Sunday, March 06, 2011

My Autoblography* at We Make Zines**

Bounced around (and in and out of) a few writer's groups and realized, to paraphrase George Thorogood's "I Drink Alone" that when I write alone I prefer to be by myself.

My first publication was in 2nd grade with a Jungle Book type story: "How The Giraffes Got their Necks". Many years later I moved to Brattleboro Vermont, where Kipling wrote and published "The Jungle Book," which he had conceived years earlier in India. In between those two events I worked for northern New Jersey newspapers as a columnist/reporter/photographer; wrote articles on film for Cinefantastique, Fangoria, and Filmfax; wrote on collectibles for many publications; had humorous fiction on,,, and A couple pieces of fiction ("Full Circle" about a homeless woman carrying around a fortune in rare stamps at the bottom of her shopping bag and "Flight of Fire" about who blew up the Zeppelin Hindenburg (that's the "Oh the humanity!" one)) published in nationally circulated mags.

Started zining around the time McSweeney's started. Reacted by doing Philly based zine parody McStoney's. Next up was a couple of issues of Whirligigzine, after I bought the name Whirligig, etc. from editor and former owner Frank Marcopolos. Currently I'm throwing together a new issue of Whirligigzine. Leave me a note if you want to be alerted when it's ready. It will have everything from Coney Islands for the mind ("What the hell is that," you ask) to Kerouac to satirical-parody fake memoir to stuff-shirted litcrit to popping the pomo fandom bubble to why science fiction won't last to laughing at things worth laughing at to well, whatever else is laying around that won't fit anywhere else. (I'm thinking of starting it with an anti-manifesto manifesto, which maybe I'll also post here.)

If you're curious about how to categorize me, I fit in "lit" and "humor" and "weird" with the slightest bit of "steampunk." There, I'm pigeonholed -- now please don't ruffle my feathers. (Oh, and I'm really freakin' old. Yeah, the horror. The horror.)

After everything else I continue to do the zine thing. Obviously.

* Cute, right?
** Sign up required.

The 'Atlas Shrugged' movie: Worth seeing? - The Week

Do I have any insights into Rand's classic novel, reviled by many, but also beloved by many, Atlas Shrugged? Not really, other than to say that time has not diminished its place in the popular imagination. As for how it presented industry and economics in the U.S., it may be instructive to look at the fact that one of Rand's acolytes was Alan Greenspan, who had a role in putting the U.S. in its current financial situation. It will be hard to sit in the film's audience and tell yourself "It's just a movie."

I like to read the original Whirligig (#3-9) -- Do you?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

We Make Zines

Yeah, So Do I

Lets see how this zine thing goes. A little bit of zine history is in order, though I'm not going to provide it for your reading pleasure right now. (Oh, it will be illustrated; maybe even annotated, David Foster Wallace (RIP) style.) Maybe I'll even sell the idea to a publisher and then all the zinesters can call me a sellout. Won't that be fun!

But as my endeavor Whirligigzine has "zine" right in it, you'd have to imagine I know something about the area, right? Well, sure, I know "something" but with the various factions of zining out there what I know might not be the information you're looking for in your quest to understand the world of zines. (You are on a quest, right?) Let me say that I've met some real characters in my decade + of zine activity: Somebody should make some wacky cards characterizing them.

I am new at We Make Zines. It will be interesting to check the community out. After the wild and wooly doings on alt.zines over the years, I would imagine things at WMZ will be rather more calm and relaxed. I'll report back "from the ground" as MSM newspeople have taken to saying. (I wonder if this is vs "from the air.")

Sendak at the Rosenbach Museum and Library

A Wild Things Whirligig at the Rosenbach Museum and Library

I was a bit too old to connect with Sendak's work, but his popularity in the sphere of children's lit has held strong, as the recent film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are attests. Now there's a show at one of my old stomping grounds, The Rosenbach, bringing the story to life in a different way for your young ones. (My interest in future Rosenbach events hews more to the likes of Besotted Wine and Words. Bottoms up!)