cherry pies were amazing. The current issue of this great bi-monthly nerdfest includes clear instructions on the roasting of various meats, how different kinds of salmon should be cooked and how to improve your mashed potatoes. There's also a section called Recipe Update where they respond to letters from readers with questions about recipes from earlier issues. I love this. If readers are having trouble with something in the recipe or want more information, the staff does additional tests and responds.

In 2001, two ladies in Ojai, California started Edible Ojai magazine to teach their community about its local food and wine. Now six years later, they have an umbrella company called Edible Communities and 40 magazines publish under their name in the US, Canada and Europe. The individual magazines pay a franchise fee in exchange for the name and editorial support. As I am a Brooklyn resident, the one I read regularly is Edible Brooklyn. Like all the Edibles, the Brooklyn edition is very specific to its location--articles on late night bar noshes and local breweries to urban farming and the fridges of notable Brooklyn residents. I pick it up free at my local coffee shop and read it over their (Oslo coffee shop) delicious americano. The winter 2008 issue includes a story on underground restaurants, the key lime pie guy in Red Hook, a history of Brooklyn oysters which are now illegal to eat, and Wendell Berry giving us city kids some ways to eat more responsibly. Side note: While reading this issue at a friend's house, his cat took the title quite literally, leapt onto the table and took a bite out of my magazine!

Russia!

03/11/08

Russia!
New York and points beyond
8.5 x 11 in, 130 pages
Full color
$4.99

Have you ever noticed magazines will often have intriguing covers, but when you open them up, either they are really bad, or more of the same bullshit? On first seeing Russia!'s kissing (male) cosmonauts this crossed my mind. I wasn't too sure about the type face of the logo either, as it seemed a bit corny to me. I quickly flicked through, and still wasn't convinced, so it went into the black hole of my magazine desk pile.

Fortunately it fell on the floor a few days ago and I started to read it. The type, which had at first seemed awkward to me, began to make sense the more I absorbed it. This was due in no small part to the excellent writing, which was playful without being snarky, and highly informative about a subject matter I previously hadn't known I was interested in.

Russia! is an English language magazine based in New York promoting Russian art, design and literature to the global community. The design of the magazine is thoroughly modern, though it shows an appreciation for general 19th century design, and (actually) just a bit of Russian design. I still think it's a bit rough, but I like where it's going. The Winter 2008 issue features lighthearted looks at Russia's bribery economy, obsession with conspiracies, space tourism and controversial art.

I'm reminded of Tokion, which began as a magazine to promote Japanese culture to the world, but quickly degraded into just another New York lifestyle magazine. Hopefully Russia! will stick to it's guns (although, with it's title, does it have any other choice?).



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