Useless

10/08/07

cover5.gifcover-6.gifUSELESS
Tabloid-sized
B/W, newsprint
$8

New York and London-based art mag Useless has the old school enthusiasm of ye olden music fanzines like Search and Destroy or MRR. Maybe it's the newsprint or that interviews, profiles, reviews, events and ideas are really packed in here—sometimes there'll be up to four different things on one spread. I love that. I got issues 5 and 6 at the Art Book Fair and still haven't come close to reading every word in them. I've opened up each issue on several occasions and flipped around, reading a bit of this and a bit of that. The issues have themes and, according to their site, the format of the magazine can/will change based on that. Issue 5's theme is "newer than ever" and my most favorite thing in here is a story called Legends of New York where Useless asks four fantastic old school New Yorkers to talk about NYC then, now, and 100 years into the future. Issue 6 is called "there you are" and has a Donald Urquhart drawing on one cover and Todd Haynes on the other. This issue has many highlights, including Joan Jonas, Ann Magnuson, Todd Haynes, Molly Shannon, Dirty Martini, our friends' band Golden Triangle, a random picture of another friend of ours kissing someone, etc etc. I was lying on the floor reading these issues with a friend the other night and we were talking about hype and pr and how underground mags are really no different than the big glossies. Big magazines mostly write about the same people at the same time because they have a movie out or a record or something like that. Cool small magazines do it too but just on a more indie scale. It's tiring. Useless has a little of that, I think, but not too much. I feel like they cover so much and such a wide array—from major names who've been around for years, to people you hear about these days, to people you've never or barely heard from. Well played, dudes.

My new pal Julia Wertz has co-curated a comics exhibit at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn! Art by Sarah Glidden, Julia Wertz, Ron Davis Brandt, Brandon Zamora, Allison Cole, Chris Uphues,Tom Hart,Gerard Smith, Tim Cryder, Esy Casey, Eamon Espey, Edwin Vasquez, Thomas Ptilli,James Keegan, David Wein, Kelie Bowman, Erika Anderson,Jason Estrin, Alec Longstreth and Fly. Opening reception is tomorrow night!

BoxSocial @ Secret Project Robot
210 Kent Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211
OPENING RECEPTION OCTOBER 6th 7 to 10 pm
through November 8th

Flickr Finds: Black History Through Vintage Magazines.

I've been enjoying Errol Morris' NYT blog. The post that sucked me in was back in July and asked the questions: Does a photo by itself without any words mean anything? Does it need context? Can different captions and positions alter its meaning? Up there right now is a post about altering photographs, specifically war photographs, specifically Roger Fenton's "The Valley of the Shadow of Death." He talks about the Susan Sontag essay where she says there are two versions of the photograph, one with added cannonballs and one without. He also interviews Ulrich Keller who Sontag named as her source for that information. THEN Morris actually goes to the site where the photo was taken. Good stuff.

Sex Advice from Booksellers. (via BookSlut)

roundup4.jpgANP has no cover type at all, often sitting in a nice, neat stack awaiting discerning readers who aren't afraid to grab it without asking how much it costs. It's free, and the stack is sitting for less and less time as more people discover it. ANP treads into the art world, yet is still playful. It's perhaps Index's most likely successor. The new issue features interviews with our lesbro Sophie Morner (editor of Capricious), Make-Up freakazoid Ian Svenonius and artists Chris Burden and Rita Ackermann. I especially love the profile and cover images of the early 80's LA punk 'zine, NO Mag.

Arthur, the free and fiercely independent music and arts magazine out of Los Angeles, disappeared earlier this year due to an editor/publisher power play–but fear not, the rag with the nerdy/hippie/anarchist bent is back! Yes, it came out mid-September, but it's still out there and waiting for you to grab. Issue 26 features Thurston Moore and Byron Coley interviewing Yoko Ono, Douglas Rushkoff's take on 9/11 conspiracy theorists and profiles of Becky Stark and the Sun City Girls. The re-launch issue has more color and a fashion spread (they need to work on this if serious, sorry guys). OH, and it's also available FREE as a PDF download.

Fantastic Man has gold foil on it's cover this month, perhaps balancing on the precipice of looking like a high school yearbook–yet it succeeds beautifully. This is why I love Jop and Gert, everything they do is so well considered and refined, all else seems coarse and crass by comparison. Of note is the first woman on the cover, although she is hidden behind her partner. Fascinating. I had an art directed evening the other night: red wine on the sofa under the yellow glow of a paper lantern, leaning against an oversized goose down pillow listening to Jimmy Scott. I perused Issue No. 6 of Fantastic Man, the perfect weight and texture. I read interviews with Rem Koolhaas, one of my high school crushes Peter Murphy, the Brilliant artist Steve McQueen and cover man Vinoodh Matadin. I finished the evening with a viewing of Wong Kar Wai's As Tears Go By, and for awhile at least, was consumed by the possibility of beauty.

DSC_0084.jpgUNISEX
Erotics, Esoterics
Edie Fake
4.25" x 5.5"
28 pages, B/W photocopy, w/ color copy fold outs
$6

Depending on who I ask, Edie Fake is from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or possibly has just moved to San Francisco to apprentice at Black and Blue Tattoo. We appear to have a bunch of friends in common but I just met him the other day at the Art Book Fair. Met, actually, might be a strong word. I said hello, bought a comic, and as I was walking away mumbled something about sending him a lil photo-book when he asked if I too made things. It was early in the day and I hadn't yet hit my social stride.

Back to the zine at hand... I have Mr. Fake's awesome Gaylord Phoenix comic series about a mystical part robot creature of same name. The last issue was nominated for an Ignatz Award in 2006. This time, I picked up something new: UNISEX: Erotics and Esoterics, by Edie Fake. This little comic doesn't have a clear story to it. Some pages are overflowing with animals, magical symbols, handkerchief patterns, and plants. Others have single figures: from a fierce, sexy lady to a half/man half woman viking with some strategically placed hair. Fake also offers some exciting new hanky code options. As a sorcerer who fucks inanimate objects, I'll be adding a blood soaked sky blue hanky to my left pocket.

I'm not sure where you can buy this particular zine, as I can't find it on any site that sells Mr. Fake's other work. Perhaps you can email him directly through his website, or keep your eyes out while shopping at your local zine emporium.

Continue Reading Scorpio Rising, Virgo Faggot

outDWR is having it's semi-annual sale, so design is slightly more in reach. Slightly. So as a result, I'm finally featuring a DWR product, Fabio Lombardo's Print Magazine Rack which has a slick 70's sci-fi bachelor pad vibe. Made out of a single piece of plastic, it kind of looks like a butt. I can totally see the white version next to a white sofa and a glass/chrome coffee table on a white shag rug. OR in a large, tiled to the ceiling bathroom. For those who are feeling sexy and Italian, not for the shaved of chest.

Available at DWR for $180.00

The fair made me feel incredibly poor... especially the snarky OneStar Press French dude who showed me a $10,000.00 book by Austrian artist Heino Zobernig. Doesn't that miss the point of the accessibility of books? Just saying. He wouldn't let us photograph it either! Fortunately, right next to him was a free copy of ANP. Maybe I could have gotten more free junk if I'd bothered to have Print Fetish cards made up... but I keep forgetting. As luck would have it, our famous asses were given some pretty books by Brian Kennon from 2nd Cannons and Nick Neubeck of Seems Books. I have no problem paying, but by the time I got to their tables, I had already spent too much. This is an expensive "hobby," let me tell you.

Continue Reading More on The New York Art Book Fair 2007

Mr. Mcginnis and I took a nice stroll through the New York Art Book Fair on Saturday. So much to see! So many books! So many tote bags! Two floors of the Dia:Chelsea building full of tables staffed by cute, well dressed nerds. The first floor was mostly larger companies, like D.A.P., and rare art book sellers, like Glenn Horowitz Booksellers. I went to an opening at Glenn Horowitz's once and they have so many things I want... for so much $$$. Then up to the second floor where the cool kids had their booths. The first stop on the way in was the ANP Quarterly booth. Their new issue is awesome but more on that later. Also upstairs was an exhibit called Friendly Fire, a curated selection of independent publishing by artists. For me discovering little small books and art items at the artists' tables is the reason to go to the fair. Edie Fake was cutting and folding a new lil magazine next to the Islands Fold table of really cool looking comics and across the way from my old friend Darin Klein who was selling a selection of his old zines, a box he made, and art by friends. Over the next week or so, Mr. Mcginnis and I will be reviewing the stuff we bought and talking more about what we saw and who we met at the fair. But for now.... some pictures!

people.jpg
People browsing.

onestar.jpg
One Star Press' really cool shelf.

Continue Reading New York Art Book Fair 2007

Printed Matter's annual New York Art Book Fair kicks off tonight at 548 West 22nd St. with a benefit preview from 6-9. The main fair starts tomorrow at 11am and ends Sunday at 5pm and it's free! Over 120 publishers from all over will be there to show and sell contemporary art books, art catalogues, artists' books, art periodicals, and ’zines. Cool events this year include J+L Books' DVD release party, a discussion and book signing with the Evil Twins, Ian Svenonius reading from his bizarro manifesto/book The Psychic Soviet at the ANP launch party, and more! Full list of events here. Mr. Mcginnis and I will be in attendance. Expect book fair coverage from us early next week. Woo.

Cr blog presents some of artist/designer Scott King's (ex-Art Director of I-D and one time Creative Director of the now defunct Sleaznation) images for his project How I'd Sink American Vogue. Hilarious. I like that guy.

Flickr Finds: Vintage Editorial and Advertising Illustrations

My new neighbor Julia Wertz is a HI-larious cartoonist with a new book coming out in a few weeks (which we will be reviewing). While you wait, check out her blog which has regularly updated comics.



Categories

follow us

blogs we love

small press