Paper Cuts, the NYT books blog, has a cool slide show of old book ads. Pictured here is Edna O'Brien looking awesome in an ad for her book August is a Wicked Month.

The Freakanomics people muse on what the world would be like without libraries. ack!

From Book Slut: Yet another article on indie publishers money problems but this time with some positive notes.

Not exactly a book event but too good not to mention... go see the hilarious genius that is Dynasty Handbag tonight at the Dixon Place Hot! Festival. They are also screening The Quiet Storm, a short film about Ms. Handbag by Hedia Maron. 258 Bowery. 8pm. $12-15.

Sunday night Jerry Stahl is reading from Love Without, his new book of stories, at the Open City Series at KGB Bar. 85 East 4th @ 2nd Ave. 7pm. Free.

outBack to something affordable! The Task Wall-Mounted Magazine Rack available at Target (online) is only $35, and available in java or black finish. Its made of MDF rather than wood, which is why it's so cheap. For those of us who buy more than a couple of magazines a month, a few of these racks can be lined up vertically to make a longer rack.

For a step up, you can also find this design made in lovely, eco-friendly kiri wood for $65. This version is actually cheaper, because it comes with more compartments (three of the target version would be $105). It's far more attractive than MDF, with a beautiful finish achieved by burning the wood and waxing the ashes back into it. I'm a fan of beautiful, affordable and eco-responsible. This rack pretty much touches all the bases.

The Task Wall-Mounted Magazine Rack is available at Target for $34.99

The Wall-Mounted Kiri Magazine Rack is available at Koo De Kir for $65

outBasically I have problems with a lot of things, especially Condy Nasty.... but I do like The New Yorker. I think the supposition that the staff are editorial perfectionists is absurd—I've yelled out loud over the crappy things I've read within it (they are as guilty of fuck me for an article as any NY magazine), but basically I'm a fan. Strangely enough, I have less of a problem with the design of The New Yorker than it's writing. I love that it has illustrations on the cover, is ACTUALLY legible and doesn't bombard me constantly with garish layouts and photography. I find it fascinating that just as serif typography has come back into (pardon me) vogue and McSweeney's has ushered in a sea change of editorial design, KT Meaney argues for a re-design of The New Yorker.

Meaney uses a 1992 cover (pictured above) to illustrate her point—Edward Sorel's illustration of a punk rocker riding around in a horse-drawn carriage. She argues that the text of the magazine is all forward thinking and up-to-date, but displayed in an out of touch, clunky design. Firstly, this women obviously doesn't appreciate this awesomely absurd drawing (which perfectly encapsulates NY in '92), secondly she doesn't appreciate how wonderful it is when funky people take over old-fashioned things. Being up-to-date with an eye for quality should not mean demolishing what came before. The design of The New Yorker is like a fine old building, that is of course impractical for some purposes, but therein lies it's charm. If anything, this kind of charm only emphasizes the quality and urbanity of the writing. Personally, I would rather live in a nice old Victorian house (years ago I squatted in one, mirroring Sorel's cover) than live in one of those new, hideous glass towers sprouting up all over New York. Please, please New Yorker, resist—don't succumb to all demands for change, especially from a designer who is responsible for a magazine design that is 10 years out of date. Better to be 82 years out of date.

There Weren't Many Girls Around, So We Dated Ideologies. This Left Us Always on the Brink of War. We Often Discussed That a Likely Result of Battle Would Have Been More Girls to Go Around Amongst the Survivors, but We Quibbled Rather Than Acted, & Slept Alone in Our Cold Beds Dreaming of Glory.
Drawings By Ami Tallman
Published by 2nd Cannons Publications
11.25" x 9", 46 pages
1st printing, edition of 500


LA based artist Ami Tallman's new book from 2nd Cannons Publications has an extremely long title, see above. Actually, I'm going to type it out again: There Weren't Many Girls Around, So We Dated Ideologies. This Left Us Always on the Brink of War. We Often Discussed That a Likely Result of Battle Would Have Been More Girls to Go Around Amongst the Survivors, but We Quibbled Rather Than Acted, & Slept Alone in Our Cold Beds Dreaming of Glory. I love a long title. It reminds me of my favorite long titled movie, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies! All that long title loving aside, the drawings in this book are lovely. They are mostly of lush, fancy interiors with occasional interruptions by various armed persons. The book tells the story of an English aristocratic heir who gives up his manor for the affections of a Red Cross member. Trench warfare ensues and our heir reflects on his life from the field. Get the book directly from 2nd Cannons.

Martha Southgate discusses the dearth of black people in the literary world.

Flickr Finds: Vintage Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jeane Baker Magazine Covers

The nerve! Jane Magazine Folds! Jane moved on already anyway.

My Comrade!



I was trolling around the internets just now looking for back issues and scanned spreads of old magazines I once loved... And I ran into the website for the great My Comrade, a sexy rag by drag queens and weird queers, that published regularly from 1987 to 1994. It came back in 2004 and has published two issues since. Their site has a covers gallery, go look at it. And if you can, donate some money to the fabulousness. I need more issues of My Comrade!

The Kin Series


book003.jpgThe Kin Series
Published by These Birds Walk Press
4 books, editions of 300
5" x 7", full color, 40 pages, perfect bound
$75.00 for unsigned subscription
$150.00 for signed subscription

The Kin Subscription Series is the fourth effort from These Birds Walk, a small press started by photographer Paul Schiek out of Oakland, California. The Kin Series is a set of four books released quarterly throughout the year. You can buy them signed or unsigned. Each book is the work of a single artist exploring Schiek's idea that "all lessons of photography are handed down through the
generations, inter-linking all photographers knowingly and unknowingly." Looking at the books all together, I can see what he means. It's obvious--conscious or not--that Mike Brodie's polaroids of train-hoppers have learned something from Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg's amazing Raised By Wolves series from the '80s. I first saw Brodie's photographs while working at Nerve. They were putting together a gallery of his work and it was love at first site. I'm so happy to see his work again in book form. In some way, all the photographers are also looking at notions of family, biological or contructed. I love Ari Marcopoulos' kids. They are such scrappy little dudes--always bruised and cut up, running around, making forts, etc. The first two images in his book--a wall with pin-ups of sexy ladies and the wreckage of a plane crash--make me think of how fleeting boyhood dreaming can be. This is the first time I've seen Paul Schiek's work and I like it. I'd say he seems to like these kind of boring off-moments but because of flash blow-outs or other camera weirdnesses they become almost surreal, definitely pretty, abstract sometimes. Ordinary moments are captured and printed in a way that allows deeper emotions--sadness, aggression, loneliness--to bubble to the surface. You can buy The Kin Series from These Birds Walk's site. The Jim Goldberg book comes out September 8th and we'll keep you posted about the party they're having for it.

Continue Reading The Kin Series

flip7.jpgArthur Magazine is a free bimonthly news/music/culture magazine that shows up all over the country in record shops, cool bookstores and coffeehouses. Unapologetically anti-war, nerdy and a bit hippy—Arthur eschews the irritating faux-irony and snarkiness of most American lifestyle/culture magazines. We got all frightened because Arthur looked DOOMED—but this summer it is back!

How did you come up with the name Arthur?

Around the time that the project needed a name, sometime in 2002, I was baking bread and the flour I was using was King Arthur.

What is Arthur's editorial mission? What made you put in so much effort to produce an independent national magazine?

Arthur's editorial mission, at least at its inception, was to give writers the freedom to write about what they wanted, in the way that they wanted to, at the time that they wanted, and at the length they wanted, in a magazine that would reach an audience they wanted to reach. Of course, it's a bit more complicated than that. We don't accept the work of just any writers, and we have to balance subject matter in each issue so that the magazine will offer a compelling mix. In practice that means articles sometimes get commissioned and then held for publication. In some cases, writers have waited for up to a year to see their piece in print. Our guiding principle has been 'writer knows best.' When writers ask me for advice on how to approach a piece that they are working on for Arthur, I often tell them to do what the piece requires. Serve the piece. Serve the audience. If it demands 12,000 words, with first-person narration, so be it. So, the writer, now freed, shoulders a responsibility that's been usurped by house editors in American publishing in the last 30 years. The result, hopefully, is more engaged writing that cuts closer. Remove the rules; ratchet up the responsibility; see what happens. Same goes for photo essayists, cartoonists and columnists: they all, pretty much, have carte blanche. And they deserve it. These people are very, very smart. The readers deserve it, too, of course. What we're going for is highest common denominator; nothing gets dumbed down at Arthur, but at the same time, everyone is aware of their responsibility to communicate, not simply self-express.

Continue Reading PF Interview: Jay Babcock, Editor of Arthur Magazine

Random Linkage


I don't know about you but I'm a little sleepy after so much 4th of July running around. We laughed, we cried, we bbqed, we saw bands play, we snuck onto rooftops, we set off bottle rockets, etc. In the spirit of a slow post-holiday workday, here are some links to look at/read/waste time with:


Sarah Ball, taker of the above photograph, has some new work up on her site. It's lovely and shot with a large format view camera in her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi.

Bernd Becher, 75, Photographer of German Industrial Landscape, Dies.
(via avisualsociety, and nyt)

While we're on the subject of photography, I've been looking at/reading the Magnum Agency blog all morning.

Calling YOU!


All is quiet... it's gray out and the 4th of July. Where are all the raucous BBQers in my hood? I think the fact that it is our nations birthday is a good time to see if there is anyone out there in another country who would like to contribute to Print Fetish. Please, insert your big lady liberty on our shores!

What we are looking for isn't going to be easy - we want someone, somewhere in Europe who can write about non-English magazines. Therefore, they will probably need to speak multiple languages AND be able to write well in English. It goes without saying that whoever it is must have good taste and read more than just commercial magazines. If you are interested please send us some writing samples and a short but sweet bio.


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